Chester passed away on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at his home in Hillsboro under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley and his loving family. He was a patient of Sanford Dialysis Unit for 6 ½ years.

Chester was born on March 17, 1924 on a farm near Hunter, ND, the son of Bert and Freida (Thompson) Van Zee.  He attended country school and later Hunter High School.  Chester was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Hunter.  He was united in marriage to Jean Haagenson on April 8, 1951 at Bruflat Lutheran Church in Portland, ND.  They lived in rural Galesburg, ND for 54 years and were members of Elm River Lutheran Church and Gideons International.  He began farming with his father and continued farming until his retirement. He worked for Midwest Bean Company in Galesburg for over 10 years and started MayPort Recycling. Chester was a member of the Galesburg Elevator Board, Director of Elm River Credit Union, township assessor for over 30 years, a 4-H leader for over 25 years, and a member of the church council.  Chester was an avid horseshoe player, bowler, and loved attending auction sales. Chester and Jean moved to Hillsboro in December of 2004 where they have lived since and are members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

Chester is survived by his wife, Jean of Hillsboro; his children, Pam (Wayne) Koering of Hillsboro; Trish (Ernie) Brager of Cooperstown, ND; Clair (Laurice) Van Zee of Galesburg, ND; Crystal (Greg) Storhoff of Mt. Ayr, IA; and Joel Van Zee of Williston, ND; his grandchildren, Denise (Les) Nelson, Jessica (Nathan) Macejkovic, Nicholas (Tammy) Koering, Kathryn Van Zee, Charles Van Zee, Vanessa (Brad) Smith, Timothy Storhoff, Garrett Storhoff, Christopher (Alyssa) Petrie, Jerad Van Zee; and Schaan Van Zee; and his great grandchildren, Dontray Nelson, Zachary Nelson, Jonah Macejkovic, Isaiah Macejkovic, Byanca Smith, Angelina Smith, Shaylinn Smith, Sawyer Petrie, Faith Boden, Kaylee Pride, and Oaklea Thomas..  Also surviving are his sisters, Dorothy Haugen of Mayville, ND; and Donna Nash of Littleton, CO; brothers-in-law, Morris Nelson of Washburn, ND; and Earl Christianson of Portland, ND.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Charles; his sisters, Jennette Specht, Thordyce Nelson and Cornelia Larson; his parents; and brothers-in-law, Clyde Larson, Harold Specht, Carsten Haugen and Larry Nash; and sister-in-law, Joyce Christianson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Hospice of the Red River Valley or to Gideons International.

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