Chester Arthur Peyronnin Jr., a distinguished Engineer, passed away from natural causes on December 12 of this year. Born July 26, 1925, the only son of Lucille Priester and Chester Peyronnin, Sr., he grew up in the Carrollton section of Uptown New Orleans. As a child he reigned as King of the Children's Carnival Club in 1936. He attended Alcee Fortier and was in the ROTC. Chester then attended Tulane University but interrupted his studies to serve during World War II as 1st Lieutenant in Infantry, Ordinance. He thereafter returned to Tulane, where he earned his Bachelor's of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering. He then moved on to the Illinois Institute of Technology, earning a Master of Science in Engineering in 1950. While attending IIT, Chester spent two years as an active firefighter and member of Fire Rescue for the Chicago Fire Department. He served during the Korean War as 1st Lieutenant in the Air National Guard. After several years as a consulting engineer, Chester returned to Tulane as an Instructor and served as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering for 42 years, retiring in 1992 as an Emeritus Professor of Engineering. He specialized in engineering design, hydraulics, river regimes and societal problems. Over his tenure as a distinguished member of Tulane's faculty, he helped prepare countless young men and women for their careers as professional engineers. It was at Tulane where he met his soon to be bride, Shirley Gardner. They were married in 1953. Chester and Shirley raised three sons: Mark, Paul and Karl. Chester was inspired to make contributions outside of academia. While on Tulane's faculty he worked concomitantly with the Army Corps of Engineers, having conducted studies in Hurricanes and Coastal Erosion, and as an Environmental Engineer with the Corps' Planning Division. He also worked from 1967-1985 with the Port of New Orleans as an Engineering Consultant and Hydraulic Engineer. He helped redesign the southwest pass of the Mississippi River. Of note, in 1960 he took a two-year sabbatical from Tulane to join Chrysler's Space Division as a Senior Staff Engineer, where he worked on the flight loads evaluation model for the Saturn launch vehicle, helping to put a man on the moon. Chester wrote dozens of papers and several books germane to his fields of Engineering. He was well recognized and well awarded (Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary, Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honorary, Alpha Sigma Lambda Liberal Arts Honorary, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honorary, Who's Who of American Men of Science). In terms of additional pursuits, Chester enjoyed fencing and was an adjunct professor of Physical Education at Tulane, teaching the sport from 1962 to 1988. Chester was an active member of the First Baptist Church of New Orleans and a supporter of various civic and charitable causes. In the 1970's, he served as a volunteer lay minister at the WAY Mission in the French Quarter, along with Shirley, helping to outreach to those in need. Upon retiring, Chester took a position for which he was well prepared having raised three boys: Advanced Animal Handler at the Audubon Zoo. Along with Shirley, he demonstrated a great variety of animals to the public. He remained with the zoo for 18 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and son Mark. He is survived by his sons Karl, of Manhattan, and Paul and grandsons Trevor and Parker of New Orleans. Chester will be remembered as a caring, loving husband and father, an adept instructor, a man who contributed greatly to society and to the community around him and someone that always tried to help others, both human, animal, and reptile. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Services at LAKE LAWN METAIRIE FUNERAL HOME, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. (in Metairie Cemetery) on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow in Lake Lawn Park. Visitation on Monday from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and on Tuesday from 10:00 am until service time. To view and sign the guest book please go to www.lakelawnmetairie.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Audubon Institute, Louisiana SPCA, or Poydras Home are encouraged.
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Published in The Advocate from Dec. 14 to Dec. 18, 2012