Chester Frank DeMarsh, 85, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, December 25, 2012, at his home in DeLand, Florida. He was born on August 5, 1927, in Butler, Pennsylvania, to William DeMarsh and Mary Edith Fisher. Chester was the eldest of six children and is survived by two sisters and one brother: LaVonne Gilliland, Judith Neely, and Gary DeMarsh. He married Eleanor Jane Beachem on January 3, 1948. They were the proud parents of ten children: Ronel Harber, Terri Horne, Joni Workman, Frank DeMarsh, Clinton DeMarsh, Bonnie Lacey, Edie Lawrence, Anita Scott, Donna Johnston, and David DeMarsh. Chester and Eleanor were blessed with 27 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. To his family, he was strength, integrity, and most importantly, love. Chester Frank DeMarsh was a man of extraordinary talents and tremendous passion. He was a farmer, an editor, an inventor, and an artist. He was a veteran of the United States Navy and graduated from Grove City College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. In 1947, following the tradition of his family, he became an entrepreneur in the Motion Picture Exhibition Industry and was involved in the industry until his death. In 1978, Chester founded DeMarsh Forge, where he hand-crafted metal ware. Chester's most treasured talents were those he carried into his spiritual world. He was passionate about his faith and was very active in the Catholic Church. He was a Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, an organizer of the St. Peter's Oktoberfest, a spiritual director of Cursillos, an active member of Ultreya Movements, and a coordinator of baptisms. He was a Eucharistic minister, an RCIA instructor, and a Minister of the Sick. He was held in the highest regard. On June 5, 1982, Chester was ordained a Deacon for the Catholic Church. His ministry, covering a span of 30 years, placed him at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Ormond Beach, Florida, and at St. Peter Catholic Church, DeLand, Florida. These were the years he found most fulfilling. The family is holding a wake for their father on Wednesday, January 2, from 6:00-8:00 PM at St. Peter Catholic Church. A mass will be celebrated at St. Peter Catholic Church on Thursday, January 3, at 10:00 AM. Interment at DeLand Memorial Gardens will follow the mass. Allen Summerhill Funeral Home has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting donations to Hospice of Volusia/Flagler or to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation in honor of Chester Frank DeMarsh.
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Allen-Summerhill Funeral Home
126 East New York Ave
Deland, FL 32724
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Dec. 30, 2012