John F. Chester passed away in Troy, NY on Thursday, November 19th 2020 with family by his side after a long illness.
John was born in the seaside town of Geelong in Victoria, Australia, the youngest of four siblings. As a young man he was an enthusiastic athlete. He competed nationally in surf rescue and represented Australia in international competition in dragon boat racing. His early careers included working in and running pubs and restaurants, and later carpentry. He loved to socialize, tell stories, and get in trouble with his mates. Even in his final years he could still hold a room with his fantastic stories that would often leave us somewhat bewildered but also totally in stitches.
John moved to the US in 1994. He traveled extensively before settling for many years in Portland, Oregon. He was married to Lesli McKibben and together they have a cherished daughter, Merideth. In March of 2018, as his illness progressed, John moved to Troy, NY to be near his sister, Elise and brother-in-law Simon. John could drive you crazy, but he also had a certain charm that endeared him to friends, family, and caregivers. He constantly talked about his daughter Meredith back in Portland, and had wanted to get well enough to see her again.
John is survived by his mother Pat Chester, his siblings Anne Vieceli (Julian), Elise Balint (Simon) and Chris Chester (Trish). Also surviving is his wife Lesli McKibben and daughter Merideth Chester; his nieces Hannah and Ella Chester, Stephanie Vieceli, Hanieka Balint and nephew Sawyer Balint. He was predeceased by his father Christopher “Ralph” Chester who passed away a year ago on the same day as John. He was also predeceased by his sister-in-law Bernadette Chester who passed in 2011.
In addition to all the friends and family members that helped in his care, a special thank-you must be given to the medical providers and staff at the many institutions that helped John and his family these past three years: the Samaritan Hospital in Troy, Upstate Gastroenterology, the Albany Medical Center, the Diamond Hill Rehabilitation Center, SPARC of Cohoes, and Mt Sinai Hospital in New York City.
As per John’s wishes, there will be no services.
Rest in eternal peace, John. You will be dearly missed.