MJOLSNESS, Chester Jerome

October 14, 1919 – March 05, 2021

Chester passed away peacefully at home with his loving family at his side on March 05, 2021 at the age 101 years. He leaves to mourn his loving wife, Martha of Bottrel; two sons, Brian of Atlin, BC and Barry (Lorna) of Calgary, AB; and daughter, Lorie (Royce) of Cochrane, AB.  Chester will be greatly missed by eleven grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by first wife Beryl in 1996, son Steven in 1956, daughter Cindy in 2017, great-granddaughter Leisha-Daun in 1995, sisters Gladys and Marion, and brother Lloyd.

Born in Didsbury to Minnie and Louis Mjolsness in 1919, Chester was raised on the family farm west of Sundre where he learned the value of hard work, honesty and integrity – lessons he carried throughout his long and prosperous life. Along with his brother Lloyd, Chester owned and operated M & M Farming, but his real love was in the logging industry. First operating as Mjolsness Bros. Ltd. in Sundre, Chester founded Spray Lake Sawmills – first in Canmore and then in its current location in Cochrane.  Chester always said “If you find a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life”. Guided by his values and keen business sense, Spray Lake evolved into the major employer and great corporate citizen it is today. After Chester sold the business to his son Barry in 1980 he began an exciting retirement. Never one to slow down, Chester spent the next thirty years pursuing his passion for hunting, and traveling to exotic locations around the world. 

Chester was such a positive force in the lives of so many people. A mentor, role model, business leader, philanthropist, he was, more importantly, a great husband, father, grandfather and friend. A perfect example of “a life well lived”.  

The family would like to thank the wonderful nursing staff from Rockyview Private Healthcare for their compassionate care. 

A Public Viewing (with COVID restrictions in place) will be held at the Cochrane Alliance Church, 902 Glenbow Drive, Cochrane, on March 10, 2021 between the hours of 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. 

Chester was laid to rest at Bergen Cemetery on March 11th.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Mustard Seed Support Centre, 102 11 Ave. SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0X5.

Arrangements entrusted to Florence (Flo) Simpson, Funeral Director

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – Ph: 403-932-1039

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  1. On March 6, 2021 at 5:12 pm Jacki Chidlow Said:

    Our heartfelt condolences to all Uncle Ches’s family members during this time of sorrow. May the beautiful memories of Uncle Ches bring you solace. We hope the wonderful adventures and moments you shared together bring you all some comfort. He was an remarkable man who will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.
    Jacki and Phil

  2. On March 6, 2021 at 7:32 pm Fran Coady Said:

    To all the Mjolsness Families

    I had the honour of knowing Mr Mjolsness since I was in kindergarten with Lorie. A gentle kind man and a smile as big as they come. So generous and kind he will be missed by so many people. My thoughts and prayers to all


  3. On March 6, 2021 at 9:39 pm Wendy Rhodes Said:

    Dear Martha, Brian, Barry, Lorie and Families,

    We are very sorry to hear the sad news of the loss of your dear Husband, Dad and Grandpa.
    Uncle Ches was a remarkable man and as you mentioned in the obituary, he was a perfect example
    of “a life well lived”. May the fond memories that you have of Ches and the happy times that
    you have shared together help to ease your sorrow. We are thinking of you.
    With Sympathy, Love and Friendship,
    Wendy and Bob

  4. On March 7, 2021 at 7:47 am Chris Mearns Said:

    Heartfelt condolences to you and your family Lorie.

  5. On March 7, 2021 at 12:27 pm DAVE AND PAT BUCKLER Said:

    To Chester’s family,we wish you healing and peace as you remember him.The trail of memories will fill you with love,laughter,tears and thoughts of special times.The legacy left behind will be cherished for years to come.Dave and Pat

  6. On March 8, 2021 at 2:06 pm Diana Bouck Said:

    To all the Mjsolness Families.
    Heartfelt Condolences on the passing of Chester.
    Donald, Sigrid and Diana Bouck

  7. On March 8, 2021 at 6:39 pm Robert and Betty Wiebe Said:

    To my mother and all of the Mjolsness Family:
    As we reflect on the twenty-three years of mom and Chester’s life together, we were shown the true depth of Chester’s deep love of mom, his love for his Lord, his sincere compassion for others, his integrity, his adventurous spirit, and his faith. Betty and I will miss him dearly. We have been truly blessed by knowing him. Mom, we trust that the many wonderful memories of your time with him will carry you through this difficult time.
    Robert and Betty Wiebe

  8. On March 8, 2021 at 10:06 pm Karen and Barry Busse Said:

    Our heartfelt condolences to all the family and friends in the passing of Chester.
    May the memories you carry with you of him give you strength during this difficult time.Chester was an amazing soul and a true soldier. He was like a father to my brother Gil and the adventures they had and told us about were so fascinating.Chester was a true legend, someone who I admired with great respect. May God give you all the strength that’s needed during this difficult time.
    Love Karen & Barry Busse

  9. On March 9, 2021 at 10:24 am Don and Karen Stevenson Said:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. We will miss our visits and the stories we shared.

  10. On March 9, 2021 at 2:01 pm Neil & Ruth Hamm Said:

    Our deepest condolences to all of the family. He was a true friend. He always had time to chat and was genuinely interested in others. We were amazed at the things he did in his nineties. Psalm 91:16 reminds us of him. “With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.” Special condolences to Martha who always had the coffee and refreshments ready. May you experience God’s comfort.

  11. On March 9, 2021 at 5:12 pm Wanda Sorensen Rath Said:

    Our deepest condolences to the family .

  12. On March 10, 2021 at 7:05 am Annette Rose Said:

    Truly a great,kind and caring man.He will long be remembered for his genuine concern of others.Love and prayers to Martha a new the family.

  13. On March 10, 2021 at 1:52 pm Kelly Buxton Said:

    Martha, Barry, Laurie, Brian and Families,
    Please accept our condolences and know that our thoughts are with you at this time. It is so true that Chester had a full life and lived it well. May the many memories give you strength and comfort.
    It was with great pleasure and an honor to be one of “Chester’s Girls.”
    With caring thoughts, Kelly and Mike Buxton

  14. On March 10, 2021 at 2:38 pm Bev. Ewashko Said:

    My heartfelt sympathy to the family – he was a pioneer who will be missed by many. Memories will sustain you all at this sad time.

  15. On March 10, 2021 at 4:59 pm Ziai Family Said:

    We remember Uncle Ches with deep affection. His positivity and kindness was an inspiration to all of us. We send our heartfelt condolences to all the family. Love from,
    Gwen, Kazem, Shaun, Chad, Lisa and family

  16. On March 10, 2021 at 5:20 pm Kari McClounie Said:

    I had the pleasure of dealing with Chester for many years at the RBC in Cochrane. He was a wonderful, inspiring man that will be sadly missed.

  17. On March 10, 2021 at 6:26 pm Susan Silvester Said:

    My sincere condolences for your loss. “Uncle” Ches was a “bigger than life” man in my life. I have so many warm memories of Uncle Ches and family. We had so much fun together as children. I hope your memories will comfort you.

  18. On March 11, 2021 at 1:52 am Lisa hupkes Said:

    We are praying for your family sorry for your loss from the Hupkes family Hope you’re doing well take care

  19. On March 11, 2021 at 2:46 pm Ron & Anna Wiebe Said:

    We would like to send our condolences to the Mjolsness Family and my dear mother who was married to Chester. Chester was a very kind man with a big heart. He treated my mother with the utmost respect and dignity and I’m sure that he loved her dearly. We got to spend time with them on the farm on a number of occasions and he was always seeing to that my family was having a good time while we were there. It was a joy to sit down with him and listen to some of his adventures that he had with my mom on their trips abroad. He will truly be missed by our family. Thinking of you at this time of grief.

  20. On March 11, 2021 at 7:08 pm Colleen Jackson Said:

    My sincere condolences go to the Mjolsness family for the loss of Chester, the family patriarch. May you find comfort that he is now with his Heavenly Father. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  21. On March 11, 2021 at 9:20 pm Arthur and Crystal Thompson Said:

    Our heartfelt condolences to Martha, Wiebe families and all the Mjolsness family Chester truly lived life to its fullest. We met Chester in his interest in hunting. We looked forward to seeing him at the hunting shows and enjoyed many visits at their home and ours. He certainly lived his life well and was an inspiration to all those that knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless Arthur & Crystal Thompson

  22. On March 14, 2021 at 2:28 pm Joe and Julie Hofer Said:

    Our sincere condolences to the Mjolsness family in the passing of Chester. We know he will be dearly missed by his friends and family. Joe has many good memories of Chester from the “early” days at Spray Lake Sawmills. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  23. On March 16, 2021 at 9:32 pm Wade and Mary Hardiman Said:

    Our most heartfelt condolences to the Mjolsness family. Such a wonderful family man who was happy to share his stories and knowledge. He has left a legacy and will be missed.

  24. On March 17, 2021 at 2:14 pm Lorraine Campbell Said:

    My sincere condolences to Martha and the Mjolsness family. He was a dear friend and mentor to me.
    He told the most incredible stories of his adventures that will always be in my heart
    My thoughts and prayers. Lainy

  25. On March 19, 2021 at 11:47 pm Keren Farquharson Said:

    I pass along sympathy to Chester’s family and particularly Martha. I fondly remember our visit with my father Howard at your lovely home near Bottrel when you still had the amazing taxidermy collection in your home. You were such gracious hosts serving us coffee or tea and entertaining us with the fascinating stories of some of your hunts.

    We lost Dad in April of 2019 at 101 years and he always delighted in his visits with Chester.

    Thoughts are with you.

    Kind regards, Keren Farquharson

  26. On March 24, 2021 at 10:31 am Jim and Lydia Graham Said:

    We met Mr. Mjolsness a few times. He was gracious and he showed sincere interest in the events in Cochrane. Cochrane is fortunate to have Spray Lakes Company. Many of Cochrane youth were employed and learned about a job. Our grandchildren enjoyed visiting the Sundre Museum which Mr. Mjolsness inspired for the Sundre community.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  27. On March 31, 2021 at 10:25 pm Jaime Marr and family Said:

    A wonderful man. I was so blessed to have known him. Hugs to all the family. – Jaime

  28. On March 31, 2021 at 10:35 pm SDHS Said:

    Chester was a wonderful man that did so much for our organization and community. The volunteers, staff, and board send their heartfelt condolences to the family. We were all so blessed to have had him in our lives and are thankful for the legacy he left. Our museum will cherish the Chester Mjolsness World of Wildlife and look forward to sharing his legacy with future generations. Sincerely, Sundre & District Historical Society (SDHS)

  29. On April 10, 2021 at 8:12 am Don Lammle Said:

    Dear Barry, Brian and family,
    101 years! Wow! The good Lord gave a lot of years to a very fine gentleman! I feel very privileged for having known him and his Sons. It is hard for me to feel badly hearing this sad news! I will treasure his memory foever!