Chester Djonne, 83, of Park Rapids, passed away at his home on Sunday, April 7, 2019. Chester was born on October 28, 1935, in Baudette, Minnesota, to Alf and Della Djonne. He grew up north of Bemidji and graduated from Bemidji High School in 1954. He worked for the Beltrami County Highway Department until 1957 when he and his wife, Gayle, moved to Park Rapids where he worked at the Hubbard County Highway Department until his retirement in 1997, rising to the position of Assistant Engineer. He served with the Minnesota National Guard for 15 years. He spent many years traveling to flea markets and antique shops amassing a collection of antique woodworking tools and spent many hours refurbishing them to like-new condition. You could often see him sitting on the tailgate of his pickup truck in the garage working on a tool. Over the last few years, his collection has been auctioned off at national tool auctions across the country.
He is survived by Gayle, his wife of 64 years, sons Michael (Nancy) of Bemidji, MN, and Gregory of Redwood Falls, MN, and daughter, Sherry (Scott) Wilcox of Casper, Wyoming, six grandsons, Anthony Djonne (Caitlin) Bemidji, MN; Christopher Djonne (Kellie) Bemidji, MN; Matthew Djonne (Kayla) Crystal, MN; and Andrew Djonne (Cassie) Vesta, MN; Daniel Wilcox (Leila) Fort Wayne, IN; David Wilcox (Nicole) Baxter, MN; twelve great-grandchildren, Ryan and Emma Djonne, Bemidji, MN; Coltyn, Rylee, and Hudson Djonne, Vesta, MN; Lilah and Noah Djonne, Crystal, MN; Clay Martin, Isabella and Tell Wilcox, Fort Wayne, IN; and Kaylin and Alexander Wilcox, Baxter, MN. He is also survived by his brother, Wesley (Sally) Djonne of Bemidji, and two sisters, Arlene (Duane) Gardinier of North Branch, MN, and Lois Drusch of St. Paul, MN, and many nieces and nephews. A celebration of Chester's life will be held from 2 to 4 PM on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at the American Legion in Park Rapids. The family prefers memorials to CHI St. Joseph's Health-Hospice Care or Living at Home. Arrangements provided by Dennis Funeral Home / Midwest Cremation Association of Walker (www.dennisfuneralhome.com).