Chester H. McPHEE
Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home
34 Beaver Road
Wethersfield, CT

McPHEE, Chester H.

Chester "Chet" Herman McPhee, 83, of Newington, passed away unexpectedly the morning of December 14, 2012 while doing what he loved, hosting his Friday morning radio show. Chet was born March 24, 1929 in Youngstown, Ohio; son of the late Chester Herman Sr. and Mabel Eleazar McPhee. Chet attended Oberlin College for his Undergraduate Degree in English Literature and is where he met his future wife, Jane Deschaux McPhee. After graduating, he served as a Corporal for the U.S. Army in the Korean War from 1951-1953. Upon returning from the war he married Jane on July 19, 1953. After their wedding they moved to Columbus, Ohio where Chet took his first job at Ohio State University where he started the lacrosse program while earning his Master of Arts Degree. In the fall of 1957, Chet was hired as a professor at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. At Trinity College, Chet coached freshman football, started a lacrosse program where he coached the varsity team. He was also the assistant swimming coach while teaching and earning his second Master's Degree. In 1968 he took a year sabbatical, and he returned to Ohio State to begin his doctoral studies program. He returned to Trinity in 1969 and to his duties to the football, lacrosse, and swimming programs. He received his Doctorate of Philosophy Degree from Ohio State in 1971. Then, in 1979, Chet focused on the swimming programs at Trinity and became the head coach of the Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Teams until his retirement in 1994. After retirement Chet remained an active member of the athletic department staff, substitute teaching for PE classes and working on special assignments for the Athletic Director. It was also at this time that Chet began his second "career" at Trinity. His love of music offered him an opportunity to DJ at the college radio station WRTC 89.3. At WRTC Chet hosted his Friday morning program Sunrise Serenade. A member of the Greater Hartford Musicians Association for 55 years, Chet was honored to play with many talented musicians who became his great friends. Among these many accomplishments, Chet always found time to be a loving husband, father, and proud grampa. He always found time to be with his family, from the times it counted most to weeknights for dinner, he was always there to tell one of his many "stories" and make you smile. Chet was predeceased by his wife, Jane and his sister Virginia Mullarkey and brother Frank McPhee both of Youngstown, OH. Chet leaves behind his sons and daughters-in-law, Jeffrey and Joanne McPhee of Wethersfield, and Douglas and Rebecca McPhee of Southington; as well as his grandchildren, Jennifer McPhee and her fiancé Jordan Coleman of Middletown; Jeremy McPhee of Wethersfield; and Jonathan McPhee of Manhattan, NY. Not only was Chet an accomplished teacher, coach, and musician but he was a loving and caring father and grandfather who will be missed by his Trinity family, friends and most of all, his close family.
Calling hours will be Friday Dec. 21, 2012 from 4-8 p.m. at Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, 34 Beaver Rd., Wethersfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Corpus Christi Church, 601 Silas Deane Hwy., Wethersfield. Attendees are asked to go directly to the Church. Burial will be private and at the wishes of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Chester's name can be made to WRTC Marathon c/o Trinity College, 300 Summit St. Hartford, CT 06106. To leave online condolences please visit

Published by Hartford Courant on Dec. 20, 2012.
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18 Entries
Chet was a wonderful inspiration to so many Trinity athletes
and colleagues. It was an honor to know him and gain insight and advice when I came a year after he " retired " . Solid and honorable . A Coach in every way. ..Evan Dobelle
January 4, 2013
Dear Jeremy,
May the sadness and emptiness you feel now on your grandfathers passing, be replaced soon with laughter and smiles as you recall the special bond that you shared with him. He must have been a true gentleman and extraordinary man. May his memory and love guide you, for he will live forever in your heart. I am thinking of you often sweetie!
December 26, 2012
I knew Chet for 40 years, working gigs in music with him. He was a friend and a great guy. May he rest in peace.
John Brighenti
December 23, 2012
Have listened to Chet on Friday mornings with anticipation for several years. He hosted one of the best jazz shows in the region.

Paul Gallo
December 23, 2012
I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with Mr. McPhee and you.
Anthony Spinella
December 21, 2012
My condolences on your loss.
Cindy Vallarelli
December 21, 2012
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Karen Larson
December 21, 2012
I had gotten to know Chet fairly well during my time at WRTC as Chief Engineer. Chet was kind, intelligent and most of all funny. He'd make me laugh on a fairly regular basis. I used to love to do my work at the station while Chet was on the air, and we'd have lengthy discussions about just about everything under the sun.

I hadn't seen Chet for a very long time, but I will miss him dearly.

My heart goes out to the Trinity community and especially to his family, he was truly a great man.
Paul Bourque
December 21, 2012
I have enjoyed Chet's Friday morning show for many years. I will miss them dearly.

My condolences to his family and friends.
DIane Lucas
December 21, 2012
WRTC has loss someone very special.

Jackie Peart
December 20, 2012
Jon, Doug, Rebecca and family we are so sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one.
Wayne and Rose MacDonald
December 20, 2012
I met Chet in 1980, my freshman year at Trinity. He was our assistant varsity soccer coach and one of the "shining stars" of the Trinity Athletic Dept.. I will always remember Chet with fondness and respect. My sincere condolences and heartfelt prayers to the McPhee family.
Colonel McKee
December 20, 2012
The memory of a person stays with us for all our life. I have not seen Chet since I swam for him at Pine Acres but I remember him fondly. I am sorry for your loss and will keep him in my prayers.
Frances Von Achen-Davis
December 20, 2012
I am saddened to hear the news of Chet's passing. He was one of the most wonderful people I ever had the chance of knowing. He made my days at Trinity so much richer and more fun. He was an amazing teacher and coach. His sense of humor and gentle manner made him one of the most beloved people at Trinity. I am blessed that we remained friends long after graduation. I will continue to think of him often, both with a tear in my eye and a smile in my heart. Love you Chet!!!!!
Kathy Ennis Britton
December 20, 2012
So sorry to hear about your loss, Doug.
Ted Thompson
December 20, 2012
I never met Chet, but I felt like I knew him through his radio shows on WRTC, Sunrise Serenade, Chet's Corner on Bob Parzych's show and especially the On-Again Off-Again Christmas show. I greatly enjoyed his Christmas stories, and I learned alot about jazz musicians from his spotlight feature. I will miss his comforting voice on the radio. I think God wanted a new angel to greet those children last Friday.
Sandy Cunningham
December 20, 2012
Chet was a wonderful person and a great neighbor. We shared many conversations over the years and we enjoyed his company at the many neighborhood get togethers. We marveled at his energy and busy social life. His loss will be felt by us all.
Michael & Melanie Davis
December 20, 2012
In 1982, as a nervous Trinity freshman, I had the honor of taking Chet's "Sports in Literature" seminar. I will always be grateful for the encouragement he showed me and for the kind words that made my transition to college that much easier. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Kim Crowley Hart
December 20, 2012
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