Vernon Chesbro 1925 - 2010 Ottawa
Private funeral services for Vernon “Vern” Chesbro, 84, Ottawa, will be held Wednesday at Grace Episcopal Church, Ottawa, followed by a public celebration of life at 2 p.m. at the Ottawa University Chapel. A reception will follow at the Ottawa Country Club. He was cremated. Private committal of cremains will take place at Highland Cemetery, Ottawa.
Mr. Chesbro died Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, at his home in Ottawa.
He was born Oct. 1, 1925, in Ottawa, the son of Vernon M. “Jack” and B. Ferne Chesbro. He was a graduate of Ottawa High School.
Mr. Chesbro was also a graduate of the University of Denver. He was an Eagle Scout and served in both the U.S. Merchant Marine and the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He was a leader in the Kansas Republican Party, serving as executive director, Republican state chairman and as a member of the National Republican Committee. He was on the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System board for 10 years, serving two as chairman. He was on the advisory committee for U.S. Ambassador for Trade Clayton Yeutter and was a member of the Weigand Tax Commission. He served as a board member of the Contel PAC and as chairman or adviser to many political campaigns.
After his university graduation, Mr. Chesbro managed Shawnee Country Club in Topeka. In 1950, he returned to Ottawa to own and manage the North American Hotel with his mother. In 1958, he joined a small startup telephone company based in Ottawa that eventually became Continental Telephone Corporation, or Contel. He held several management positions with Contel in the United States and abroad, and retired as vice president of the corporation in 1983. In recent years, Mr. Chesbro served as a vice president of the Patriots Bank Group based in Garnett.
After retirement, he served as a board member or committee member with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, the Ottawa-Franklin County Economic Development Organization and the Ransom Memorial Hospital Charitable Board. He was an officer and director of several small companies in the Kansas City metropolitan and Lawrence areas. He was a member of the Ottawa Lodge No. 18, AF & AM, for more than 50 years. He was a 56-year life member of the Ottawa Elks Lodge No. 803, and was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Ottawa Kiwanis Club.
He married Phyllis A. Hart in 1946. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include a son, Scott and wife Linda; two daughters, Sue Workman and husband William, and Linda Wedman and husband Larry; six grandchildren, Ben and Dan Waymire, Jason and Sarah Chesbro, and Michael and Scott Wedman; and two great-grandchildren, Andrew and Lola.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Charles R.
The family suggests memorials to Grace Episcopal Church, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelter, sent in care of Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, KS 66067.
Online condolences may be sent at dengelmortuary.com.