Chester Peckover, 91, North Manchester, Indiana, passed away at 8:00 a.m. on September 8, 2019 at Timbercrest Healthcare Center. He was born on December 4, 1927 in Sebring, Flordia to Walter and Alma (Isaac) Peckover.
After Chester graduated from high school at Rose Pine, Louisiana, he worked briefly for the Chicago Rapid Transit then entered into Civilian Public Service. His service was at the Hopewell Farm, MD, and New Windsor, MD. After his discharge from CPS, he married Lila Marie Berkley and the two of them served two additional years in Brethren Service at Castaner, Puerto Rico. After moving back to Iowa, Chester worked on the Milford Beegly farm, where he and Lila raised their two children, Roger and Kathryn. In January, 1957, Chester’s family moved to McPherson, KS where Chester and Lila enrolled in McPherson College and both received their Bachelor degrees. Chester and Lila taught in public schools for thirty years. Chester taught high school social studies along with nine years as the debate coach. He later retired in 1990 and Lila passed away a year later in 1991. During his professional career, Chester was awarded the Kansas Teacher Award in 1981 and McPherson College Citation of Merit in 1984. He was also accepted into the Taft Institute held at Wichita State University, followed by an invitation to the Taft Two Institute of American Government in Washington, D.C. Chester served at the Mayor of Bulher, Kansas for four years and held a seat on the city council for four years.
The Church of the Brethren has been a major importance to Chester. In 1996, at the Cincinnati, Ohio, Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, Chester reconnected with Mary Mason, an acquaintance from his teenage years in Chicago. At the meeting he realized that he had known her sister and brother quite well. He also knew her father as a teacher at Bethany Seminary. Soon after reconnecting they married and between the two of them there are ten grandchildren. Following their marriage, they went to Caimito, Puerto Rico, where Mary was a nurse and Chet performed maintenance duties at the Caimito Christian Community Center for a year. In 2000, Chet and Mary moved to Timbercrest. Chet was very active in the church, enjoyed riding his bike and exercise class, He also enjoyed photography and writing. His most recent major project was the completion of an autobiography.
Chester will be remembered by his wife Mary Mason, North Manchester; his son Roger (Joyce) Peckover, Rollingstone, MN; daughter Kathryn Hanzlicek, DeSoto, TX; two grandsons; three great-grandchildren; five stepchildren, Steve (Marilyn) Mason, Jan Small, Sandy (Ed) Cable, Rod (Laurie) Mason, and Scott (Lisa) Mason; eight step grandchildren, and 4 step great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents; his first wife Lila; two brothers, Walter E. Peckover Jr., and Vernon Keith Peckover; one sister Ruth Agnetha; and one step-daughter Judy Mason.
Family and friends may call Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Timbercrest Chapel, 2201 East Street, North Manchester, Indiana. A celebration of life will begin at 2:00 p.m. on September 12, 2019 at Timbercrest Chapel. Chaplain Laura Stone and Pastor Roger Eberly will officiate. Burial will be at Buhler Cemetery, Buhler, Kansas.
For those who wish to honor the memory of Chester Peckover, memorial contributions may be made for Timbercrest Charitable Assistance Fund P.O. Box 501, North Manchester, Indiana 46962 or Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home 5910 Homestead Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46814.
Arrangements are entrusted to McKee Mortuary.
To send flowers to Chester's family, please visit our floral section.
Timbercrest Charitable Assistance Fund
P.O. Box 501, North Manchester IN 46962
Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home
5910 Homestead Road, Fort Wayne IN 46814