Cover photo for Chester H. Fenner's Obituary
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1937 Chet 2024

Chester H. Fenner

July 10, 1937 — February 17, 2024

Ripon

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Chester “Chet” Fenner, age 86, passed away at Prairie Place in Ripon, WI on February 17, 2024.

Chet was born in Ripon at his home on July 10, 1937, to Harvey and Lorena Fenner. He was the youngest child with two older sisters. Chet’s father died when he was young; therefore, he grew up quickly to be “the man of the house.”

Chet graduated from Ripon High School in 1955. In 1956 he volunteered for the draft and served in the US Army 8th Division in the 2nd Battle Group. A great deal of his time was spent in Zindorff, Germany in training. When Chet returned to Ripon, he worked at Speed Queen. He married Arlene Draves on June 13, 1959, and in 1961 they began farming. Over the years Fenner Farms grew into a successful family business which will continue with Chet’s son, Ron and grandson, Austin.

Chet and Arlene were married almost 46 years when she passed away in April of 2005, after a brief bout with cancer. Arlene’s passing devastated Chet as well as the whole family. They shared many happy years raising their children, traveling, great times with family and friends, and a lot of hard work to build a good life for themselves. Together they had three children, Rick (Lori) Fenner of Oshkosh, WI and grandchildren Katelyn (Al) Fenrich and Carson of Oshkosh, WI; Julie (Keith) Bock of Ripon, WI and grandson Brett of Ripon, WI; Ron (Annie) Fenner of Ripon, WI and 3 grandsons Austin (Lexi) of Ripon, WI, Hayden (Casey) of Sun Prairie, WI and Landon (Rylee) of Austin, TX. Chet had 3 great-grandchildren who always brought a smile to his face during these last years; Adalee Fenner, Tripp Fenner and Charlotte Fenrich.

Chet was preceded in death by his second wife, Ardys Janke-Fenner. They married on March 3, 2007 and enjoyed their companionship of 16 years. They loved living on the farm and were comforted growing older together. Chet is survived by Ardys’ children, Craig Janke, Brian (Gayla) Janke and Kari (Ken) Hielke; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Chet served on the Board of Trustees at Immanuel United Methodist Church and also a member of the Ripon Public School Board for 9 years. The Ripon Jaycees recognized him with an Outstanding Young Farmer award back in 1969. Arlene and Chet were presented with a beautification award for their farm by Fond du Lac County in 1998; keeping the farm looking pristine was important to both of them.

Chet thoroughly enjoyed watching his kids and grandchildren at school functions and sporting events. He followed Ripon High School and Ripon College Athletics closely. Chet was also an avid Packer fan and a season ticket holder at Lambeau Field. In his later years Chet was seen driving around in his pick-up truck and very seldom would he wave at anyone, including his own kids. Whenever he was asked “How are you?” his response was “How do I look?”

Chet’s family would like to give a special thanks to Prairie Place for the last 17 months of care, and a special thank you to Dr. Longo and Generations Hospice. Chet’s family would also like to thank all the friends who visited him at Prairie Place and especially the guys that brought breakfast to share with him.

Chet is survived by sisters-in law, Barbara Blader and Janice O’Kon; brother-in-law, Marvin Mischka; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Lorena Fenner; in-laws, Loretta and Millard Draves; two sisters that married brothers, Eunice and Harold Schultz and Mardelle and Allen Schultz; sisters-in-law, Jeannette Sturgl and Marian Mischka; brothers-in-law, Thomas Sturgl, James Blader, and Donald O’Kon.

Chet was a spiritual man and had a deep faith in God. He was a proud member of Immanuel United Methodist Church and attended church regularly. Visitation for Chet will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024, from 9:00 - 11:00 am at Immanuel United Methodist Church, 401 W. Fond du Lac St., Ripon, WI. Funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 24, 2024, with Rev. Dr. Heather Brewer and Rev. Neil S. Wilson officiating. You may view a livestream of the service here LIVESTREAM. Interment with full military honors will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery in Ripon, WI. In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established in his name.

It would be Chet’s wish that anyone who knew him would catch a ball game whenever you can, travel while you are able, meet your friends for breakfast, and laugh as hard and as often as you can!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Chester H. Fenner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 24, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am

Immanuel United Methodist Ripon

401 W Fond Du Lac St, Ripon, WI 54971

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, February 24, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm

Immanuel United Methodist Ripon

401 W Fond Du Lac St, Ripon, WI 54971

Livestream

Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Saturday, February 24, 2024

12:00 - 12:15 pm

Immanuel United Methodist Ripon

401 W Fond Du Lac St, Ripon, WI 54971

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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