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Chester Dean Uchtman, 88 years, 10 months and 19 days, was born July 3, 1922, in Rome, Mo., the son of Julius and Leora (Richards) Uchtman. He passed away on May 22, 2011, at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield after enduring Alzheimer’s for several years.
He had graduated from Fordland High School in 1941. Chester enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in October 1942 and was honorably discharged in March 1946. During that time he took part in the Normandy Invasion of June 6, 1944.
Chester and Mildred Hoagland were engaged May 25, 1946, and married Aug. 2, 1946, along with another couple at a double wedding ceremony in Mtn. Home, Ark.
Chester had a farm located on Washboard Road and he immediately began building a house on the property. Chester and Mildred stayed with Chester’s parents until February 1947 moving into their new home before it was finished, later building on to the house to accommodate their growing family and finish construction.
Chester attended agriculture classes in Rogersville under the GI Bill. After milking and farming for 40 years, 15 of those as an artificial inseminator for Midwest Breeders, he retired in July 1984.
While their children were growing up, Chester served several years on the Fordland School Board, was a board member of the MFA Exchange in Fordland, and a lifetime member of the VFW. Chester was a longtime member of the Fordland Church of Christ and attended weekly worship services there as long as his health permitted.
He enjoyed being with his family and especially his grandchildren. They have many good memories of the time they spent with their Grandpa Chet.
Something else he enjoyed doing was making birdhouses using old license plates. Each year at the Uchtman Reunion in Ava an auction was held of items donated by family members to raise money to pay expenses for the reunion. Chester and Mildred faithfully attended the reunions each year, donating several of Chester’s birdhouses for the auctions.
He enjoyed attending auctions, garage sales, fishing and deer hunting.
Chester was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, his brother Richard Uchtman and sister-in-law Mary Uchtman.
Surviving are his wife of 64 years, Mildred; their children and spouses, Jim and Janice Uchtman, Jack and Brenda Uchtman, Alba and Jamie Ayers, Max and Kim Uchtman, all of Fordland, and Randy and Janice Uchtman, of Buffalo; 12 grandchildren, Sherri Davidson, Shannon Uchtman and wife Laura, Jody Uchtman, Jason Uchtman and wife Amy, Kevin Brown and wife Heather, Eric Uchtman, Tina Thomason and husband Billy, Karie Davis and husband Jim, Brandon Uchtman and wife Sarah, Brian Uchtman, Brandy Uchtman and a step-grandson Lance Doty; 13 great-grandchildren, Jenalee and Jorja Davidson, Riley Dean Uchtman, Garrett and Tucker Uchtman, Shelby Thomason, Buster and Adia Brown, Kailey and Avery Davis, Jace and Laney Uchtman and Lilly Uchtman; nieces Annetta Owens and Vanessa Criger and nephew Rick Uchtman; many other relatives, friends and neighbors.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, at the Fordland Church of Christ with Adam Orr officiating. Burial will be in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Fordland Church of Christ.
Escorts will be his children, Jim Uchtman, Jack Uchtman, Randy Uchtman, Max Uchtman, son-in-law Jamie Ayers, his grandsons, Shannon Uchtman, Jody Uchtman, Jason Uchtman, Eric Uchtman, Kevin Brown, Brandon Uchtman and Brian Uchtman. Honorary escorts will be his granddaughters Sherri Davidson, Tina Thomason, Karie Davis, and Brandy Uchtman, and step-grandson Lance, and his daughter Alba Ayers.