Mr. Chesnutt was a farmer and rancher all his adult life, except for the four years he spent in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a flight engineer on B 17’s, B 24’s, and B 29’s, spending most of his military duty in Topeka, Kansas. He married Helen Dewveall on July 4, 1969.
He was a member of the American Legion and the American Farm Bureau, and he held the honorary title of “Mayor of Cadiz” which he inherited from his father. In August, 1999, he and his wife hosted a film crew from Cádiz, Spain who were visiting and filming all the towns and communities in the United States that bear the name of their city. An interview with Mr. Chesnutt was included in the video “Sin Acento de Cádiz” (“Without the accent of Cádiz”), produced by Canal Sur of Cádiz, Spain.
An avid storyteller, Mr. Chesnutt enjoyed sharing his detailed memories of old time Cadiz and the surrounding area with his friends, relatives, and anyone who asked him questions.
Mr. Chesnutt is survived by three nieces, Kay Past (Al) of Beeville, Catherine Young (Alan) of Blackfoot, Idaho, and Patsy Tucker (Shannon) of Buena Vista, CO; 15 great-nieces and nephews; 21 great-great nieces and nephews; two step-daughters, Nancy Slade of Houston and Sue Stephens of Beeville; four step-grandchildren; and five step-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Helen, and his sisters Mary Nancy Cude and Gertrude Chesnutt.
Visitation was held from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday, January 19, 2012, at Galloway & Sons Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. Friday, January 20, 2012, at Galloway Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Geraldine Huckman officiating. Interment followed at Glenwood Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Bob Cruz, Suzanne Guinn, David Lansing, Nancy Lawson, Tom Lawson, Wes O’Neill, Ed Slesak, and Shannon Tucker. Honorary pallbearers were David Chesnutt, Fred Davis, Michael Guinn, Kenneth Hale, Ann King, Jim McCollom, Cread McCollom, Keith Mix, Al Past, and Charles Smith.
Mr. Chesnutt’s pallbearers are not only family and friends, but several are representatives of families who have lived in the Cadiz community for over a century.
The family suggests that memorials may be made to the Fred Chesnutt Memorial Scholarship for Vocational Students at Coastal Bend College, 3800 Charco Rd., Beeville, TX 78102.
Galloway & Sons Funeral Home