Chester was born on February 26, 1929 on a dairy farm near New York Mills, MN. He was the youngest of eleven children born to Jalmer and Hilma Neuvonen. The family was part of the largest Finnish-American community in the U.S. He attended a two-room elementary country school where he learned to speak English. He then attended New York Mills High School and graduated in 1948.
After high school, he worked in Duluth, MN for the Merchant Marine on the Great Lakes. In 1951 when the Korean War started, he was drafted into the Army. He was assigned to the Signal Corps working with radio equipment and decoding. This led to his interest in electronics.
While on furlough at home for Christmas, he met Marilyn Pikkaraine, and they began to correspond. After his discharge from the Army in 1953, Chester and Marilyn got married on September 18, 1953 in New York Mills, MN. They enjoyed 64 years of marriage together.
The couple moved to Minneapolis, and Chester attended Northwest TV & Electronics and graduated in 1956. They moved to Missoula, MT when he got a job at KGVO TV as a TV transmitter engineer. A few years later, he got a job at KIFI TV in Idaho Falls, ID. He loved western Montana, and so he commuted to Idaho Falls from Missoula one week on and one week off for 15 years. On his week off, they would explore the mountains, go fishing, and hunting. They moved from Missoula to rural Stevensville in 1972. In 1975, his job as a remote TV engineer on a mountain was automated. He worked on a variety of different projects until he retired in 1991.
Chester is survived by his wife, Marilyn; their daughter, Marianne; three grandchildren: Joanna and her husband, Luke, Joel and his wife, Audrey, and Jeremiah; and five great-grandchildren: Zachary, Thira, Oliver, Erys, and soon-to-be born, Natalie.
He was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters: Esther, Malida, Frank, Walter, Edna, Ernest, Melvin, Thelma, Violet, and Viola.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 1 p.m. at Missoula Bible Church in Missoula, MT. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.