GARDEN PRAIRIE — Chester Paul Hatfield, 71, of Garden Prairie, joined his Lord and Savior Sunday, July 28, 2013.
He was attended to by the wonderful staff of Swedish American Hospital in Rockford at the time of his passing with his family by his side.
Chester was born to Willis and Minnie Hatfield in Ewing, Va., on Sept. 14, 1941. He was born into a large family of brothers and sisters and they grew up at the foothills of the beautiful Appalachcian mountains of Lee County, Va.
His siblings were brothers, William Hatfield of Ewing, Va., Grover Hatfield of Ewing, Va., Morgan E. Hatfield of Breamen, Ohio, Austin Hatfield of Ewing, Va., Arvil Hatfield (Tina) of Rochelle, Lowell Hatfield (Diane) of Rochelle, Doug Hatfield (Judy) of Rockford, Gary Hatfield (Elaine) of Ewing, Va.; sisters, Lillian Eldridge, of Tazwell, Tenn., Sue (Frank) Ramsey, of Rochelle, Minnie Surber (Joe) of Rose Hill, Va.
He graduated from Thomas Walker High School Class of 1959 and later that year moved to Rochelle where he was employed by Del Monte Corporation until 1964 when he was hired by Chrysler Corporation where he remained and worked for 43 years, retiring in 2007. He met the love of his life in Rochelle, Luella Sue (His‘ Suzy Q) Cantrell and they were joined in marriage Nov. 20, 1961 at Oregon. They lived in Rochelle until 1971 when they then moved to Garden Prairie and remained there until present. Children of this union are, Debra Zierke (Mike) of Rockford, Marty Hatfield (Rebecca) of Rockton, Jennifer Beu (Phil) of Belvidere, James Hatfield (Juliana) of Woodstock, Jarett Hatfield, of Rockford, David Hatfield, of Belvidere, and Stephanie Debruyne, of Garden Prairie.
Chester and Luella were blessed with 13 grandchildren; three great-grandsons; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his son, baby Hatfield; parents Willis and Minnie; brothers, William, Grover, Morgan E., Austin and special cousin, Jim Wilder of Rochelle.
He was an avid gardener and enjoyed planting tomatoes and potatoes, walking and helping his neighbors.
Dad was a man of conviction, his work ethic was admired by all who knew him, he could be counted on to be there once his word was given, and he was unwavered when his mind was made up on what he considered right, which was usually backed by scripture. He will be sorely missed by us all as the head of our family. He cannot be replaced.
A special word of thanks to Cate, and the entire ICU/hospital staff at Swedish American hospital who made our bedside vigil bearable, they were nothing but first class. Thank you from our entire family.
Visitation will be from 4 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31 at the Unger-Horner Funeral Home, 400 N. Sixth Street, Rochelle. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1 at the Unger-Horner Funeral Home.
A memorial is to be established. An online guest book and video are available at www.ungerhorner.com.