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“I grew up almost across the street from the Vilian family in Holden, and the Vilians were good friends with my parents. They were a lovely warm...Read More »
1 of 21 | Posted by: Mary Karas Evans - Holden, MA

“Uncle Chet is in my prayers. Chet's sister, Stasia, who is my paternal grandmother is not doing well. She's in a nursing home in Huntsville, AL. ...Read More »
2 of 21 | Posted by: John Lindgren - Keller, TX

“Linda: Your dad was a wonderful husband, dad, grandfather and a special love to Clara. You are going to miss him a lot but just know he is at...Read More »
3 of 21 | Posted by: Janice Tynan - Hopedale, MA

“Dearest Linda: I know what you thought of Dad..Keep your brother close to your heart. I'm sorry i can't attend. Love you, Aunt Sta ”
4 of 21 | Posted by: Stasia Jablonski - Madison, AL

“It's quite a journey you've been on, but I know you wouldn't have traded it for anything- your parents are smiling down from heaven with pride! ...Read More »
5 of 21 | Posted by: Louise Meyerdierks - Spencer, MA

“Desr Linda & family: I am so sorry about yourn dad. Youshould have no regrets. You spent lots of quality time with him. My thoughts and prayers...Read More »
6 of 21 | Posted by: Aggie Digregorio - Charlton, MA

“I'm so sorry for your loss. Grampy was a great man and will always be remembered in everyone's hearts. Love, Jeremy ”
7 of 21 | Posted by: Jeremy Skorinko - Worcester, MA

“Just know you were always there for your dad. May the thought that his last days were filled with love and family help you at this so very difficult...Read More »
8 of 21 | Posted by: Cathie Kennen - Spencer, MA

“Dear Linda: I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Unfortunately for me, I only had the privilege of his company one time. My impression of...Read More »
9 of 21 | Posted by: Mary Trainor - Worcester, MA

“I was so saddened to hear of your loss. I only wish that I could have had the chance to meet Chet. He must have been a wonderful man to raise such...Read More »
10 of 21 | Posted by: Jean Brunter - Holden, MA

“To Alan, Donna & Family: My sincere sympathy to all of you. Alan, you must be very proud of your dad - his army career and many...Read More »
11 of 21 | Posted by: Marilyn DeRosa - North Adams, MA

“Dearest cousins, So sorry about your loss. We are never ready or really prepared to lose a parent. You both have been exceptionally good and...Read More »
12 of 21 | Posted by: Jean Cutter - Rockport, MA

“I am humbled to know that I paid a significant part in Chet's life. Oddly, the evening of reading the obituary I played a ballroom dance at SAC --...Read More »
13 of 21 | Posted by: Elliott & Madeline Lockwood - MA

“Alan: It is the end of an era! So many memories surface - he was a wonderful guy - over so many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you...Read More »
14 of 21 | Posted by: Robert Evans - Holden, MA

“Dear Alan & Donna: My deepest sympathy on your loss. I remember meeting Chet twice; once at the Whistling Swan and again at your wedding. During...Read More »
15 of 21 | Posted by: Frances Robbie - Brookfield, MA

“Our deepest sympathy to you and your entire family. May GOD ease your pain very soon.R ”
16 of 21 | Posted by: Theodore Cercena & Jeannine Wilk - RI

“My sincere sympathy to all the family. I'm so sorry to hear of Chet's passing. The last time I saw him was at my niece's wedding in Preston, CT. ...Read More »
17 of 21 | Posted by: Sandra Collins Mashner - AL

“I haven't seen Chet in a few years but I do remember that when I did see him he would tell me I was beautiful and would give me a hug! Thank you for...Read More »
18 of 21 | Posted by: Janice Tynan - Hopedale, MA

“I've been looking at all the pictures of Chet through the years and what I've always known about him shows through in every one of them; Chet loved...Read More »
19 of 21 | Posted by: Carole Littlefield - Davie, FL

“I find it really important to thank all of you for the kindness and gratitude you have shown my Nonna over the years, but I want you all to know that...Read More »
20 of 21 | Posted by: Vanessa - Sturbridge, MA

“Alan and Donna, I am very sorry to hear about the death of your father. Lynne Derosier ”
21 of 21 | Posted by: Lynne Derosier - Northborough, MA


Mr. Chester Vilian, of Holden, died peacefully on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 under the loving care of his family and the staff of Knollwood Nursing Center and Beacon Hospice. He was 87.

Chester was born on March 21, 1925 in Worcester, son of the late Joseph and Mary (Zabierek) Vilian and was raised in the Green Island neighborhood. Like many other young men his age he enlisted in the armed services in 1943. He honorably served his country during World War II in the United States Army in its 38th Infantry. In his selfless service to his country he served in the European African Middle Eastern Theater of Operations as part of the 2nd Infantry Division. He too, crossed the English Channel and landed on Omaha Beach near St. Laurent-Sur-Meron in the infamous D-Day Plus One Invasion at Normandy. Later wounded in battle he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Chester's dedication to defend his country helped pave the way to the many freedoms we presently enjoy. His proudest moment was marching from Champs-Elysses to l'Arc de Triomphe at the end of the war. Chester rightfully enjoys membership in what author Tom Brokaw coined, "The Greatest Generation" and for this we remain forever indebted to Chester and all veterans.

Upon returning from the war, he married E. Louise Harris on October 12, 1946. With the help of his family and friends, including Frank Lapriore, they built their own home in Holden in the 1950's, bartering for labor and using the lumber from two three-decker homes in Worcester. They enjoyed the rewards of their labor and shared their time during the winters beginning in 1975 in Port St. Lucie and Stuart, Florida.

Skilled with his hands, Chester defined what it meant to be a hard worker. He learned the building trade and started a family business, Holden Home Modernizing, Inc. in 1966. He retired in 1996 to the capable hands of his son, Alan, who now runs the business.

His wife, Louise, died November 21, 1992 after 46 years of marriage.

In June of 1995 Chet met Clara Santullo while dancing at the SAC club of Shrewsbury to the organ music of Elliott Lockwood. They loved to dance, especially the polka, and were a sight to behold and admire when on the dance floor. Soon thereafter, they built their own home in Fort Pierce, Florida and with a new zest for life they took dozens of cruises including trips to Spain, Italy, France, and Atlantis. They belonged to the Italian-American Club in Fort Pierce; loved playing cards and enjoyed home cooked Italian food with their many friends and family. They also spent many enjoyable times with Clara's family in Sturbridge. Chester was a past member and president of Holden Lion's Club, member of Chaffins Men's Club and its bowling team, and past member of the Jewish Community Center, where he loved to swim. Other interests included deep sea-fishing and a good game of blackjack with his Florida friends and an occasional trip to Mohegan Sun.

He leaves his children, Alan T. Vilian and his wife, Donna, of Holden and Linda L. Lukason and her husband, Peter, of Worcester; his sister, Stasia Jablonski in Alabama; his grandchildren Paul M. Lukason and his wife, Wendy, of Douglas and Jennifer L. Lukason and her fiancée, Jeremy Skorinko of Worcester; his great-grandson, Caleb J. Lukason and the "love of his life" for the past 17 years, Clara Santullo of Sturbridge; and nieces & nephews.

Family and friends will honor and remember Chester's life by gathering privately in Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors – The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center. Rev. Paul T. O'Connell will officiate. Burial with military honors will follow in Grove Cemetery, Holden.

Honor Chester's memory with a contribution to Why Me, 1152 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA 01602 or The Salvation Army, ARC, 72 Cambridge St., Worcester, MA 01603.