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Obituary

CHESTER D. CUTHBERT (published on March 22, 2009)



CHESTER D. CUTHBERT The family of Chester D. Cuthbert is sad to announce his death on 20 March, 2009 at 96 years of age. He will be lovingly remembered by his family. Chester is survived by his five children, Ellen Ruth Kruger (Robert), Gordon Edward Cuthbert (Sharon), Raymond Arthur Cuthbert (Grace), Donald Charles Cuthbert (Alexis) and Marion Louise Cuthbert, nine grandchildren: Timothy Kruger (Leigh Nash), Lia Kruger (Todd Kowalski), Jennifer Cuthbert, Alicia Heffernan (Rob), Talitha Cuthbert, Kandarah Cuthbert, Casey Hoornick, Amber Cuthbert (Lee Laminger) and Michael Cuthbert, and six great-grandchildren, Madisen and Sabrina Kruger, Ceara and Kalleigh Heffernan, Kiara Cuthbert and Lucas Laminger. Chester was predeceased by his loving wife Muriel, parents Robert and Frances, and all his siblings, Lorne Cuthbert, Mary Jones, Ruth Jennings, Ethel Kelcey, Merle Thompson, Muriel Cuthbert (in infancy). Chester's life was forever marked by five events his hapless childhood as the son of an itinerent labourer; his becoming the chief breadwinner for his mother and siblings after his father left the family; the Great Depression; his marriage of 63 years to the woman of his dreams, Muriel Winnifred Chapman on 29 April 1944; and his fathering five children with Muriel. If there could have been a sixth event, it just might have been when he was nine years old and read his first fantastic novel. Chester's favourite author was Abraham Merritt, whose The Ship of Ishtar became his favourite novel in 1924 when he was 12. Chester said, Merritt overwhelmed me. Hugo Gernsback, often referred to as the Father of Science Fiction, was the first publisher of Chester's fiction. Gernsback published two of Chester's stories in the February and July 1934 issues of Wonder Stories. Chester's book collection was frequently mentioned in the few scholarly journals that have studied the Fantasy and Science Fiction fields. A permanent repository for his book collection (at one time reputed to be the largest such collection in Canada) has been found in the University of Alberta's Library as the Chester D. Cuthbert Collection. Chester was a gracious host to his book friends for about 50 years. He offered hospitality and personal warmth to everyone who came into his home. He was aided and abetted in this by his loving wife, Muriel throughout this time until her death in January 2007. Chester's working career was primarily for the St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company. He worked extremely hard and diligently at this for 37 years, during which time he eventually became a claims manager. Chester retired in 1967 at age 55. Chester believed in living a very simple life and was happiest at home surrounded by his family and his books. His greatest joy was telling stories, reading and singing to babies and young children in his home. Chester was a remarkable, kind, charitable man who managed to change many lives for the better. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Although he was not traditionally religious, his life truly exemplified the Golden Rule, Do to others as you'd have them do to you. A special thanks goes to his Home Care workers, Grant Kehane, Abdul Durar and Marivic Schindel for the devoted and kind care given to Chester in the last portion of his life. A celebration of Chester's life will be held 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, 24 March, 2009 at Broadway Disciples United Church, 396 Broadway at Kennedy (Kennedy entrance). Parking is available in Lot AF immediately behind the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the BDUC Memorial Fund or to the charity of your choice. NEIL BARDAL INC. 949-2200 nbardal@mb.ca


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