LEOMINSTER---Marie Hawkins Chester was born on May 9, 1937 in New York City to Mary Davis (a seamstress) and William Little Hawkins (an elevator operator). She passed away at home on August 31, 2019 due to complications from a stroke. In her final moments, she peacefully transitioned in the presence of her family and her longtime aide.
As a young girl, Marie’s family moved from Harlem to Warrenton, NC where they moved to join the family farm. A good student and avid reader, she skipped a grade and attended North Carolina Central College when she was just 16. During the summer break one year, she stayed with her older brother Ronald, who was in the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Devens, MA, where she met Dave Chester. They eloped on August 27, 1956.
In addition to being a mother and wife, Marie spent most of her working life as a Head Start teacher. Her students fondly remembered “Miss Marie” and greeted her with loving adoration long after she retired. She also enjoyed summers with her grandchildren, traveling with friends and serving guests her famous potato salad and apple crisp.
Marie is predeceased by her husband (David Chester), her parents (William and Mary Hawkins) and her brother (Ronald Hawkins). She is remembered with love by her children, David Chester, Jr. (Carol); Leisa Chester Weir (Kevin); Kathy Chester; Scott Chester (Jill) and her sister Coseye Hawkins. Her grandchildren will celebrate her life, Ryan Weir (Irene); Toya Chester; David Chester, III; Jeremy Weir; Jazzmyn Hill; Drew Jeffrey Boutell; Briya Chester; Masyn Chester. She is also survived by a special brother-in-law, Peter Chester, a sister-in-law, Helen “Jackie” Chester, two close cousins, Mildred Belton and Verna Hughes, a beloved aide, Anny Namazzi, two great grandchildren Alivia Wadell and D’Mari Chester plus many cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Marie’s funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 7th at 11 am in the First Baptist Church of Leominster, 23 West Street, Leominster. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster. A calling hour will be held prior to the funeral service from 10-11 am in the church.
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