November 8, 2023, Chester Martin Zajac (Choo Choo), 82, a loving and devoted husband, son, brother, uncle, ‘adopted’ father and friend passed away at his home in Monson surrounded by family. He was born in Palmer, MA on July 20, 1941 to the late Stanley (Snuffy) F. and Aniela (Nellie) C. Zajac. He graduated from Palmer high school, STCC junior college, and attended UMASS, Amherst with a major in Business Administration. He worked for United Engineers before joining the U.S. Postal Service where he began as a 'casual' employee and later joined the Postal Service Engineering Department from which he retired in July 2002. Chester served in the United States Marine Corps from Feb. 1962 to July 1965. While stationed in Kodiak, AK he experienced the 9.2 magnitude Earthquake of 1964. He also served aboard a troop carrier heading toward Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Chet enjoyed coin collecting and encouraged younger family members to appreciate the hobby. He also enjoyed Harley Davidson motorcycles and loved his 1967 Sportster. Being a child from a family that experienced the Great Depression, he enjoyed sharing financial and investing advice with his siblings, their families, and friends. He was the only member of his immediate family to attend college, so he stressed education to his many nieces and nephews.
Chet and his wife enjoyed many vacations, but his favorite was cruising. Their first cruise in 1982 resulted in life-long friendships with 2 couples from Long Island, N.Y. and their extended circle of friends. In all they enjoyed10 cruises. They visited places such as Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, and all of the Caribbean Islands.
Besides his parents, Chet is predeceased by his siblings Mary Jane Pifer of Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Carol Ann Mason of Palmer, MA and Stanley E. Zajac of Bondsville, MA. He is survived by his wife of 49 wonderful years Barbara, and his brother Robert Zajac of Palmer, MA. Chester also leaves his godchildren, Ann-Marie Jones of West Palm Beach, FL and Nathan Zajac of Florence, MA, as well as many nieces, nephews, their families and many friends.
Visitation will be held on Friday Nov. 17, 2023 from 4-7pm at the Beers & Story Palmer Funeral Home. A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, Nov. 18th at 9am at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Palmer. Burial will follow. In lieu of flowers a donation can be made in Chet's memory to the Clarke Schools for Hearing & Speech at www.clarkeschools.org or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease at https:/www.michaeljfox.org.