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KWAST CHESTER Z. KWAST "Chet" Chester Z. Kwast, 95, of Kensington, MD passed away on December 5, 2013. Mr. Kwast was born in 1918 in Chicago, Illinois to Marion and Katheryn Kwast, both of whom had immigrated from Poland. Mr. Kwast studied mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in industrial engineering. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army's Special Engineering Detachment and worked on the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After the war, Mr. Kwast devoted himself to the peaceful uses of atomic energy in the field of health physics. He worked for the Atomic Energy Commission, initially in Oak Ridge, and after 1958 in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1961 Mr. Kwast became the Radiological Safety Officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), overseeing the use of radioactive materials in research and other applications by both USDA scientists and private licensees. He retired from the USDA in 1979. While serving in the Army in Oak Ridge, Mr. Kwast met an east Tennessee school teacher named Mary Sylvianee Blanchard. Chet and Sylvianee were married in 1946, and enjoyed 45 years of extraordinarily happy partnership until her death in 1991. They had two children, Myron and Marysia. Chet was devoted to and delighted in his family, enjoyed traveling both within and outside the United States, believed getting an education was one of life's most important achievements, was an ardent student of current events, and loved good food and classical music. Mr. Kwast was an active member of Kensington Baptist Church for almost 55 years. He served in several leadership positions, but his most beloved activity was teaching and encouraging the church's young people. Indeed, his respect and affection for all young people, especially his grandchildren, was returned to him many times over by the many lives he touched and helped. Mr. Kwast is survived by both of his children, his son, Myron (Marlene) Kwast and his daughter, Marysia (Norm) Hartz; his granddaughter Katherine (Christian) Hedrick, his grandson, Hayden Kwast and his great-granddaughter, Anneliese Hedrick. He was predeceased by his sister, Helen Lutz and his brother, Carl Kwast. Chester Kwast's funeral service will be held at the Kensington Baptist Church, 10100 Connecticut Avenue on Monday, December 9, 2013 at 1 p.m. Family and friends are invited to pay their respects from 12 p.m. until the service. The service will be followed immediately by interment at the Parklawn Memorial Park (Viers Mill Road and Arbutus Avenue, Rockville, MD), and all attendees are then invited to a reception at Kensington Baptist. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Chet Kwast's name to the Kensington Baptist Church.

Funeral Home
Francis J. Collins Funeral Home, Inc.
500 University Blvd. West
Silver Spring, MD 20901
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Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 7, 2013
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