Chester Stasney passes

Chester Stasney, Sr. has passed away on February 18. He was 91 years old. Chester is an honored patriarch of Highlands, having served on the ESD fire board for 20 years, a member of St. Jude Catholic Church for 68 years, Houston Rodeo volunteer for 40 years, and a Rotarian honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. The famous chili served at their Chili Feast is named after him.

October 6, 1929 ~ February 18, 2021 (age 91)

Heaven gained a beautiful angel as Chester J. Stasney, Sr. received his wings on February 18, 2021. He was a wonderful husband, Daddy, and PaPa. Chester was born to Frank and Vera Stasney of Crosby, Texas on October 6, 1929. While drafted into the Army, in 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Marie Martin. They shared nearly 70 wonderful years of marriage. Chester and Marie moved to Highlands in 1953 and were pillars of the community. He and Marie belonged to St. Jude Catholic Church for 68 years and were among the oldest parishioners. Chester was instrumental in starting the annual church bazaar where he was head cook and his barbecue recipe was regarded as one of the best.

Chester worked for General Tire and Rubber Company followed by Bell Telephone prior to enlisting in the Army in 1950. After his service to our country, he returned to General Tire and Rubber and then Shell Oil Company. He spent the remainder of his career, 30 years, at Harris County Precinct 2. At the time of his retirement, he was administrative superintendent for the road and bridge department.

Chester was a proud member of the Highlands Rotary Club for 54 years, where he was the oldest surviving member. He was a cofounder of the Highlands Rotary Club Chili Feast in 1975 where Chester’s chili recipe became famous. He received the highest honor bestowed by the Rotary Foundation and was named a Paul Harris Fellow.

Chester made meaningful contributions to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo through his 40 years of service on various committees. He became a lifetime member in 2001. Chester also was appointed to the Emergency Services District #14 Board by Commissioner Jim Fonteno where he served for 20 years.

Chester is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Wilson, Lawrence, and James, his in-laws, Jordan and Pearlie Martin, his sonin-law, J.E. Bird, and grandson, Scott Bird. He is survived by his wife Marie, children Chester Joseph, Jr., Alabama, Elaine Marshall and husband Eddie, Highlands, Paul Stasney, Highlands, Leah Stasney, Houston, LaVern Kittsley and husband Dodd, New York, grandchildren, Christopher Bird, Brett Marshall, and wife Jessica, Seth Stasney, Payton, and Cooper Kittsley, greatgrandchildren, Aubrey Bird and Fitzgerald Marshall. He is also survived by his two younger sisters, June Ann Smesny and Malba Smesny, and numerous brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

Honoring the family as Pallbearers are Eddie Marshall, Dodd Kittsley, Christopher Bird, Seth Stasney, Brett Marshall, Payton and Cooper Kittsley, and Roy Selensky. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Highlands Rotary Club and ESD #14.

Arrangements are being handled by Sterling White in Highlands. All services will be held at St. Jude Catholic Church in Highlands. Visitation will be held Thursday, February 25, 2021, from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm with a Rosary at 6:00 pm. The funeral services will be held Friday, February 26 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Highlands Rotary Club, P.O. Box 892, Highlands, Texas 77562 where they will establish a scholarship in Chester’s name.