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Obituaries > DEVORE, CHESTER S.

Surrounded by his family, Chester S. DeVore passed peacefully [January 7, 2011] after 92 years of life. He was a respected patriarch, a decorated Marine Corps veteran, and an accomplished educator and coach who always remained dedicated to his country, his community and his family. Born in Redlands, California, Chet was the son of Walter and Jessie DeVore. He graduated from Chaffey High School in 1937 and Chaffey Junior College in 1939, lettering in football, basketball and baseball. He then enrolled at San Diego State College where he lettered in basketball and was a member of the 1940-1941 NAIA National Championship Men’s Basketball Team. After receiving his B.A. in 1942, Chet served his country by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in World War II. Fighting alongside members of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, he saw action in the Pacific Theater of war during the campaigns of Bougainville, Emirau, Guam and Okinawa. Chet was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his gallantry and left the Marine Corps having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Upon returning from the war, Chet began a rewarding career in education. He found passion in teaching and coaching youth, and worked at Chula Vista High School from 1947-1955 as a teacher, coach, counselor and vice principal, and as principal from 1956-1961. Chet is one of the most successful high school football coaches in San Diego County history, guiding Chula Vista High to a 40-3 win-loss record over his last four seasons from 1951-1955. In 1962, he became the founding President/Superintendent of Southwestern College where he supervised the formation of a new college, including the development of academic programs, campus planning and construction. At the time of his retirement in 1981, the stadium at Southwestern College was named in his honor. Active in the community, Chet was a Charter member of the Chula Vista Presbyterian Church and a member of the Chula Vista Kiwanis Club for over 35 years. He was inducted into the Halls of Fame for Chula Vista High School, California Community College Association and Chaffey Junior College. Chet chaired the San Diego State University Veteran Memorial Committee that constructed a campus monument in memory of former Aztecs killed in service. He also was on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame and was the founding Commissioner of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. We will remember Chet DeVore for his integrity, leadership, dedication and his sense of humor. His legacy has been etched in his commitment to his country and his community and can be found in every student that he taught, every teacher he mentored and every athlete he has coached. But more importantly, his legacy will always be found in the love and the strength of the family that he leaves behind. Chet is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Helen, and their four children, twins Janet (Skip) Arnold and John (Sheila) DeVore, son James (Sori) DeVore, daughter Ann (Frank) Pugh, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother William DeVore. Services will be held at the Chula Vista Presbyterian Church, 940 Hilltop Drive in Chula Vista at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 10th. Additionally, there will be a visitation at Glen Abbey Memorial Park and Mortuary, 3838 Bonita Road in Bonita on Sunday, January 9th, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chester S. DeVore Student Scholarship Fund at Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Road, CA 91910.