George Chester was first married to Marvel Lucille Jackson, and they had two children, Lola and Lon Chester. Lon died at the age of two. Marvel and George divorced, and George Chester re-married Anna Chambers and they had one son, George Christopher Chester -- "Chris" --on May 14, 1952.
Below are some of my diary entries about the end of George's life.
July 25, 1996
Grandpa George is back home, or back at Gladys' house, anyway. What a tale. It all started a few weeks ago. Well, actually if you want to be precise, it all started back in October. But that's another story, another perspective. Anyway, in June, George was all set to go on a cruise. I'm not sure where he and Gladys were planning on going this time, but it would have been George's 7th such cruise. Before leaving, George went to his primary care physician -- Dr. Green(e) -- for a routine checkup. (Meanwhile, Dr. Green, it seems, was going in for routine medicare fraud. But that, too, is another story.) The checkup revealed a problem that finally turned out to be stomach or esophagial cancer. It was considered to be quite serious -- as most any illness is in an 82-year-old; the trip was cancelled and surgery was scheduled.
The doctors removed half of his stomach, a bit of his esophogaus and a some lymph nodes. The offending parts were biopsied and the diagnosis returned: gastric carconoma with lymphatic involvement. At least the last I heard.
When it was time to leave the hospital but not yet time to go home, George landed in "The Mansion", a nursing home in Sunbury. It's called the mansion because that's what it was before it became a nursing home -- the largest single-family home in town. And guess who used to live there? Grandpa George, with his father and mother, Nathan Wellington Chester and Flora Jane Eister. Apparently, Nathan's father, Theodore Chester (George's paternal grandfather), used to have money. He owned the mansion before the money all went away. How the money all went away is a story I don't know. George last lived there when he was (I'm guessing here) maybe six or seven years old. It was his home. He remembers it. And now it's a nursing facility and he's back home, this time as a patient. Talk about going full cirle.
While George was still recovering in the mansion, his son Chris decided to come out from Oregon. He drove across the country. Stopped in Paradise, Utah and picked up his best man, Scott Chisholm. Drove Scott to upstate New York and dropped him off, and then doubled back for Pennsylvania. It took him about a week. Meanwhile, Chris told George he was flying out. I can't quite recall the reason for that particular fabrication; something about George worrying about Chris were he to fly. I don't know. I know Chris hates to fly. Maybe he just didn't want to get on a plane. In any event, he planned on staying for a few weeks.
Lola has been sick with worry and distress about George being sick, and the fact that she cannot visit him. And the fact that it's possible that neither of them will see each other again before one of them dies. This particularly troubles her given the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Mommi Dee's death.
Grandpa George is dead. His heart stopped yesterday afternoon, August 14, 1996. George Chester touched down on this planet for 82 years. I feel terrible for Mom and Chris. Gladys too. But poor mom. God, the hammering on that woman has been relentless. I hate seeing her in so much pain. After I got the news, one of my strong reaction's was a renewed hatred for the way Jon Michele has treated my mother, his sister.