Chester Albert Dash, Sr. age 97 years of Niles, Michigan, husband, father, grandfather, truck driver, mechanic, and honorable veteran died peacefully Saturday morning, March 13, 2021 with family around him at his home following a brief illness. The family is grateful for the care offered by the hospice staff at the end.
He was born on August 1, 1923 in Barronett, Wisconsin to LeRoy and Ida (Schultz) Dash. He attended school in Wisconsin and joined the United States Army in 1943. He served as a truck driver in an ordnance company, participating in campaigns in Rome-Arno and both Southern and Northern France, and earned the EAME Theater Ribbon with 3 bronze battle stars as well as participating in a Meritorious Unit Award. He was honorably discharged in 1946 as a Veteran of World War II and has lived in Niles since 1952. He was a maintenance mechanic for many years at the former Walkden Concrete in Niles, and then drove delivery trucks for Dayco Sheet Metal.
Mr. Dash was a member of the Twin City Baptist Church in Mishawaka, Indiana where he served as a bus driver, helped maintain the fleet of buses, sang in the choir, and taught Sunday School and Junior Church. At home, he maintained a well-equipped mechanic’s shop and was capable of repairing and fabricating a wide variety of equipment. He and his wife enjoyed travelling in their RV, usually to visit family in the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
On May 20, 1946 in Wisconsin he married the former Ruth L. Benson with whom he celebrated the remarkable Fifty-first anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on November 22, 1997. He was also sadly preceded in death by their daughter, Patty Smith on May 24, 2018; by two grandsons, Pete Dash and Joel Behm; and by Chester’s siblings, Caroline Franko, William Dash, Louise Harder, Violet Crowell, Dorothy Chenney, Dewayne Dash, Richard Dash, James Dash, and four others who died in their infancy or youth. Chester was the final survivor of the thirteen siblings.
Surviving family includes his children, Sue (& Jerry) Sink, Larry Dash, Avis Carter, Chester Dash, Jr., Roger (& Mollie) Dash, Albert Ronald Dash, all of Niles, Ruth (& PO1 Robert, U.S.Navy, Ret’d) Ford of Marshfield, Missouri, Linda (& Duane) Melady of South Bend, Indiana, Pamela (& SFC Eric, U.S.Army, Ret’d) Behm, Timothy Dash, and James Dash, all of Niles; grandchildren Dan and Donald Kirschbaum, Greg, Gary (& Daphanie), and Brian Carter, Chris, Kim, Bud, and Summer Dash, Tifanni Dash, Jason and Justin Crigger, Jenny (& Leo) Heider, Amber and Brandy Smith, Adam, Sam, and Tim Petersen, Darlene Melton, and Stephanie and Eric E. Behm; twenty-eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Chester Dash, Sr. will be at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles with Pastor Dan Greegor of the Sumnreville Bible Baptist Church officiating. Committal will follow at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles and will conclude with the Full Military Honors by the United States Army Honor Guard and American Legion Post #51 in Buchanan, Michigan. Attendance will be limited, masks required, and social distancing practiced. Others may witness the service via the livestreamed broadcast on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/ .
The family will receive relatives and friends on Wednesday at the funeral home beginning at 12:30 p.m. Contributions in memory of Mr. Dash may be made to the City of Niles Veteran’s Memorial, c/o Department of Public Works, 333 North Second Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120, or online at: http://cms3.revize.com/revize/niles/document_center/department/DPW/Buy%20A%20Brick%20Form%20Fillable%20Form.pdf . Online condolences may be left at:
Chester was proud of his family of twelve children and worked hard to provide food, shelter, and clothing for them and his wife, taught them some mechanics skills, and completed their upbringing by taking them to church. He clearly loved God and loved people.