Cover photo for Chester Nazareth Leone's Obituary
Chester Nazareth Leone Profile Photo
1930 Chester 2023

Chester Nazareth Leone

January 23, 1930 — February 24, 2023

Brentwood

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Chester Nazareth Leone, age 93, of Brentwood, TN passed from this life and
received the promised crown of glory from his savior on February 24, 2023. He
was born in Brooklyn, NY to the late Cesare & Angelino (Scopolito) Leone
January 23, 1930. He moved to Kittanning, PA and attended Kittanning High
School. After graduation he joined the U.S. Marines, serving in Korea during the
war and achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. He attended Penn State University,
earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business, and had a long and successful career in
the insurance business. After the death of his first wife, Fernanda DeLuca, early in
their marriage, he married Dolores Shasho and within a few years became the
proud and joyful father of eight children (two of whom preceded him in death).
Over two years ago, after 58 years of faithful marriage, Dolores preceded him in
death, to his profound sorrow.

Chet and Dolores raised eight children together, creating a household overflowing
with love that persists to this day even as their children have grown and raised
children of their own. Chet was a loving and tender father, who worked hard and
provided generously for his large family. He diligently taught them values that he
himself modeled—honesty, integrity, hard work, perseverance, loyalty, generosity,
and many more. He played and laughed with his kids and taught them to enjoy one
another. He instilled in them many enduring family memories, such as singing
one-of-a-kind songs together in the station wagon during family trips, and
Christmas mornings with their modest living room so full of presents there was
barely room to walk in it. Christmas and other holidays ended with the recording
of greetings for relatives on the amazing and novel “tape recorder” device. Leone
family photo sessions were also seared into the family consciousness, with
complex photographic equipment in which something or other was always
misconfigured or malfunctioning, necessitating several attempts to get that perfect
shot of all the kids lined up by height or filling up an entire staircase.
Most importantly, Chet taught his kids to know and love God. He taught them
from the Bible or other books at the family table after dinner. He taught them
Gospel truth in the context of their lives. He brought the family to church every
Sunday without fail, sitting in the front pew so he could be as close to the action as
possible. He prayed with his kids when they were sick or in need of anything,
whether big or small. He taught them to honor God in all they did, to orient their
lives around the truths revealed in Scripture.

Chet had a pastor’s heart and he lived a pastor’s mission. But his congregation
consisted of far more than his eight children. He lived to tell as many people as he
could about this Jesus who had changed his life. Even prospective customers who
declined a sale would then receive a second pitch about God’s love, which was
offered freely with no premiums and no term of expiration. Friends and extended
family members, and even strangers who came into his life, would hear his
cheerful, enthusiastic testimony of the goodness and glory of God. And many of
them responded eagerly, finding a life-long transformative faith.

Chet served as an Elder in his church, and he became a serious student of God’s
Word. His teaching and prayer ministry grew over the years, and over two decades
ago he became involved in prison ministry, inaugurating what he recently
described as “the best 20 years of my life.” He served briefly on the board of Men
of Valor, a Nashville-based ministry bringing the love of Christ to men in prison
and forming Christian communities with them after parole or discharge. Chet
joined their ministry staff, teaching and counseling men daily in one-on-one
sessions and preaching in prison worship services. It would be impossible to count
the number of lives he touched in this service, but in some ways the life he
touched most profoundly was his own. Telling others about Christ was his singular
purpose, the thing that gave him joy above every other work he contemplated or
undertook.

In recent years, as his health slowly declined and his bodily powers faded, he
looked forward more and more to that day when he would conclude his earthly
journey and dwell in the presence of his savior. Even in recent months, as he
endured continuous suffering with little or no hope of relief, he waited patiently
for God’s timing. Like the apostle Paul, he knew that “to live is Christ, and to die
is gain.” For his own sake, he hoped every day to wake up in Heaven. But he
strove to his very last day to recover his strength, enduring exhausting and painful
physical therapy sessions with little hope of lasting benefit.

On February 24, the glorious day came, and he woke up in Heaven, in the
presence of his savior. His family and all those who loved him are left in deep
sorrow at his passing, which those who knew him understand to be the end of an
era. Our world will never be the same. But we are comforted and greatly
encouraged to know that, through faith in Christ, we will see him again. And we
rejoice for him that he has achieved the goal for which he strove throughout his
life. He has “fought the good fight, he has finished the race.” And now he has
received that crown of glory, which is in store for all who love our Lord and trust
in his promise to hold fast to all who come to him.

A memorial service will be held Sunday March 5 at Williamson Memorial Funeral
Home, 3009 Columbia Ave in Franklin, TN. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 2:00
PM., followed by a service at 2:00 PM. Memorials may be made to Men of Valor
Nashville at https://men-of-valor.org.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Chester Nazareth Leone, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, March 5, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Williamson Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service

3009 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064

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Memorial Service

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Williamson Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service

3009 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064

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