EAST BROOKFIELD — Harold R. Chesson, Jr., 90 of East Brookfield, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, June 26, surrounded by his family after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. 

He leaves his wife of 58 years, Laurel (Gadaire) Chesson; and four children: Lisa (Chesson) Baker and her husband Thomas of West Brookfield, Harold R. Chesson III (known as Ray) and his wife Cheryl of East Brookfield, Valerie (Chesson) Quink and her husband Stephen of Sturbridge and Matthew J. Chesson and his wife Marcela of Medway.  He also leaves eight beloved grandchildren: Thomas C. Baker and his wife Joanna, Dr. Stephen C. Baker, Hillary (Chesson) Fazio and her husband Michael, Hayley J. Chesson and her fiancé Patrick, Samuel S. Quink, Andrew M. Quink, Matthew J. Chesson, Jr., Gabriela M. Chesson and a great-granddaughter McKenna R. Fazio. 

Harold was born in Springfield on January 5, 1929, son of the late Harold R. and Doris (Crooks) Chesson.  He is predeceased by his sister, Janet (Chesson) Hale.

He was a graduate of the former Warren High School in Warren and Clark University in Worcester (Class of 1950). He proudly served in the U.S. Navy where he spent time stationed in Newfoundland on the escort carrier, USS Block Island.

After completing college and his military service, Harold began his long, successful career as a businessman in 1953 at the Gavitt Wire & Cable Co., Inc. in Brookfield.  He worked up the ranks and became the company’s General Manager.   He purchased the company in 1977, returning the business to local ownership after many years as a holding of a large conglomerate.  Harold remained active in the business well into his 70’s.  Even in retirement he enjoyed visiting the factory, talking with employees and staying informed by the second generation managing the company.  In 1986, Harold received the Charles D. Scott Award from the Wire and Cable Clubs of America, which recognizes individuals for their distinguished careers in the wire and cable industry.

Harold served on the Finance Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of East Brookfield.  He also served as a Trustee of the North Brookfield Savings Bank for many years.  He was a former member of the Worcester Economic Club and also a former member of the Worcester Club. He was active in the Brookfield Unitarian Universalist Church and the Alumni Association at Clark University and was a Jonas Clark Fellows.   He enjoyed spending summers on Cape Cod with his family at his summer cottage in South Yarmouth.  As a sports enthusiast, he loved watching his children and grandchildren play for their respective colleges and high schools, along with attending many Clark University games.

Calling hours for Harold will be held Sunday, June 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., 43 East Main Street in West Brookfield.  A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, July 1, at 11 a.m., also in the Varnum Funeral Home, Inc.  Burial will be in the Brookfield Cemetery following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Second Chance Animal Shelter, 111 Young Road, East Brookfield, MA 01585, the Prouty Booster Club, c/o David Prouty High School, 302 Main Street, Spencer, MA 01562, or the Quaboag Booster Club, P.O. Box 780, Warren, MA 01083.

The family would like to thank Lisa Morrison for her kind and compassionate care and to the staff of the Quaboag Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center in West Brookfield during Harold’s time there. 

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