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Obituary: Gisselbert, Chester

Age 90


Chester Gisselberg, Ellensburg resident and former St. John farmer, passed away November 8, 2012 in Seattle. He was 90. A Funeral Service will be held Saturday, November 17th at 11:00 am in the chapel of Bruning Funeral Home, Colfax. A potluck dinner will follow at the Wheatland Grange Hall. Private burial will be in the St. John Cemetery. Chester was born September 23, 1922 in Cathlamet, WA. to Paul and Luella (Brooks) Gisselberg. He grew up on Puget Island and graduated from high school in Cathlamet. Following high school, Chester worked as a logger for a while. He attended Washington State University in Pullman where he met Mary Myrle Ingram, a fellow college student, on a blind date. They married November 18, 1943 in a family wedding in the Gisselberg home on Puget Island near Cathlamet, WA. Chet joined the military during the war and Myrle followed him to his military assignments around the country. When Chet was sent overseas Myrle returned to St. John and her parent’s farm. She gave birth to their first child, Jim, while Chet was in the Philippine Islands. After the war, they returned to Pullman where Chet finished his degree and Myrle gave birth to two more children, daughters Cheryl and a year later Virginia. They moved to the Ingram wheat ranch near St. John in 1955. They farmed there until Chet’s retirement in 1978. Following retirement, they moved to Hood Canal where they loved living near the water, Chet harvesting fish and shellfish and Myrle cooking them perfectly. Winters were spent traveling and “snow-birding” in Baja, Mexico and later in Arizona. Chet and Myrle “cut a beautiful rug” on the dance floor. Chet was a past member of the Wheatland Grange, the St. John Saddle Club and the American Legion. He was an avid fisherman and fished nearly every puddle of water along the entire west coast even including some in Canada. He also enjoyed wood-working and carving. He loved growing flowers and tending to them in his yard. After nearly 65 years of marriage, his wife Myrle passed away August 22, 2008. Chet moved to Ellensburg to be closer to family. He leaves behind his son Jim (Margaret) Gisselberg of St. John; daughter Cheryl (Bill) Arensmeyer of Olympia; daughter Virginia (Paul) Sorenson, Ellensburg; five grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Alfred of Seattle and Paul of Seabeck, WA; as well as many nieces and nephews; and a wide circle of devoted friends. Chet was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, a granddaughter, a great-grandson, sister Ruth and brothers Rollie, Dan, Herbert and Lee. The family suggests memorials be made to the Wheatland Grange or the St. John Cemetery. On-line guest book is at