Chester C. "Chet" Brear MONTPELIER — Chester Coolidge "Chet" Brear, 95, died Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, at Heaton Woods in Montpelier, with his daughter, Betty, by his side. Chet was born Feb. 20, 1924, at Heaton Hospital in Montpelier, to Eugene Quinn Brear and Lucy Tabitha Jones. At the time of the 1927 flood, the family was living in Waterbury. Chet was carried in waist-deep water from their house to a Boy Scout camp near where the interstate is now. Their house was lifted off its foundation and deposited on the railroad near where the sewer treatment plant is located. When Chet was in school, he worked doing odd jobs at a filling station on Winooski Avenue. He quit high school in his junior year and went to work at the Montpelier Diner as a short order cook for a short time. Next, he went to work on the Central Vermont Railroad on a crew with his father, first as a cook, then as a tamper. Later, he worked as a lathe operator at the Lane Shops, working a 12-hour shift on the same lathe which his father worked on the opposite 12-hour shift. During WWII, he, along with several other Montpelier young men, were drafted into the U.S. Army. After training stateside, he boarded the Queen Mary for a circuitous voyage to Europe, landing in Scotland, then taking a train to England. He was wounded early on his entry to the Battle of the Bulge and spent most of the rest of his tour in hospitals. After his discharge, he drove a taxi in Montpelier, before working in the meat department of the A&P store on East State Street. By 1950, he was working for Allen Lumber Co. in Montpelier, from which he retired in 2000, then worked part time for another five years. Meantime, he was working part time at the Barber and Lanier Funeral Home. In addition to his other work, Chet spent 13 years as a call man for the Montpelier Fire Department. He was also a longtime member of the American Legion and the VFW and of the Elks Club in Montpelier. Chet married the love of his life, Frances Alice Bliss, Oct. 30, 1944, in Georgia. She died Dec. 13, 2013. Chet and Fran lived in several places in the Barre-Montpelier area before settling into a home on Hill Street where they lived until Fran was no longer able to negotiate the stairs. They raised three daughters Sandra, Elizabeth "Betty" and Patricia. Chet and Fran loved to dance and to travel, even taking a trip to Hawaii with a group of square dancers. They attended several Legion and VFW conventions, and drove to many different funeral homes in Vermont, as well as in other states, during his time with Barber and Lanier. Chet is survived by his daughters Sandra Fletcher, of Waitsfield, and Betty and Reg Welch, of Montpelier; as well as grandchildren Rory (Nancy) Welch, Keith (Sandra) Welch, Christina (Andrew) White and Zebulon (Tommi) Farnham; and great-grandchildren Ryan (Crystal) Welch, Lauren Welch and Johnny Glass, Valerie Welch and Amanda Welch, and Paislee and Easton Farnham; three step-granddaughters Brittany, Tazlynn and Allison White, and two step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his former son-in-law, Paul (Diane) Farnham, of Tennessee; a nephew in Newport; and several nieces and cousins in New Hampshire. Chet was predeceased by his wife, Fran; his daughter, Patricia Farnham, on Sept. 22, 1993; and his infant brother, Robert. Calling hours will held from 9-11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, at the Guare & Sons Funeral Home. A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. with a memorial reception to immediately follow. Memorial contributions may be made to the Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice, 600 Granger Road, Barre, VT 05641; or to the Heaton Woods Patients Activities Fund, 10 Heaton St., Montpelier, VT 05602. Those wishing to express online condolences may do so at

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