GULFPORT, Miss. — Chester M. Goodyear, age 94, Gulfport, MS, died July 4, 2011, in Johnson City, Tennessee
Mr. Goodyear was born in Wichita, Kansas, on May 26, 1917. He was a graduate of Friends University (Wichita), Class of 1938. He taught math and science for four years and then was employed as an electronics-radar instructor with the Army Air Corps.
In 1944, Chet accepted a commission in the Navy and served as a radar-sonar officer on the destroyer USS Wadsworth in the Pacific, where the ship was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for “extraordinary heroism as a fighter-director ship” on radar picket duty during the Okinawa campaign.
Upon discharge from the Navy, he returned to employment with the Air Force, eventually retiring with 31 years of government service.
Chet was a charter member of the Mississippi Craftsman Guild and participated in guild shows, demonstrating woodworking techniques. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Gulfport, where he served in several leadership roles and sang tenor in the choir.
He served as a board member of the Salvation Army, a member of the Men’s Camellia Club and the Gulfport Yacht Club. He was a volunteer for numerous organizations including Meals on Wheels.
After Hurricane Katrina, Chet and his wife, Hazel, moved to Johnson City, Tennessee. They lived at Colonial Hill Retirement Center. The family wishes to acknowledge and show appreciation for the caregivers and staff of Colonial Hill for the love and devoted care they gave Chet.
He is survived by his wife, Hazel Stone Goodyear, their daughters Barbra Kay Minor, of Solvang, CA, Judith Ann Pilsch, of Atlanta, Janet Elizabeth Smith, of Johnson City, TN; and their son, Dr. Phillip Goodyear, of Niceville, FL; five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Chet Goodyear was a master woodworker, gardener, hunter and fisherman. Most of all, he was a role model and inspiration to all who knew him.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Friday, July 8, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Gulfport, where friends may visit one hour prior to the service.
Interment will follow at Floral Hills Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Gulfport Salvation Army or Mountain State Hospice, 101 Med Tech Parkway, Suite 100, Johnson City, TN 37604 are requested.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Riemann Family Funeral Home, 11280 Three Rivers Road in Gulfport, MS 39503.
Memories may be shared at www.riemannfamily.com.