Chester was born Czeslaw Jama in the small town of Sienieace, Poland on March 28, 1927. This portion of Poland came under control of the Russians in 1939 and the town, then becoming known as Norvodrudok became part of the Grodno Region of Belarus.
Chester was one of six sons and three daughters born to the Jama family. Chester and his next oldest brother were the only two that left their homeland and emigrated to the United States. During WWII Chester was taken by the Germans on their invasion of Poland and was sent to a farm of a German family. There he did farm labor that the farmer’s son had been doing when the son went to fight in the war effort. Chester was later taken to a shipyard in what became eastern Germany and forced to work as a welder. Upon liberation in 1945 he worked for the US Army in Germany as a civilian employee in a construction unit until he was discharged from that employment in 1949. On his discharge papers the Reason for Discharge was to “Emigrate to the United States of America.” He went to Chicago from Europe. During the Korean Action, Chester served honorably in the United States Army from December of 1950 through December of 1952, and upon release from Active Duty served in the Ready Reserve for an additional four years.
On June 8, 1954, Chester became a Naturalized Citizen of the United States and at that time changed his given name from Czeslaw to Chester. On June 6, 1956, he and Irma were married. In Chicago Chester and his wife Irma owned and operated a deli. In the early 1970’s Chester moved his family to Phoenix and worked in retail sales until his retirement in 1992. Chester was preceded in death by his wife.
Chester had a deep faith and put that faith into practice on a daily basis. He was a very active participant in Alcoholics Anonymous since 1976 and has helped many men along the way to leading a life of service in recovery.
Since September 2021 Chester has been very well cared for at Adiago ALH Assisted Living/Nursing Care Facility in Phoenix. Traditions Health Hospice has thankfully played a major role in Chester’s last days. Chester’s wishes were to be buried in the National Veteran’s Cemetery of Phoenix.
Graveside service will be held on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 1:00pm at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com
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