Nawoichyk, Chester

Pearl River, NY - Tappan Location

Chester Charles Nawoichyk passed into the loving arms of God on January 18, 2021. Born April 24,1937 in Wilmington Massachusetts to John and Stella Nawoichyk. Growing up in Boston, he attended schools there, and later in life he attended Rockland Community College. He was extremely proud of his degree from Dominican College which he earned as an adult learner. His love for cooking started at his grandmother’s side and continued when he graduated from baking school.

He married the love of his life, Nancy Jane Delaney on September 16, 1961. Together they raised a loving family, James (Marie Bauer), Nancy “Janie”, and John (Wendy Nawoichyk). He was extremely proud of “his girls” Rebecca Bierhoff and Molly Nawoichyk, along with all his grandchildren; Grant Nawoichyk, Dana Bauer, Gena Bauer, and Anthony Bauer. Of course his great granddaughter “Princess” Taylor could do no wrong. He is also survived by his older brother John (Claire) in Massachusetts and his brother-in-law Richard (Sally) in Rockland County, as well as many nieces. He is predeceased by his parents and his younger brother Victor (Frances “Cookie”) Nawoichyk. 

Chester dedicated his life to his family and the community. For many years, he worked at Cardinal McCloskey School and Home for Children, later known as Cardinal McCloskey Children and Family Services. Chester served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Margaret of Antioch. He was a proud member of the South Orangetown Ambulance Corps and told many happy stories about helping set the foundation to help SOAC grow and develop into the professional EMS organization it is today. Chet served many years in the Orangetown Auxiliary Police. One of his happiest shifts was when he went on patrol with his son Jim. 

Chester belonged to two organizations that were often referred to as his second families: the Knights of Columbus and the Boy Scouts of America.  Chester joined the Triune Council, #2052, December 2000. Eager to move up the line of Officers, after one year he was the Treasurer, followed by being named the Deputy Grand Knight, and later he was the Grand Knight after five years. He was a powerful man, not just in height, but in commanding respect from his fellow Officers. There is a Patriotic Degree, the Fourth Degree, and Chet was the Leader of the 4th Degree as the Faithful Navigator for two years. It didn’t take long for the 7 Councils of the Knights of Columbus in Rockland County to ask Chet to be the Chapter Chairman. Chester was involved with many things: the pancake breakfasts, the holiday parties, the big Dinner Parties, the Carnivals, getting the Monthly Bulletin back up, and keeping everyone up to date. He always looked forward to his Friday Night Penny Poker Game with the men.

For a man who wasn’t going to get too involved with Boy Scouts that didn’t last too long. He was right by the side of his son Jim and John on all their adventures. He served as an adult leader for Troop 33, Nanuet, Troop 34, Pearl River and the Shatemuc District Rockland County. He held positions as assistant scoutmaster, troop chairman, merit badge counselor, assistant district commissioner, and many more. He proudly earned and received many awards and recognitions. The highlight of his scouting career was when he was tapped to be a member of Munsi Lodge #444 Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts National Camping Honor Society. Chet worked hard to achieve the highest honor of Vigil Member. He was proud of his bestowed name “Amangi Gilkissen,” Large Laughing One. If there was a task at hand, Chester was first in line. During his training Chet successfully completed the Wood Badge Program. It was here he became a proud member of the Fox Patrol. Now you know why he will forever be known as Grandpa Fox. 

While accomplishing all of the above, Chester spent many hours with his daughter Nancy. He joined her in 4H and Girl Scouts activities and the trips up the Thruway to college. He never missed a chance to help Nancy as a Girl Scout Troop Leader often participating in troop activities. He helped her mentor three Girl Scouts who earned their Gold Award.  Of course he had to jump in, daughter like father… she “wasn’t going to get too involved” in Girl Scouts. 

As everyone knows behind every good husband there is an outstanding wife. Nancy, the love of his life was by his side through all this. Their love story started in an amazing way. Chet was working at Rockland State Hospital and Mom was doing her nursing school psychiatric rotation there. He knew it was love at first sight! They met, were engaged, and married in a year. As their family grew, Chet would be cooking and Nancy would be sewing patches and typing newsletters. Many smoky uniforms were washed and packed for the next adventure. She prepared his regalia for him. If Chet needed it, Nancy had it ready and held the fort down while he was helping others. They were the perfect couple.

Services will be private and a celebration of Chester’s Life will be held in the future. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to: South Orangetown Ambulance Corps, 70 Independence Avenue, Tappan, NY 10983 OR Triune Council #2052 Knights of Columbus, PO Box 777, Pearl River, NY 10965.