Chet died Nov. 2, 2022, with his devoted family beside him.
Chet was born in Fredonia in 1943, the only son of the late Chester and Mary Agnes (Oddo) Ball.
He graduated from Fredonia High School in 1961 with a Regents Diploma.
After a semester at SUNY Fredonia, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1962. Chet attended Language School, and after learning Russian served in the 28th Bomb Wing (H) at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, SD. While stationed there, Chet became fond of the area, and returned to visit many times as a civilian.
He volunteered in 1964 to deploy to Vietnam and served in the 6255th CAMRON (Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron). Chet earned the Good Conduct Medal, the Marksman Medal, the Purple Heart (which he refused), and several other commendations.
He worked at Allegheny Ludlum Steel as a machinist apprentice before joining the U.S. Postal Service, first as a carrier and then as a clerk. He retired in 2003 after 35 years of service.
He was a lifetime member of American Legion Post 59, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1935, and Vietnam Veterans of America.
Chet enjoyed reading, watching the History, Discovery and Military channels, and was a lifelong enthusiast of trains and model railroading. He did daily Sudoku and crossword puzzles in ink, rarely making a mistake.
He is survived by his loving wife, Patricia, whom he married in 1968 at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna, N.Y.
Chet is also survived by his daughter Kimberley de Terra (Melvin) Ingram of Fredonia; sons; John Chester (Sara) Ball (children Jack, Thomas, and Mary) of Narragansett, RI., and Matthew James Ball (daughter Carlin, significant other Susanne Wolfe) of Sparks, Md. Several cousins also survive.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Rita Eileen Joy.
Chet has graciously donated his body to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at Saint Anthony’s Church, Orchard and Cushing Streets in Fredonia on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Joseph Walter officiating. Following the Mass, the family will host a brunch at Cassadaga American Legion Post 1280, 228 Maple Ave. in Cassadaga. Military honors will be accorded by Cassadaga American Legion Post 1280.
The family suggests memorials may be made to Lakeshore Humane Society, 431 East Chestnut St., Dunkirk, NY 14048, or to Darwin R. Barker Library Association, 7 Day St., Fredonia, NY 14063, or to a charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.