Chester H. Dalzell
Chester H. Dalzell – known to everyone as Chet – died at his home on September 15, 2021, at the age of 97. He was born in Pawling on August 13, 1924 to Ray F. and Ruth (Baker) Dalzell, the only boy between two sisters.
He graduated from Pawling High School and has lived in Pawling his entire life. At the time of his death, he was the oldest and longest serving member of the Pawling Fire Department, having joined at the age of 20 and having served for 77 years. For several of those years he was treasurer, and he also participated in weekly bingo games. He was once asked if his father, who was a chef when Chet joined Chet, had pressured him. “Fuck no! I WANT to subscribe! said Chet.
Her father, Ray, had started publishing the Pawling-Patterson News Chronicle, and Chet got into the family printing and newspaper business early on, after attending business school in Poughkeepsie for a year. In the 1950s, they sold the newspaper and opened a thriving commercial printing house in Brewster, NY, known as Dalzell Press. Chet continued the business with hired employees who became lifelong friends for many years after his father retired. He had an excellent reputation for honesty and good work and was always available to meet with Pawling clients at his home in the evenings, saving them trips to Brewster. After many years he sold the business and retired.
In his spare time in his basement years ago, Chet built a cruise ship the whole family enjoyed on Candlewood Lake. During his lifetime he built two houses and tinkered with cars too many to mention. (Every Dalzell man has a thing for cars). Chet and his son Craig completely restored a 1964 Oldsmobile convertible found wrecked along a road and Craig was able to drive it on the fire parade.
On December 30, 1945, Chet married Edith Nagle, a marriage which ended in divorce. Thereafter, for a time, he was a single father, looking after the house, business and children on his own. On November 10, 1963, he married Constance Blaney, and they were married for 54 years until Connie’s death in 2017. Although Chet lived a long and productive life, he had one regret: having had to stay behind. when his friends enlisted for WWII. . By the age of 6, Chet had been hit by a car and had a broken leg, and several surgeries over the years had left him with one leg shorter than the other and a lifetime of back pain even with it. a corrective shoe. Yet none of his family remembered hearing him utter a single complaint. When his daughter asked him how it felt to be kept out of military service, Chet, still a man of very few words, said: “Well, someone had to stay home to help. women and children! He never forgot those friends who didn’t come home.
Chet is survived by three children: daughter Linda Dorrer of Pine Plains, son Clark (wife Sandy) of Saratoga Springs and son Craig (wife Yvonne) at home in Pawling. Our family owes a huge debt of gratitude to Chet’s daughter-in-law, Yvonne, for the extraordinary care she has provided to Chet over the past few years. He liked to joke that she was a tough guy, but we know better: she loved him and he loved her.
Chet is also survived by her sister Joan King of Austin TX, four grandchildren, three step-granddaughters and a great-grandchild, several nieces and nephews, and her canine friend Snowball. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Connie and his sister Beatrice Rundall.
Call hours are Friday, September 24 at Horn & Thomes, Inc. Funeral Home, 83 East Main Street, Pawling, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Pawling Fire Department will hold a brief duty at 7:00 p.m.
The funeral will be held at the Pawling Fire Hall on South Street, Pawling on Saturday, September 25 at 10 a.m., followed by the burial with firefighter honors at Pawling Cemetery. Please follow all COVID guidelines.
Donations in memory of Chet can be made to the Pawling Fire Department or the Pawling Resource Center. Please consider joining your local fire department or the Women’s Auxiliary to serve your community like Chet did.