It is common to start an obituary with the birthplace, significant dates, and history of a person’s life, but for Chester Paul Ansley those are not the important details. Chet’s important details are who he was, and how he lived his life. He was the salt of the earth, and a light in this world; he loved the Lord and his family fully, deeply, and with his whole heart. He was strength and stability, gentleness and kindness, service and humility. Chet had a glow with his presence and a softness in his voice, but he didn’t have to say a word for you to feel the love pouring out of him. Chet was a friend to everyone he met, and every person who knew him has a story of his kindness. Chet never hesitated to drop what he was doing to help anyone, and never expected anything in return. He was wise, welcoming, and of course funny- especially if you asked him! At home or church, while working on the ranch or in the community, whether talking to family or strangers, Chet was the exact same person. He was genuine in a way so few people are. He lived his life in a manner that made every person he knew feel like they were special to him- because they really were. His grandchildren stole his heart the minute they were born, and he loved each one in the perfect way. Each had one word to describe their Papa: selfless, compassionate, forgiving, wholesome, and playful. He was all those things and more, and the best husband, Dad, father-in-law, Papa, son, brother, uncle, and friend anyone could ever imagine. He always said, “I love you”. None of us who loved him will ever question his feelings for us.
Chet was born in Las Animas, Colorado on December 18, 1948 to Paul and Ethel (Larrew) Ansley. He grew up ranching with his parents and five brothers and sisters. Chet went to high school in Fairplay, Colorado, where he met Stephanie, his future wife and the absolute love of his life. Chet and Stephanie were married in 1967 the day after Chet’s 19th birthday and a month after Stephanie’s 18th birthday, in the middle of a Colorado blizzard! Chet loved Stephanie every, single day of their 53 years of marriage and never let a day go by without telling her. They were a team in many endeavors and experiences, the other half of each other, and always each other’s best friend. They attended Colorado State University together, where Chet enjoyed rodeoing as a steer roper and bulldogger and became a skilled farrier and horse trainer. Although Chet earned a degree in Agriculture Education and planned to be an Ag teacher, his heart called him to ranching. For 18 years he and Stephanie did just that on the K-4 Ranch east of Greeley, Colorado. During this time, Chet and Stephanie had two children, Amy and Justin, and became foster parents to their other two children, Yewobdar and Rebeka. The years in Colorado were precious, and the friendships that grew there were deep and lasting. In 1989, Chet and Stephanie purchased their own ranch and moved to Hemingford, Nebraska. Chet was an innovator and never stopped learning and working to improve his ranch. By doing so, he provided a wonderful life for his family, and leaves behind an amazing legacy in the ranch he built, as well as the family he raised and the friendships he created in Nebraska. Chet leaves behind his beloved wife, Stephanie; children, Amy (Dave) Jones, Justin (Reyna) Ansley, Yewobdar and Rebeka Sileshi; grandchildren Zayne and Gracie Jones, Taeller, John, and Kymberlee Ansley, Helena Titus and Makayla Bonnett; his mother, Ethel Ansley; sisters, Charlotte (the late Ron) Hansen, and Pam (Rick) Rucker; brothers, Rod (Sandy), Den (Rona), and Scott (Tawanna) Ansley; sisters-in-law, Suzanne (the late Kenneth) Eastham, and Melissa; many precious nieces, nephews and cousins and so many important friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Paul Ansley. Chet’s family has no doubt that he is now with Jesus; his whole life proved the truth of God’s love and salvation. As much as we all wish with every breath we take that he wasn’t there yet, we are certain that the first words Chet said when he realized he was in heaven, were “Well, Praise the Lord!”
Celebration of life for Chet Ansley of Hemingford, Nebraska will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 2:00 PM at his Ranch in Hemingford.
Chet passed away on July 30, 2021 in Hemingford, Nebraska. Mr. Ansley was born on December 18, 1948 in Las Animas, Colorado. He was 72.
A memorial has been established For the Open Door Church and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.
Online condolences may be left at www.chamberlainchapel.com