Martha June Keith Cheser, born in Leming, Texas on August 3, 1922, passed away peacefully surrounded by family members at her home on Monday, July 9th, 2012, at the age of 89 years.
Surviving June are family members: sons and spouses, Sam and andMargaret Sapp of Salem, Oregon; Raymond and Elena Cheser of Cromwell, Connecticut; daughter and spouse Linda and Roger Noe, Fredericksburg, Texas; son Gregory Keith Cheser preceded her in death; sisters Marion Holloway, Tommie Edwards; brother and spouse Arthur K. and Jo Keith, and brother Merton Keith; brothers Ralph and Earl Keith preceded her in death; 7 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. She was honored and thankful to have five generations. Her grandson Michael Stephens preceded her in death.
June began her work history at the age of 16. The family had toiled together, each doing their part, during the Great Depression, but at 16 June left home to seek employment in San Antonio. She accepted any position that offered honest work, since jobs were scarce.
During World War II, Douglas Aircraft employed June as a “Rosie the Riveter”, like many other women! After the war she continued to work, and at the age of 55, after relocating to Fredericksburg, Texas, was employed by the Texas Educational System, later to become Texas Parks and Wildlife, as a cashier, a short title for the person who did all, and knew all, at the National Museum of the Pacific War, nee Nimitz Museum, until her retirement in January 1999. During her 21 years of service she met former President George Bush and Mrs. Bush, Walter Cronkite and wife, many notable veterans, and Mr. Henry Kissinger! It’s hard to say which most impressed her. Most touching to her while working at the museum, was listening to the many stories told her by the visiting veterans.
During her “free” time she was never idle. She used her talents as: baker; she was famous for her Bourbon Balls and Cranberry Bread; seamstress; she re-fashioned the original drapes in the Nimitz Museum which are on the windows today, and later designed and crafted a quilt, featuring the 5 Star Emblem, for auctioning at a Nimitz Museum fundraiser. Member of the original Fredericksburg Theater Company and the local VFW, of which she was a lifelong member, and for anyone in need of “whatever.” She was a published poet, and created the Fredericksburg Historical Tour Game. She lived her faith! She was a member of First Baptist Church of Fredericksburg since 1978, and attended regularly until the church relocated to East Main Street.
During her lifetime she always held dear God, Family, and Country. She never forgot she was baptized in the First Baptist Church of Leming, Texas in 1934 at the age of 12 years, 5 months, 11 days old by Rev. Desmuk. She would be the first in a group to share her testimony of faith, and her belief in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, Almighty Son of God, whether you wanted to hear it or not! Her faith in God was with her in all things. Her family of mother, father, two sisters, and four brothers was her joy, and shared many family stories with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The ties of family and her love of country remained strong throughout her life.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials in her honor be made to the First Baptist Church Youth Program.