Archive for the ‘Pre-1950’ Category

Where are you?

December 23, 2017 Leave a comment

milk-carton-31473_1280We are in the process of updating our membership records… we are missing lots of information! The years have definitely taken a toll… on each of us, no doubt, but also on our records. (I’ve created a page listing missing ‘mates by class… you may want to check it!)

You can help! If you or someone you know attended Chester Schools, we’d like some basic information. You can provide information for others you know… Don’t assume we know everyone! Bear in mind, graduation isn’t a requirement–we want to include anyone who attended Chester Schools at any time. Also, from 1969, we include Gateway Graduates who lived in Chester at the time!

Our 2018 reunion marks the 50th Reunion of the last class too graduate from Chester High and the 115th Anniversary of C.H.S. We are planning a special celebration and want everyone to have the opportunity to attend!



2016 Reunion Attendee List

This is a reasonably close list of folks who attended… it’s possible we missed somebody–if so, sorry! Let us know and we’ll fix it!

Aldo Bizzozero

Eleanor Barrett Laurent
Harriet Kelso Gilman

Priscilla Packard Suriner
Anita Sainio Macia

Felix Salzano

Donald S. Pease

Barbara Gerrish Thomas
Phyllis Salvini Donovan
Marjorie Savery Pulver
Charles H. Myers
Fay Peltier Peiorgiovanni
Muriel Pease Boisseau
Ruth Pease Scott

Floyd Pease Sr.
Edward Willey
William Giles

Tino Cardarelli
James Pease
Clayton Pease

Persis LaMontagne Webb
Stephen Salvini
Verna Shafer McCullough

William Kovisto
John H. Young
James Mores
Geraldine Pease

Janice Leone Brown
Claire Salvini Willey

Vivian McCall Salvini
George A. Morey Jr.
Richard Mitchell
John Besancon Jarvis

Curtis Bush

Glenn Fish

Jean Elder Bush
Mary Niskanen Thayer
Martha Kelly Paquette
Wendell R. Cook

Mary Woodis Gleason
Ralph Kenyon Jr.
Judy Davenport Olson
Nancy Smith Burrel
Frances Smith Judd

Jackie DeMoss Conklin

Duane C. Pease

Annette Fimbel LaMountain
Bruce Cooper
Walter Boomsma
Edward Woodis
Herbert Voudren

David Zucker
Karla Zmuda Franke
Robert White Jr.
Paul Young
Judy Young
John DeMoss
Dorothy Besaw Woodall

Diane Kelly DeMoss

John Hultman

Carol Stenico

Deborah Caputo Broga
Ed Chaffee

Robert Broga

Gretchen Ebelt Gautheir

Sherran Blair Palazz

Ben Jameson
Gabi Ramires Lyons

Anthony Russo

Ribbit! Ribbit! – an 85 year old frog in Chester

Thanks to the CIA (Chester Inquiry Assistance) Subcommittee a mystery reported in an old news article on the 2015 Chester Historical Society Calendar has been solved! The mystery has a long history and recently surfaced when the calendar included a photo of a rock on the Old Huntington Road painted to resemble a frog. The article, published in 1970, explains:

Chester–Arthur O. Wilander has lived in town all his life but he doesn’t know who paints the frog on the rock on Old Huntington Road. Woodrow Black has been in Chester for at least 25 years and he doesn’t know who paints the rock either.

Every year or two years the rock receives a new coat of paint  by person or persons unknown to town officials. This year “Love is a frog” was added to the usual outline of a frog. Black said green flourescent paint was used. 

“When we were children about 50 years ago,” Wilander said, The painting was there.

“It’s just one of those things,” Black said.

Forty four years later, the mystery is solved. Stella Foley Connor’s mother first painted it back in 1929 and Stella who now lives in Becket and a friend Marion Middleton of Otis went and repainted the frog or toad this past summer.  It has been sentimental for Stella over the years and the old rock needed a fresh coat of paint.  The gals even cleaned up all the brush around it.  When in Chester please take a look at it!

Twenty Five Years Ago…

The Country Journal published the week of our reunion included a short article “25 years ago” regarding our 85th reunion in 1988. The guest list is certainly interesting! Angie Hunt Rogers celebrated her 69th year. The class of 1938 was the 50 year class: Margaret Sherwood Austin, Aldo J. Bizzozero, Kenneth Bloomrose, Gilbert Davenport, Frank C. Dellecese, Pearl Hitchcock Hultman, Millard C. Osgood, Ethel Sanderson Rice, and Hazel Van Wert.

Also interesting is that there were 166 members and guests in attendance. For several years now, we’ve been averaging 110 – 120. Our math teachers would be proud that we recognize that as a 27% decrease, and even more proud that may not be statistically valid. While I’m not sure where we’d put that many people at the Chester Depot, it would be a nice problem to have!


Chester High Alumni Come Home…

(News release to the Country Journal)

CHS 2013_192_SM

Alumni enjoy great food prepared by the Chester Foundation.

Chester – As over 100 Chester High Alumni and friends gathered in town, there developed a picture of history, nostalgia, and community/school spirit.  The annual reunion and meeting always draws a large number of people associated with the former Chester High School including Chester Residents who graduated from Gateway after Chester High School closed in the late 1960’s. This year’s meeting was held on June 29 at the restored Chester Train Station.

Special recognition was given to Aldo Bizzazaro from the class of 1938 and Eleanor Laurent from the class of 1939 who were present for his 75thand her 76th reunion. The “half century” class of 1963 included Billy Arthur Biggs and Amy Scott Record.

Association President Walter Boomsma noted that these reunions are “drifting in the direction of becoming as much a town event as a school reunion.” Noting that the Chester Foundation handled most of the meeting arrangements and food, he also pointed out that the Historical Society supports the occasion by offering special hours for alumni to visit prior to the reunion. “We had lots of help setting up and people who volunteered to stay and help clean up,” he said. “I think this is proof that small town America is alive and well, at least here in Chester.”

Election of officers was also held. Elected as President for his tenth year was Walter Boomsma. Also returned to office were Vice President Robert Goewey, Secretary Annette Fimbel LaMoutain, and Treasurer George Morey, Jr. Jackie DeMoss Conklin and Diane Kelly DeMoss were reelected to the Board of Directors.

Duane C. Pease, Scholarship Custodian announced scholarship awards to Kim Bolduc, Ryan Fiske, Alissa Cooper, Jacob and Joshua Robitaille—all 2013 graduates from Gateway Regional High School.

At the close of the meeting several Chester Residents were noted for their on-going contributions to the town. This included Doug Besancon for raising the American Flag every day, Mary Woods Gleason and Robert Gray for helping with events, and Tino Cardarelli and Ronnie Pease for purchasing and installing a new flag pole at the Historical Society’s “old jail” building. Also, Paul Petersante received recognition for organizing the color guard for the Memorial Day Parade.

The Association has already started planning for the next annual meeting, scheduled for June 28, 2014. Those associated with or in some way connected with Chester and/or Chester High School are encouraged to be certain the Association has current mailing information by contacting Annette LaMountain, Association Secretary, PO Box 206, Chester MA 01011.

Honoring A Member…

Many will remember loyal association member and frequent reunion attendee Frank C. Dellecese, Sr. from the class of 1938. Frank was always the “one to beat” for traveling the furthest, from California–nearly every year! Frank’s daughter Stella sent us the sad news that Frank passed away on February 15, 2013. She also sent an interesting “bio” of Frank, much of which I read during this year’s reunion, noting that “little Chester” produces some giants who accomplish great things. I also challenged this year’s scholarship recipients to “go and do likewise”–following Frank’s example.

Frank C. Dellecese, Sr.

Frank C. Dellecese, Sr.

Frank was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on March 9, 1918. During his 94 years, he lived a life full of hard work and heartfelt affection for his family. He passed away on February 15, 2013, leaving his loved ones with countless memories of his kindness and laughter.

Frank is a first generation American, his parents emigrated as teenagers from Italy to Springfield, Massachusetts, where they met and married. Frank had two brothers (Thomas and Louis) and one sister (Gilda). They all grew up in Springfield.

Frank was a decorated WW II veteran. While serving in the Army, he was stationed in Panama to protect the Panama Canal. Near the end of the war, he was transferred to Tucson, Arizona and there he met Dorothy Inez Winders. They fell in love and were married. Together they raised nine children: Nancy, Frank, Elsie, Cathy, Mary, Charlene, Charles, Patricia and Cecilia.

Frank had a long and accomplished career in aeronautical engineering. While still in the army, Frank began his college education at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. When he was discharged from the Army, Frank continued his education on the G.I. Bill. He worked at a Shell service station to augment his family income.

After graduation with a degree in Engineering, he went to work for Hamilton Standard, a division of United Aircraft, located in his home state of Massachusetts, where they manufactured airplane propellers. After getting a bit of experience under his belt at Hamilton Standard, he was hired by Lockheed Aircraft, in Burbank, California. The family moved to nearby Sylmar, California, where he and Dorothy brought up their children in their shared Catholic faith.

He worked for the remainder of his career as a Quality Control Engineer in the “Skunk Works.” The Skunk Works is a Top Secret aeronautical engineering division of Lockheed that produced the F-117 and the SR-71 Blackbird. During the Gulf War, the F- 117 was used against the Iraqi forces. The F-117 was still unknown at that time, and invisible to radar, the enemy literally didn’t know what hit them. Of the hundreds of missions the F-117 flew against Iraq, all came home without a scratch. The Blackbird flies on the edge of outer space and is the fastest airplane ever built. Don’t waste a bullet against the Blackbird; it can easily outrun any bullet.

These are just two of the projects we know that Frank worked on, during his more than 40 year career. As a Quality Control Engineer on these and many other projects, we can rest assured that under his watchful eye, they were done right.

Working in a Top Secret Defense job has its pressures and stresses, but Frank did not let them weigh him down as he also worked part time at Sears Roebuck and Company in the evenings for 20 years. He sold tires, tools, auto parts and appliances, using his mechanical skills and hard-working spirit to provide for the family that he loved so dearly. Frank had a full retirement at both places.

In retirement, Frank enjoyed travel. He especially enjoyed visiting family. He attended many of his high school reunions in Massachusetts. After Dorothy passed away in 1986, Frank met and married Stella Kaminski. Stella passed away in 2004.

Frank is survived by 9 children, 20 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.


We’re Not Dead Yet!

Annual letter to the members…

Many thanks to those who sent a donation last year and those who supported our Association by attending the reunion! Working with the Chester Foundation has helped us keep the reunion very affordable and we do try to work smart. Your continued support is appreciated whether in spirit or in dollars. If you do include a donation, please indicate clearly where you’d like your donation to be applied—to “operations” or the scholarship fund.

Folks overwhelming tell us to “stay in Chester.” In addition to supporting the town, it really is more like being home… it’s relaxing and there’s no fighting with banquet managers!

An issue we just won’t find a solution for is that there is limited parking close to the train station. It will help if those who feel relatively mobile and young (freshmen and sophomores) leave the nearby parking available for our “senior” classes.  Some “carpooling” would help… and there are a number of you that could probably just walk from home! We do fill up the station and it’s difficult to have enough seats (especially at tables) for everyone… you can bring your lawn chairs if the weather is nice!

We’re still committed to a basic plan that allows for lots of socializing… We’ll still  have our short business meeting at 4:30… then more visiting… we’ll be officially finished at 6 PM, but we won’t “throw people out!” (We might make you help clean up, though!)

We definitely will be looking for a board member this year—Annette is a member of the board by nature of being secretary, so assuming she’s reelected to that position, it would be redundant for her to continue to hold that position. (Board members and terms can be found in the sidebar of this letter.) We are also looking for scholarship custodian to replace the vacancy created by Moe Pease’s death… we are truly going to miss his work on our behalf, his knowledge, and his smiling face at our Reunions.

Our focus last year was to rebuild our mailing list and we did it! I did not have one complaint over people not receiving invitations… thanks to everyone who helped with this—and a special cheer for Annette for a lot of work! Unfortunately, as we build our list we are often reminded of classmates who we’ve lost—recently many of whom were important supporters of the Association. One of the stories I told last year involved Charlotte Demoss Pease who told me pointedly “I am not dead yet!” (It’s an incredibly funny story that epitomizes Charlotte’s spirit… ask me about it at the reunion.) Charlotte was an incredible pumper-upper even after she left the board. I never had a conversation with her that didn’t leave me smiling and excited about our work as an Association. Of course since then Charlotte has moved on—but I’ve come to think that she’s just a little harder to reach now.

I’ve adopted Charlotte’s quote as a bit of a slogan for the Association. We all know that the Association can’t go on forever… there are some realities around age and interest, but it’s far from time to fold our tent and pack up. I hear the words of Charlotte, “We are not dead yet.”

Please support your Association and this year’s plan. Remember, this is everybody’s Association. We are the Chester High from the past and into the future.

Just a simple thing like making sure we have your correct address (whether you are attending or not) helps us save ever increasing postage costs.  You can also help us keep track of classmates by sending any information you have about Chester Grads to our secretary.  While we are not anxious to remove names from our mailing list, if you truly have no interest (and are sure you never will!) just let us know—we’ll stop mailing to you.

The officer list is here to encourage you to contact us. We’d like to hear your offer to help and your ideas and concerns. We are all challenged by long distance and busy schedules, but we don’t want to forget our alma mater! We are always looking for folks who would like to be involved in the association… either to just “help” with jobs and tasks or to hold an office.  If nothing else, why not help us keep track of your class? We’ll help you with information we have if you’ll help us keep our mailing list current.

Hope to see you around Chester in June! Come early and sit on the Church Corner! Stay late and sit on the Church Corner! Go on “tour” and see…