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Lieutenant General (Dr.) Murphy A. Chesney, Jr, (USAF-Ret) age 86, of Air Force Village II, San Antonio, Texas, passed away on Saturday, March 22, 2014. He was born November 29, 1927 in Knoxville, Tennessee, to Murphy A. Chesney, Sr., and Thelma Chesney. He attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and later the College of Medicine in Memphis where he received his Doctorate of Medicine in 1950. He married Mary Ann Wilson after graduation. They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary last summer. In 1951 he completed his internship at the Scott and White Hospital, Temple, Texas, and entered private practice as a general practitioner at the Edgar Renegar Clinic in Levelland, Texas. A year later he moved to Rule, Texas, where he was associated with Dr. Robert E. Colbert in the Rule Clinic. General Chesney entered the U.S. Air Force in April 1955, attended the basic orientation course at Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama, and later the primary course in aviation medicine at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. In July 1955 he was assigned to the dispensary at Portland International Airport, Oregon, first as flight surgeon and then as commander. He continued to serve as commander when the dispensary became a hospital. From July 1957 to June 1960, General Chesney was at the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he completed his Air Force-sponsored residency in internal medicine and was associate professor of medicine. Later, he became a Fellow of American College of Physicians and a Fellow of American College of Preventive Medicine. For the next two years he was chief of hospital services and chief of the Department of Internal Medicine at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. In May 1962 he transferred to the dispensary at Ben Guerir Air Force Base, Morocco, as commander. He moved to the 401st Tactical Hospital, Torrejon Air Force Base, Spain, in June 1963, and became deputy commander and chief of internal medicine. General Chesney returned to the United States in June 1966 and assumed command of the 852nd Medical Group at Castle Air Force Base, California. He became director of professional services in the Office of the Command Surgeon, Pacific Air Forces, in August 1969 and deputy command surgeon in June 1972. In April 1973 General Chesney transferred to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, as command surgeon. He moved to Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1978 where he was commander of the Air Force Medical Service Center. The general was director of medical plans and resources, Office of the Surgeon General, at Air Force headquarters, from January 1980 until April 1980. He was chairman of the Defense Medical Materiel Board in 1979-1980. He served as deputy surgeon general from May 1980 until August 1985, at which time he was selected by President Reagan to be the Air Force Surgeon General and received his third star, the highest rank possible for a military medical officer. General Chesney served as Surgeon General of the Air Force until Aug 1988 and then retired to live in Kerrville, Texas, where he served as chief of staff at the Kerrville VA Hospital for five years. In 2007 he moved, with his beloved wife, Mary Ann Chesney, to Air Force Village II. His military decorations and awards included the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Spanish Air Force Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon, AF Organizational Excellence Award, AF Recognition Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, AF Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, AF Overseas Long Tour Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon with seven oak leaf clusters, AF Training Ribbon, Distinguished Service Award of the National Health Agency, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was a member of the American Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association, Society of Air Force Physicians, Alumni Council of University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences, American College of Physicians Executives, and the Aerospace Medical Association. He was also on the board of Fellows at Norwich University at Northfield, Vermont, where a scholarship is awarded in his honor. He is listed in Who's Who in Government 1975-1976, Who's Who in America 1982-1983, and Who's Who in the World 1987-1988. He is preceded in death by his sister, Alice (Chesney) Evans, and his son, Charles Allen Chesney. Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann Chesney; children, Murphy A. Chesney, III, Carol J. Chesney and John L. Chesney; nine grandchildren, Marissa (Chesney) Gaiennie, Kyle Hong, Leila Sandlin, Rachel Chesney, Alena (Chesney) Quinlin, Elizabeth (Chesney) Foley, David Chesney, Michael Chesney, and Matthew Chesney, and thirteen great-grandchildren.
JULY 23, 2014
FORT MYER CHAPEL
ARLINGTON NAT IONAL CEMETERY
Interment at Arlington National Cemetery with full Military Honors. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, 5100 John D. Ryan Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78245 www.afvillages.org/charitable-foundation
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Porter Loring Mortuary - San Antonio
1101 McCullough San Antonio, TX 78212
Published in Express-News on May 4, 2014