Chester W. Backes, 1921-2003

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Lifelong Steamboat Springs resident Chester Backes died June 11, 2003, at Yampa Valley Medical Center. He was 82.

Chester was born Jan. 7, 1921, in Steamboat to Melvin and Helen Backes. Chester was the oldest of eight children.

Chester married Jonell Russell on Sept. 5, 1939. They were married for 63 years.

Chester was a carpenter until he retired in 1983. He spent his retirement years working in his garden and building furniture barn chairs, cupboards and cradles for his grandchildren.

He enjoyed fishing the Yampa River with his grandkids and brookie fishing the creeks of Big Red Park.

Chester was preceded in death by two daughters, his parents, two sisters and two brothers.

He is survived by his wife; three sons, Chester Backes, Joseph Leroy Backes of Lamar and Ralph Edward Backes of Moab, Utah; a daughter, Sue Ellen Lewis of Milner; 17 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, a sister and two brothers.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Yampa Valley Funeral Home with Jon Bixby of the First Baptist Church officiating. Military and graveside services will follow at Hayden Cemetery. Visitation is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at the funeral home, 2095 Curve Ct. in Steamboat. Memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Foundation in care of the Yampa Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 776090, Steamboat Springs, 80477.

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