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Kenneth's Story

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Kenneth Leon Chester, 89, went to heaven to be forever with Jesus at 7:05 p.m. on June 8, 2017, at the Seneca House after a long battle with dementia and Lewy Body Dementia.
Kenneth was born in rural Newton, Mo., on December 5, 1927, to Arthur "Skinny" and Sadie (Rinehart) Chester. He was a 1945 Seneca High School graduate and had lived in the Seneca, Mo., and Wyandotte, Okla., area most of his life.
Kenneth had lived a full and blessed life filled with laughter and hard work.
Kenneth loved working on his parent's farm and for other farmers in the Swars Prairie/Seneca area. He joined the army and served from 1951 to 1953 and was stationed in Germany. He had retained a life-long friendship with his army buddy, Burton Dickerman, of Fort Sumner, N.M., who preceded him in death.
Kenneth had drove a bulk milk truck, loading milk from local dairy farms and then delivered propane gas for Seneca Gas Company and its successors until his retirement in 1995. He had always farmed (wheat and soybeans) along with a beef cattle operation and had continued until 2012.
He collected McCormick-Deering, Farmall and International tractors and equipment. His hobbies were picking rocks off his farm, gardening, and keeping his farm mowed and fence rows cleaned out, cutting wood, tractor pulling, warming a seat at the "liars table" at Seneca's restaurants, and eating chocolate ice cream. He was always willing to help others in any way. He loved his cats and dogs and they loved him in return.
He became a Christian in 1969 and was an active member of Swars Prairie Baptist Church and worked each summer with the Volunteer Christian Church Builders including projects in Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, and Missouri. He had also been a member of the Spring River Valley Pulling Association.
Kenneth married Janet L. Pickering on December 23, 1956, in Miami, Okla., and she survives.
Other survivors include a daughter, Beth Drake and husband, Don, Seneca; and a son, Roger Chester and wife, Cheryl, Wyandotte; siblings, Virginia Tice, Max Chester and wife, Edith, all of Neosho, Mo., Marvin Chester and wife, Patsy, Donald Chester and wife, Barbara, Jerry Chester, Darrell Chester, and sister-in-law, Marceline Rinehart, all of Seneca; three grandchildren, Brittany Watson and husband, Robert, Jena' Turner and husband, Jonathan, and Kristan Chester; four great-grandchildren, Tadem, Hannah, and Lainey Linders, and Jordan Turner; one great-great-grandchild, Jackson Turner. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Elizabeth (Betty) East and husband Clifford; a brother, Vernon Rinehart; sister-in-law, Sue Chester; and two nieces.
The family will receive friends from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 11th, at the Swars Prairie Baptist Church with Paul Chase officiating. Funeral services under the direction of Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, June 12th, at Swars Prairie Baptist Church with Paul Case officiating. Burial will be in the Swars Prairie Baptist Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Swars Prairie Baptist Church building fund or Three Rivers Hospice West, in care of the Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home, PO Box 380 Seneca, MO 64865.
Published on June 10, 2017
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