Donal Gordon Chester died peacefully on July 2, 2019, at the age of 96, after a long and full life. Born on September 25, 1922, in Valdosta, Georgia, his family moved to Music Hall farm in the foothills of Virginia, where he lived for 83 years prior to moving to Maryville, Tennessee. Don was known for his quick wit, sharp memory, and encyclopedic knowledge. He graduated from high school at Hargrave Military Academy and then graduated as an officer from United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point. He worked alongside Rosie the Riveters at Glen L. Martin of Baltimore, where he met his wife, Betty. As the lead navigational officer, he guided Merchant Marine ships safely through enemy submarine fire off the coast of Russia during World War II. After the war, Don worked in sales at Woolen Mills in Charlottesville and then in production management of nautical technology at Sperry Marine until his retirement at the age of 68. Don loved playing bridge and hearts, often daily. He was happiest outdoors hiking, birdwatching, reclining on the porch with his beloved cats, and listening to classical music. He instilled his love of nature in his children and grandchildren. The youngest of four children of Alan Armistead Chester and Elizabeth Holmes Chester, Don was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings, Mary Elizabeth Chester Owen, John Alan Chester, and Emmy-Lu Chester Schwarz. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Elizabeth "Betty" Bagby Chester; his daughters, Ann Chester McGraw (James Bryan McGraw) and Barbara Chester Little (Lawrence Emory Little); his five grandchildren, Ian Carmichael McGraw, Trevor Lee McGraw, Lindsay Little Gray, Caitlin Ann McGraw, and Allison Emory Little; and four great-grandchildren, Liya Zhu McGraw, Reiya Zhu McGraw, Bodhi Carmichael McGraw, and Virginia Lindsay Gray. The family will hold a private celebration of life. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Asa Wright Nature Center ( Arrangements by Cremation By Grandview, 865-738-0244,

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