Chester J. "Chet" Dick, Jr. Age 87 of Park Ridge. Beloved husband of Elaine, nee Nelson. Loving father of Steven Dick and Kimberly (Mark) Fuller. Devoted grandfather of Conrad, Bryan and Courtney Dick, Luke, Grace and Grant Fuller. Dear brother of Eunice (the late William) Campbell and the late Alvin (the late Louise) and Robert (the late Virginia) Dick. Fond uncle of many nieces and nephews. Visitation Friday, 4-8 p.m. at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home, 120 S. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge. A strict limit of 25 people allowed in building. Lying-in-state Saturday, 12 p.m. until time of service, 1 p.m., at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 205 N. Prospect, Park Ridge. An attendance limit will be enforced. Interment Town of Maine Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Park Ridge Baseball/Softball, P.O. Box 1044, Park Ridge, IL 60068, are appreciated.
Chet Dick was born in 1933 in Chicago, into a humble Swedish family life, at the end of the Great Depression. His childhood family consisted of his mother Mildred, father Chester, Sr., brothers Alvin and Robert, and sister Eunice. It was at the early age of five that Chet made the decision to someday become a degreed Engineer, when he noticed a construction site near his home. Chet was active in his Lutheran church and attended Amundsen High School, graduating in 1951. Chet went to work for the Monon Railroad working as a traffic engineer, managing all of their rail shipments between Chicago and Louisville. It was during a company bowling league that he noticed the lovely Elaine Nelson. It took him one entire season to get the gumption to ask her out, to which they have been inseparable ever since, resulting with 63 years of successful marriage. In 1956, Chet enlisted in the U.S. Army, first serving in Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for his basic training, then assigned to Fort Monmouth in New Jersey for Signal Corps training, then posted to Fort Richie, Maryland, in Raven Rock. While within the elite Signal Corps Training School, he met several other men, who then became his life long buddies. Elaine and Chet were married in 1957 and traveled on several trips with their friends and wives. After the Army, Chet and Elaine returned to Chicago where he was later hired by the Chicago Fly Ash Company to manage their nationwide shipments of fly ash, a compliment to cement for concrete. During his employment he Graduated from the College of Advanced Traffic, Chicago, IL. Realizing the need to excel in business and advance in life, Chet began his quest to become a degreed Engineer when he enrolled at I.I.T. [Illinois Institute of Technology]. Due to his limited time while working 40+ hours a week, he had to take classes at night. Chet and Elaine welcomed son Steven in 1960, then daughter Kimberly in 1963. After 14 long, diligent years of night school, while working a full time job, and raising a family, Chet accomplished his life long goal in 1970, by earning his four year, Civil Engineering, degree. Chet then continued to excel educationally in MBA graduate work at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL, later becoming a Licensed, Professional, Registered, Civil Engineer.
In 1966 the family settled down to Park Ridge, where Chet became quite active in many local activities including: Park Ridge Boys Baseball as coach, sponsor, director, and sometimes umpire for 25 years; Park Ridge Mitey Mite Football as coach for three years; Cub Scouts Scout Master, Boy Scouts Mentor of engineering and surveying merit badges, Maine South High School President of Sports Boosters during the 1979 State Championship Basketball season, Maine South High School Music Boosters President, Sunday School Teacher at St. Luke's Lutheran Church while also contributing as Assisting Minister during service, and Emergency Room Volunteer at Lutheran General Hospital for 31 years, every Thursday night. During this entire time, Chet provided for his family, attending all choir concerts, sporting events, and extra curricular programs for his daughter and son. Chet made sure to set aside personal family life by going on a significant vacation every year, no matter if it was a simple camping and fishing trip, a spectacular Spring Break in Hawaii or pilgrimage to see his family in Michigan. During this time Chet also owned the three Businesses of: Mid-Western Admixture Corp., C & E Engineering, Ltd., and Kadco Products, Inc.. All the while, Chet continued his education to become certified as a Level III Inspection Nuclear Engineer, a distinction which very few have ever attained by taking a 16 hour exam with a required 97% passing grade. One of Chet's enjoyments was that as a Amateur [HAM] Radio Operator (KA9DLG) conversing with other HAM's all over the globe. He adored Cubs baseball and spoke of how he used to regularly sneak into Wrigley Field as a kid without paying the 25 cent attendance fee in order to claim "his" first row left field seat in the round. As a Chicago Bears season home ticket holder, he saw only two winning seasons in the 1970's and early 1980's. He was pleased to have been selected as an Honorary Outstanding Alumni from his I.I.T. alma mater. In business, Chet traveled to, and in-between, the four corners of the United States, regularly conducting concrete seminars, teaching the importance of quality Portland Cement concrete and its chemistry, especially within the organizations of which he was the National Advisor on Concrete. Not always a braggart, many of Chet's friends did not know that he was a member of MENSA International, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world with requirement for membership of scores at or above the 98th percentile on approved intelligence tests. For many years, Chet played the Chicago Tribune cross-word-puzzle, each and every day, to completion. Chet was a proud military Veteran as he regularly displayed his patriotism especially during the Park Ridge Memorial Day Parade every year. Chet had just recently been selected to attend the Chicago Chapter "Honor Flight" to Washington DC in May.
Throughout Chet's accomplishments, the very most important aspect of his entire life was his immediate and extended family. All of his family members know this to be true. He would always tell new friends that his name was Chester, but if he liked you, he'd ask you to call him Chet. He was overjoyed to eventually have six grandchildren, all of whom he passionately adored and cherished. He had a serious appreciation of opera singers and their talent. And Chet appreciated and connected with all of his family's dogs, respecting their true love. Chet delighted with Elaine renewing their vows during their 50th anniversary with wedding service and reception party. Chet was a great friend, neighbor, and contributor to the community through church, scouting, and sports boosters, not to mention what he meant to his family as husband, father, and brother.