J. (Chet) Wasilewski
Chester J. (Chet) Wasilewski, 92, of Wilkes-Barre passed away Friday, Oct. 1, 2010, in the Hospice Community Care unit of Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre. Chet and his wife, the former Violet Fedor, were married 64 years on Oct. 1.
The son of the late Joseph and Anna Wasilewski, he was born July 6, 1918, in Wilkes-Barre. Chet was a graduate of GAR Memorial High School, where he was a standout in football, baseball and basketball. He attended LaSalle Military Academy and Holy Cross College, where he also excelled in the same three sports.
He served in the U.S. Army as a member of the 88th Blue Devil Infantry Division, 350th Battle Mountain Regiment, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement in Italy in April 1945.
Upon return from the Army, Chet enrolled at Mansfield State Teachers College, where he was once again a three-sport standout and is a member of the Mansfield Hall of Fame. He received his master's degree in education from New York University.
Chet also played professional baseball with the Providence Chiefs, football with the Wilkes-Barre Bullets and basketball with the Wilkes-Barre Barons under the alias, Chet "Jackson." Chet was drafted by the NFL's Boston Yanks in 1944, but was unable to play in the NFL due to military service.
Chet retired in 1983 from the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, where he served as a teacher, coach and the Supervisor of Athletics. Prior to his retirement, Chet was a PIAA basketball official; he coached baseball at Marymount High School and football and basketball at GAR High School. Chet also served as an assistant football coach at Meyers High School under the late Mickey Gorham.
Chet was a member of the Wyoming Valley Athletic Association, served as a board member of the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center and is a member of the Luzeme County Sports Hall of Fame. He was a member of St. Mary of the Maternity Church in Wilkes-Barre.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Stanley Wasilewski; sisters, Lottie Snarski, Stella Kamarunas, Genevieve Miller and Helen Volingavage.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters, Donna and her husband, Robert Reilly, Jane and her husband, Robert Cirko, all of Wilkes-Barre. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Kaitlin and Kean Reilly, Philadelphia; Melissa Cirko Kravulski, Columbia, Md.; and Robert Cirko Jr., Wilkes-Barre.
The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Monday from Bednarski and Thomas Funeral Home, 27 Park Ave., Wilkes-Barre, with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10:30 a.m. in Our Lady of Hope Parish, Park Avenue. Interment will be held in St. Mary's Maternity Cemetery, West Wyoming. Friends may call from 1 to 3 and 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center Athletic Council, 36 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701; the Dr. George P. Moses Wyoming Valley Senior All-Star Classic, P.O. Box 210, 512 Northampton St., Edwardsville, PA 18704; or to a charity of the donor's choice.