Chester S. Kwasniewski
July 5, 1925 - August 5, 2013
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West Leyden- Chester (“Chet”) S. Kwasniewski, 88, of West Leyden, husband of Beverly Kwasniewski, and decorated WWII Navy Veteran, passed away after heart surgery on Monday, August 5, 2013. At the time of his death he was with his wife and family members.
Chet was born on July 5, 1925 at the Kwasniewski homestead on the Kirk Road in West Leyden, NY, son of Ludwig and Anna Brezden Kwasniewski. He grew up on the family farm with his three half-brothers, half-sister, four brothers and three sisters. Although he grew up during the great depression during very hard times, he had fond memories of his childhood. He could tell many stories about his family and their struggles on their small dairy farm.
In December, 1943, Chet enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He attended the Sampson Naval Base, Waterloo, NY and graduated on February 2, 1944. He was assigned ship LCI (L)-981 and proceeded through the Panama Canal into the Pacific. He crossed the equator on June 25, 1944.
Chet spent two years on his ship in the South Pacific Theater of War. He received five battle stars for landing under enemy fire, including landings at Moratai, Leyte Gulf, Ormoc Bay, Mindoro, Nasugbu, Palawan Islands and Mindinao Islands. Chet participated in the battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history. At one point his ship was tied up to a supply ship when the supply ship was hit with a kamikaze. Chet helped transport injured sailors from the supply vessel to a hospital ship.
He served in the greatest navy the world had ever seen that crushed two enemy fleets four months apart. During the war, Chet was the gunners mate assigned to the bow gun where he would strafe the beaches during his many amphibious landings. After the war he was offered a promotion to Chief Petty Officer. He was discharged from the navy on April 14, 1946.
When Chet got home from the navy, he went into the logging and lumber business. With the money he had saved for his service in the navy, Chet started J&C Lumber Company with his brother Joe. Later brother Hank joined Chet and Joe and they logged on Tug Hill and in the Adirondacks near McKeever and Lime Kiln.
On March 31, 1951, Chet married Beverly Still in St. Mary’s Church in West Leyden. This was a blessed union of 62 years.
He was a logger at heart, but after a number of years he tried the hotel business. In 1960 he and his wife Beverly bought the West Leyden Hotel. They owned and operated the hotel until 1967. He later went into the snowmobile, mobile home and swimming pool business. In the mid 70’s he went back into the logging business with his son Wayne, CS Kwasniewski & Son Forest Products, and that is what he did for the rest of his life. He also served as Justice of the Peace for the Town of Lewis for over 20 years.
Chet loved the woods and was a mechanical genius. He had many skills. He was a great logger, woodsmen, mechanic and could build or fix anything. He loved to have family around, to tell stories, he loved laughter and was very proud of his Polish heritage. Chet liked to hunt and fish, but his real passion was flying his airplane. He loved to fly. He is a Tug Hill sage, a member of the Harland J. Hennessey, V.F.W. and the Charles J. Love Post, American Legion, Boonville.
He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grand father and brother. He is survived by his wife, Beverly; his three sons and daughters-in-law, Gary Kwasniewski (Jeanette Viau) La Canada, CA., Wayne Kwasniewski (Kit), West Leyden and Dale Kwasniewski (Peggy), Brighton, Mi.; one daughter and son-in-law, Sandy (Dan) Gifford, Rome, NY; eight grandchildren, granddaughter, Crystal (Brian) Leichty, grandson Jason (Anne) Kwasniewski, granddaughters, Ashley and Megan Kwasniewski, Sydney, Sierra and grandson Hunter Gifford and grandson John Kwasniewski; two great-grandchildren, Brian and Brooke Leichty; two sisters ; two brother-in-law and three sisters-in-law, Eunice Kwasniewski, West Virginia, Lottie Janowski, Oneida and Mary(Robert) Dwyer, Florida, Tony Kwasniewski (Nina), Boonville, Bob and Connie Still, Ava and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his close friends, Walt Kaido, Ted Egnaczyk and Warren Mathis. He was predeceased by brothers and sisters-in-law, Stanley (Vera), Walter (Bertha), Carl (Irene), Joe, Ted (Jesse) and Hank (Helen) Kwasniewski and sisters and brothers-in-law Stella (John) Defelice and Rose (Walter) Szczcerba and Ben Janowski.
A prayer service will be Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Mills Funeral Home, 301 Post Street, Boonville, NY and a funeral service to celebrate Chet’s life will commence at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in West Leyden officiated by his longtime friend and Deacon, Ronald Pominville. Calling hours will be on Friday, August 9, from 1:30 to 3:30 and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. He will be interred at the St. Mary’s Cemetery in West Leyden. Memorial donations can be made to Wounded Warrior Project or to the American Heart Association. For an online message of sympathy please go to

Funeral Service

Saturday August 10, 2013, 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Church
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Calling Hours

Friday August 9, 2013, 1:30-3:30 - 5:30-7:30 at Mills Funeral Home
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Saturday August 10, 2013 at St. Mary's Cemetery
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