Chester B. "Chet" Gabbard, 94, of Terre Haute, passed away at 12:35 a.m. Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Meadows Manor East in Terre Haute. He was born Nov. 29, 1922, in Linton, to Charles Gabbard and Sara "Ella" Freeland Gabbard.
He retired as a building and bridge foreman for the SOO Line Railroad after many years of service. Prior to that he had been a landscaper for Bunch's Nursery in Terre Haute for many years and after retiring from the railroad, he returned to landscaping for Metzger Landscaping for several years.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 64 years, Norma Jean Oricks Gabbard, whom he married on July 7, 1953; two daughters, Rose Garner and her husband John and Debbie Adamson, all of Terre Haute; six grandchildren, Jean Case (Bryan), Renee Garner, Chris Garner, Heather D'Auria (Michael), Rob Adamson (Emily), and Audrey Adamson Rice (Jimmy); 12 great-grandchildren, Dakota Case, Dalton Case, Cheyanne Case, Dylan Case, Shai Garner (Chelsie), Shamar Garner, Isaiah D'Auria, Fedor D'Auria, Hazel Jane Adamson, Calvin Adamson, James Rice, and Charlie Rice; two great-great-grandchildren, fraternal twins, Payton and Paisley Garner; and his beloved k9 companion, Lucy Lou.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son-in-law, Chuck Adamson; a sister; and three brothers.
He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army. Chet enjoyed hunting, fishing, and mushroom hunting.
Funeral services to celebrate his life will be 11 a.m. Thursday in Fitzpatrick Funeral Home, West Terre Haute, with Pastor Andy Fishback officiating. He will be laid to rest in Bethesda Memorial Park. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. until service time Thursday. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sugar Grove Free Methodist Church or Terre Haute Humane Society with envelopes available in the funeral home.
The family would also like to express their sincere gratitude to Meadows Manor East, Southern Care Hospice, Pastor Andy Fishback and his wife Rachel of Sugar Grove Free Methodist Church. Each of you provided outstanding care, compassion, and love that enabled Chester and his family to feel at ease throughout his journey. A very special thank you to the CNA's and nurses who took the extra time to provide Chester with superb care. He loved you just the same as you loved him. We were very fortunate that you were the backbone of his care.
Published on June 19, 2017