Cover photo for William "Bill" Chesnut's Obituary
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William "Bill" Chesnut

July 13, 1926 — January 28, 2023

William "Bill" Chesnut

Bill measured his life by his accomplishments; and there were many.  As a young man he earned his Eagle Scout Award and was among the first Scouts to work blazing trails at the Philmont Scout Ranch before the Ranch was open to Scouts.  He was also a veteran of World War II; he mustered out with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.  Following the war he completed his Bachelor’s Degree from Washburn University, and returned to his hometown to build houses with his father.

In 1952 he began a 35 year career with Beechcraft in their engineering group.  During his time at Beech he worked on many projects and became the Chief of Reliability and Product Assurance in the missile systems division. 

In retirement Bill was very active as well.  He and Mary traveled in Europe extensively.  He and Mary also shared a love of motorcycle travel.  They visited more than 40 of the States in the US.

Both he and Mary were members of Eastminster Presbyterian Church for over 60 years.  Bill served as Deacon and Elder to the congregation.  He was part of the church delegation that travelled to Harbin, China to dedicate a church planted by Eastminster.

For many years Bill was active in the Kansas Prison Ministry program.  He conducted bible studies and acted as a mentor to many of those incarcerated at the prison in El Dorado, Kansas.

Bill enjoyed three things above all others.  First was his marriage to Mary.  They were married in 1956 after only a short courtship! They both knew it was meant to be!  They were married for over 66 years.  Second was his children and grandchildren.  He so enjoyed watching as his daughter and son-in-law grew their business.  And he enjoyed his son’s family – his wife and two sons – as their lives grew and developed.

And the third… he truly enjoyed the farm.  Though he called it a farm it was more of a playground for him and his family.  He and Mary bought the land in 1968.  There was always dirt to move, trees to plant, garden to tend to, hay to put up, limbs and brush to cut and burn.  The farm became an embodiment of all enjoyed…a place to commune with God and nature, a place of enjoyment for his family, and a place to accomplish so many things.

Bill Chesnut lived a long, strong and faithful life.


William "Bill" Chesnut, 96, passed away Saturday, January 28, 2023. Family graveside service will be at 2:30pm, Friday, February 3, at Fredonia Cemetery in Fredonia, Kansas. Bill is preceded in death by parents, James and Ona Chesnut; and brother, Don Chesnut. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Mary Chesnut; daughter, Diane (Patrick) Herian; son, Steve (Helen) Chesnut; grandsons, Nathan and Luke Chesnut; and brother, Robert Chesnut. Memorials have been established with Eastminster Presbyterian Church, and Kansas Prison Ministries. Share condolences and view expanded obituary at Services by Cozine Memorial Group - Cozine Life Events Center.

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Family Graveside Service

Friday, February 3, 2023

Starts at 2:30 pm (Central time)

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