Chester "Chet" Leon Chambers, 78, of Columbia, Maryland passed into the loving arms of our Dear Lord on September 8, 2021, surrounded by the love of family and close friends and following a courageous fight with Alzheimer's Disease.
The youngest son of Van and Arnold (née Moore) Chambers, Chet was born and raised in Lyon, a small town near Clarksdale, Mississippi. He attended the Immaculate Conception School and went on to become a proud alumnus of Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, earning a BA in Sociology in 1966.
Within months of his college graduation, Chet married his college sweetheart and was drafted into the US Army. He served at Fort Campbell, Fort Benjamin Harrison and Fort Hood and by the culmination of his two-year service, rose to the rank of Sergeant. During this time, Chet became a father to daughter Janelle Elyse (1968).
Upon his honorable discharge from the US Army in October of 1968, Chet and his young family moved to Baltimore, Maryland and shortly thereafter welcomed son Stephen Martin (1971). The family later settled in Columbia, Maryland and Chet remained a resident of the Jeffers Hill neighborhood for most of his adult life.
A 36-year veteran of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Chet joined the agency as a recruiting manager and served in a number of human resources roles. He actively recruited and sponsored rising talent from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and became a lifelong mentor and friend to many of these recruits. A former colleague described Chet as "one of the most well-respected Black men within the SSA".
First and foremost, Chet was a devoted son and father. He raised his children to match his unwavering integrity, intellectual curiosity and commitment to supporting the people and community around them. After his retirement from the SSA in 2004, Chet most enjoyed spending time with family and friends and pridefully championing his adult children in their pursuits.
Chet was a positive influence on all who encountered him. Humble beyond description, Chet was a model of generosity and selflessness to those who were lucky enough to have been part of his world. He leaves behind his beloved and loving children, Janelle Chambers and Stephen (Anna) Chambers; brother William (Barbara) Chambers; "third brother" and lifelong friend Charles (Dorothy) Shaffer; former wife and partner-in-parenthood Ann Fields Chambers; grand-nephew An'toine Williams; generations of nieces, nephews and cousins across the country; and a multitude of adoring friends and mentees.
Chet was predeceased by both parents; eldest brother Van Chambers, Jr.; and niece Laurie Chambers Bolton, among other loved ones. He remains a cherished grand-dog-father to his dear canine crew here on Earth and in Heaven.
A funeral service will be held at noon on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at Howell Funeral Home: 10220 Guilford Road | Jessup, MD 20794. Chet will be buried at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery the following week. If you would like to attend the funeral service, please email: [email protected]
The family requests that all who attend the funeral service be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear a mask.
To honor Chet and his passion for education and providing opportunity for all, and in lieu of flowers, the family would welcome memorial donations to Xavier University of Louisiana. Gifts can be made in honor of Chester Chambers, Class of 1966 at: https://giving.xula.edu/pages/memorial-gifts
. If making a donation, please request that a letter is mailed on your behalf and include the following contact information so that the family is notified: Chambers | 431 Redmond Ave. | Oakhurst, NJ 07755 | (917) 553-7532 | [email protected]
In tribute to Chet, the family will also commit to continue their advocacy and support of research for the prevention and cure of Alzheimer's Disease.
Published by Baltimore Sun on Sep. 16, 2021.