DUDLEY — Chester T. Kulisa, 95, passed away peacefully with family at his side on Monday, June 24.
He was born in Dudley on April 16, 1924, a son of Peter and Michalena (Gwiazdowski) Kulesa and was raised on the dairy farm that he operated with his brother Benny through the 1990’s. He attended a one-room schoolhouse and then graduated from Bartlett High School in Webster in 1942. He studied at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts.
After various jobs at dairies around the state, he started working for the United States Department of Agriculture as a soil conservationist. He devoted 35 years of his life helping Worcester County farmers and conservation districts. He was very active in 4-H and was instrumental in growing Camp Marshall in and the Buck Hill Conservation Center, both in Spencer. After retiring, he served as the Town of Dudley Health Inspector.
In 1969, Chester married Ann T. (Harrington) Tierney, a widow with 6 young children from North Brookfield and brought them to his farm in Dudley which became an American Youth Hostel and International Host Exchange site. Many travelers and students from all corners of the globe were welcomed at the family table.
Chet and Ann were members of the International Center of Worcester, the Black Tavern Historical Society, and the Worcester Horticultural Society. His proudest accomplishment was the founding and fostering of the Dudley Land Trust, which has successfully protected open space in his hometown. He loved working alongside others to save natural areas for the future. Chet and Ann also served as agricultural liaisons for the USDA in foreign countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union, helping farmer cooperatives in Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Kazakhstan.
Mr. Kulisa was predeceased by his wife Ann in 2014, by his brothers Joseph and Benjamin, and by his sisters Angela Forand and Helen Sinni. He is survived by his children, Lynn Tierney of Charlotte, NC, John Tierney and his wife Guylaine of Hania, Crete, Joe Tierney and his wife Ruth of Dudley, Maggie Achorn of North Brookfield, Tim Tierney and his wife Shellie of St. Johnsbury, VT and Martha Tierney of Dudley. He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren, Amy, Matt and Jon Achorn, and Ellen Mairen and Rose Tierney, as well as by his great-grandson Marcus Achorn.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. There are no calling hours. Donations in his name may be made to the Dudley Land Trust, PO Box 14, Dudley, MA 01571-0014. Arrangements are under the direction of Sitkowski & Malboeuf Funeral Home, 340 School Street, Webster.