Chester Albert Walter was born May 8, 1916 two miles northeast of Harwood MO to Albert Edward and Ottillia Augusta (Yehle) Walter. He passed away May 12, 2012 at cedar County Memorial Hospital, El Dorado Springs, MO.
Chester graduated from Harwood High School in 1933. He worked on the farm with his father and did custom farm work with his tractor and equipment.
In 1938 Chester was united in marriage to Lillian Thomas in Appleton City, MO. At this time he started driving a school bus from Fair Haven to El Dorado Springs and worked at Pickell Motor Co. He worked construction projects in Nebraska and Oklahoma until he was drafted into the service in December 1942. In the service he attended basic training, airplane mechanics and pilots training, flying B17’s and B29’s. Chester was honorably discharged from the service in September 1946 and remained in the reserves. He returned to El Dorado Springs, MO and worked for Pickell Motor Co. In March 1951 he was recalled to active duty and was sent to Biggs AFB in El Paso, TX. He was an aircraft commander on B50’s, which were assigned to carry atomic bombs until he entered the maintenance field in 1955.
In 1955 he was assigned to the 97th bomb wing as officer in charge of maintenance standardization in the 97th bomb wing. In 1959 he was transferred to Loring AFB, Maine to maintenance training division on B52’s and KC135’s. In 1963 he was transferred to 8th AFB headquarters in MA. From there he was transferred to the Kadena AFB on Okinawa to the maintenance logistic division. In 1967 he was assigned to the Air Force in logistics at Barksdale AFB, LA. He retired from there with 28 years of service as a Lt. Colonel.
In El Dorado Springs he built a new home at 222 West Poplar and spent many hours of his time at Lion’s Club projects, 10 years on the city council, and 21 years on the picnic committee. During his time on the city council they did not have a city manager so he spent many hours working on city projects like golf course, ball fields and other projects.
Chester and Lillian both were baptized believers and joined the United Methodist Church on January 23, 1972. Chet served on various committees in the church but his passion was working on the trustee committee serving 20 plus consecutive years. When funds were short his attitude was “we will find a way”. When the church had a need he used his gifts and talents to help make it happen. He was very concerned with the upkeep of the church lawn, and not only did a great deal of mowing but provided a new John Deere mower to the church to insure a good cut. Among other things he donated outbuildings for storage to the church. Chet was involved in fellowship, was willing to have a good time with church family and had an infectious laugh. When Chet was no longer physically able to work or serve, he was willing and ready to offer his expertise. He was a faithful attendee, Even when he could not hear, he would still come and sing along to the words in the hymnal and shared in Holy Communion. Chet encouraged others to get involved. He was very involved in setting up the booths for the picnic. He and Lillian built the Christmas float at his house, and provided the trailer to pull it. He built all the props for many years. At board meetings he was always the one to say, “let’s look at the other side”.
On July 1, 1987 Lillian preceded him in death. On August 16, 1989 Chet was united in marriage to Annabel Morris in Bolivar, MO. She preceded him in death on October 6, 2007. Chet was also preceded in death by his daughter Carol.
Surviving are his sons, Richard Walter and wife Sue, Joplin, MO and Charles Walter and Jami Crouch, El Dorado Springs, MO, stepdaughters, Nancy Reynolds, Independence, MO, Donita Mills and husband Bill, Carthage, MO, numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, other relatives and many friends.