Chester Frank Kross, 99 of Franklin, TN was born in Salem, Ma on December 25, 1922 to Veronica (Pienkos) and Andrew Kross who emigrated from Poland in 1913.
Chester graduated from Salem High School in 1940 and then enlisted in the US Navy. After training he went to Brooklyn, NY to commission the navy’s newest battleship the USS North Carolina on which he served from March 1941 to March 1944. During this time Chester saw a lot of action and had to spend a couple of weeks in Pearl Harbor for repairs after the ship was struck by Japanese torpedoes. Besides World War II he served in Korea and in Vietnam. In Vietnam he was the chief of a navy river boat and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received in battle. During his 30-year naval career he was awarded many navy medals and served on several US Navy ships, he retired from his last ship the aircraft carrier USS Constellation as Boatswain Mate Master Chief. One of his civilian jobs was “Transportation Director of the Coronado Public School System”, in recognition of his dedicated and exceptional service the Mayor of Coronado recognized Aug 18, 1979 as Chester Kross Day.
Chester never rushed into marriage and met his bride to be Peggy Doyle-Finger in 1979 and they married in 1988 at a young age of 65. For several years Peggy and Chester enjoyed the life of traveling the United States in their RV. With his years on the sea it was also no surprise that he enjoyed the cruise ships, of course the accommodations were much better than the navy ships he was used to. In 2004 Peggy and Chester moved to Franklin, TN. Chester loved gardening and was well known for his delicious tomatoes and other vegetables. He enjoyed his quite life but also joined a group of fellow veterans called “the old geezers” who met weekly where they shared stories and friendship. Chester was also well known at the local schools where he was invited to share stories of his Military history. One of his favorite highlights was traveling to the 75th Pearl Harbor Memorial as a guest of the Gary Sinise foundation and being served dinner on the plane by Gary himself.
He is survived by his wife Peggy, step children Rick Finger and Teri Brandon of Lakeside, CA, four grandchildren Carissa Olson, Megan James, Erin Brandon and Jon Finger, and five great grandchildren Landon, Brynlee, Madison, Aria and Alistair, nieces and nephews Mickalene Goot of Sarasota, FL, Jack Dziadose of Peabody, MA, Sally Leger of Peabody, MA, Veronica Szucs of Collegeville, PA Joni Lawrence of Salem, MA and many great nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life service with full military honors will be held 3:00PM Friday, April 8, 2022 with visitation one hour prior to the service at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home, 3009 Columbia Ave. Franklin, TN 37064. 615-794-2289. www.williamsonmemorial.com
To view the service live stream, please follow the link below: