age 73, died suddenly and unexpectedly of cardiac arrest on February 15, 2021. A voracious reader and brilliant analyst, Chestalene believed deeply in the value of research and knowledge and dedicated her professional life to increasing access those resources. She was a gracious and talented host, and was much loved for her generous hospitality, gourmet cooking and baking, and remarkable Halloween and Mardi Gras parties.
Chestalene was born in a small town in Oklahoma where she grew up on a farm and attended a two-room schoolhouse initially. She was Valedictorian of her high school graduating class and received a scholarship to the University of Oklahoma. She later transferred to Northern Illinois University where she graduated in 1969 with a degree in English. Chestalene received her Master of Library and Information Science Degree in 1981 from the University of Texas at Austin and served as the head of the Geology Library from 1982 to 1984. She had a great rapport with the faculty and students there and helped build an outstanding collection.
In 1985, she moved to Sarasota, Florida where she founded and led the Ann Marbut Environmental Library and initiated online search service for the Sarasota County Library System. Chestalene's last professional move was to The University of Arizona in 1989 as a Science-Engineering Librarian covering many areas including geosciences, atmospheric sciences and climate change, physics, materials science and engineering, systems engineering, and the Tree-Ring Lab.
During her time at the University of Arizona, Chestalene broadened her areas of expertise to include facilitation, assessment, quality management, and project management, ultimately becoming the Director of Project Management and Assessment for the UA Libraries. She was active in faculty governance and served as Chair of the Library Faculty several times, as well as serving on the University's Strategic Planning and Budgeting Committee, the Research Policy Committee, the Accreditation Review Committee, and in the University Faculty Senate. Chestalene published widely and made many presentations at both national and international conferences on science librarianship, team and organizational management, library assessment, and quality control in libraries.
Chestalene enjoyed traveling widely with her life partner, Douglas Jones. Over more than two decades, they explored both coasts, made numerous trips to Hawaii, and most recently travelled to Budapest, Vienna and Paris. She loved different types of music including Rock & Roll—especially the Rolling Stones, traditional Hawaiian music—especially The Brothers Cazimero, and Cajun & Zydeco. Her extensive love of cuisines of the world led her to read extensively and watch videos of food and culture on all continents but especially France and the Mediterranean. She will be deeply missed by her loving partner, her adopted family of grown children and their spouses, four grandchildren, and many life-long friends and colleagues.
A celebration of her life will be held later this year when it is safe to gather. In memory of Chestalene, please consider a donation to one of the charities she actively supported: Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Gospel Rescue Mission, or Youth On Their Own. Arrangements by DESERT ROSE HEATHER.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Arizona Daily Star on Feb. 21, 2021.