SGM (R) Chester Morgan
SGM Chester W. (Chet) Morgan (CT Army National Guard, Retired) accepted a new duty station assignment on July, 14, 2018. His family and friends remain behind to miss his loving support and his unfailing sense for right and wrong. Chet passed peacefully at Manchester Memorial Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. Chet was born in Manchester, CT on May 18, 1937, and he lived there until 1960 when he and Sylvia moved to Vernon, CT. He was the second son of Chester E. Morgan and Joanne (Way) Morgan of Manchester. He was predeceased by his parents, as well as his brother Dr. David R. Morgan of Cheshire. Chet graduated from Manchester High School with the Class of 1955 and married his high school sweetheart, Sylvia (McCarthy) Morgan on January 26, 1957 at St. Bridget’s Church in Manchester. Together they enjoyed every moment of raising their three children: Kevin, Daniel and Laura Beth. Family always came first with Chet and Sylvia, and over the years their home in Vernon and their cottage in Holland, MA saw countless extended family feasts, holidays, and celebrations with their family and friends. If Chet wasn't with his family, he was either working to support them or working to support his beloved Country, the State of Connecticut, and his Town of Vernon. He was greatly moved by President John F. Kennedy’s challenge in his inaugural 1961 speech imploring all to “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. Chet strove the rest of his life to continue to ask what he could do for his Country and in many ways he answered President Kennedy’s challenge.
For his country he served thirty years in the CT Army National Guard retiring as a Sergeant Major (SGM). After serving in many capacities in the 169th Infantry Battalion in both the Manchester and Rockville units he was assigned to HQ, State Area Command in Hartford where he served for several years as the units First Sergeant. He always regretted having to retire at age 60 because he loved the military duty and his many comrades. He was always very proud that his son Dan and his grandchildren, Erin Nicole, Cody and Zachary chose to continue the family tradition by serving in the Military. Chet was inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame in December 2017.
For his State, Chet was elected to the CT Legislature in 1976 as the State representative from the 56th District in Vernon where he served three terms. He was a member of several committees including the Finance Revenue & Bonding Committee where he was appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Bonding Sub-committee. He also was named an Assistant Majority Leader for the 1981-82 session by then Speaker Abate. Among his many legislative efforts, he sponsored the first successful no smoking in restaurants and legislation providing for free tuition in State Universities and colleges for members of the CT National Guard. This bill eventually led to a better readiness for the Guard as deployments to world combat zones were soon to increase.
For his Town, Chet was a four term member of the Vernon Town Council and was an appointed member of the Vernon Traffic Authority Office and the Vernon Board of Assessment Appeals Highlights: He was a long time member of the Vernon Planning and Zoning Committee and served as Chairman in 2011 and 2012. He was a Director for the Vernon Non-Profit Housing Development Corp and a Director for the Vernon Quartoseptcentennial Committee (175 years) in 1983 and the Vernon Bicentennial Committee in 2008.
Professionally, Chet retired in 2001 as the Legislative Project Manager at the CT Department of Public Utility Control. Earlier in life he was employed at Pratt & Whiney Aircraft in East Hartford, Kaman Aerospace in Bloomfield and ABB/CE Resource Recovery Systems as their Government Affair Liaison. In retirement, Chet was a member of CT State Employees Retirees Union Local, 2001, serving as Co-Chairman of the Retirees Council 400 Legislative Action Committee and CSEA Retirees Chapter 415 Vice-President in Manchester. Chet also was a life member of the Rockville Lodge of Elks No. 1359 where he served as Chairman of the Lodge’s Elks Americanism & Veteran Services Committee. In 2011 he was honored by the Elks National Veterans Service Commission as their Veteran Volunteer of the Year. He was also a member of Rockville American Legion, Post 14. A lifelong New York Yankee fan and he greatly enjoyed attending UConn football and the Women’s and Men’s basketball games.
Chet is survived by Sylvia, his best friend, confidant and much beloved wife of 61 years, as well as his children and their spouses, including, Kevin Chester and Colleen (Wright) Morgan of Ellington; Daniel Patrick and Darlene (Woods) Morgan of Stafford and Laura Beth and Robert Laskey of Vernon. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He also is survived by many loving nieces, nephews and dear friends who will miss him very much. Relatives and friends may join the family on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at the Burke-Fortin Funeral Home, 76 Prospect St., Rockville from 4-6 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St Joseph’s Church in Rockville on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 10 am. Committal services with full Military Honors will follow at St. Bridget’s Cemetery in Manchester. Chet's family sincerely thanks nurses and staff at Woodlake at Tolland. Chet lived a full life and leaves a wonderful and honorable legacy, defined by love of family, integrity in all his actions, and service to his Country, State and the community he loved. In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored by donations in Chet’s memory to the CT National Guard Foundation, 360 Broad St., Hartford, CT 06105. For directions and online expressions of sympathy, please visit Chet's tribute page at www.pietrasfuneralhome.com