CHESTER (CHET) R. MCNELLY
Chester (Chet) R. McNelly died suddenly of a heart attack on October 3rd, 2019, at 77 years old. He was born May 1st, 1942 in Anoka Minnesota to Olive Helen (Conradi) McNelly and Chester H. McNelly. The family moved to Webster City where Chet graduated from Lincoln High School in 1960. Chet married Janice Nelson from Cedar Falls on August 7th, 1965. They were married for 38 years, separating in 2003. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Art Education in the spring of 1968. He taught school in Manley, Iowa for two years and in 1970 the family moved to Grand Marais, Minnesota. Chet taught school in Grand Marais and also drove truck, worked at the Beaver House Sporting Goods store and was one of the owners of the Northland Ice Company. In 1976, Chet moved to Alaska and worked on the construction of the Trans Alaska Oil pipeline. After the pipeline was completed he worked for Chevron in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 1998, he and Janice moved back to Webster City.
Chet was an accomplished artist and enjoyed painting and pottery. In retirement he ran a small pottery company, Crazy Cat Pottery, and enjoyed making pottery immensely. He was also passionate about aviation, owning several planes over the years and working as a flight instructor in his last few years in Alaska. He loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman and hunter.
He was a man of strong opinions and was sought out by friends and family for advice on many occasions. He had a great sense of humor and his laugh could fill up a room. Chet was very generous, liked to help people and never said no to a request for help from anyone. It seemed no matter what the situation, Chet had a story about a personal experience or something a friend went through that pertained to the situation, usually in a very humorous way.
Chet is survived by two sons, Trenton and Daniel; his ex-wife Janice; his sisters, Elizabeth Weieneth, Mary Burtnett, and Sarah McNelly; his brother Donald McNelly; grandchildren, Caitlin McNelly, Samantha McNelly, Darren McNelly and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Chet and Helen and his sister, Jerre Salzer.
Memorial services will be held at Foster Funeral & Cremation Center at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 10th with a visitation starting at 12:00 p.m. until the service.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be given in Chet’s memory to Hamilton County Friends of Conservation.