Cover photo for Philip Ralph Chester's Obituary
Philip Ralph Chester Profile Photo

Philip Ralph Chester

December 30, 1932 — October 5, 2022

Philip Ralph Chester

Philip “Phil” Ralph Chester, age 89, of Mankato died Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at his home in Mankato.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with visitation held two hours prior to the Mass. Military honors will be provided by the Mankato Area Veterans Memorial Rifle Squad. Private family graveside service will be held at a later date at Calvary Cemetery in Mankato. Livestream will be available at

Memorials are preferred to Loyola Catholic Schools or Catholic Charities.

Philip was born December 30, 1932, in Northfield to Ralph and Elizabeth “Bessie” (Siemers) Chester. He graduated from Northfield High School in 1951. From 1953­–1955, Philip honorably served in the US Army and was a proud member of the first integrated platoon in the Army. On September 14, 1957, Philip was united in marriage to Joan “Joni” Quinn at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Northfield. They were blessed with five children. One of the most important things to Philip was to love and serve those around him. With Catholic Charities, he and Joni fostered over 100 newborn babies. In 2000, they received the JC Penney Distinguished Service Award for their excellent care and service for foster babies.

Phil joined the Postal service following his honorable discharge from the Army. Initially, Phil was assigned to work the postal train between Mankato and Sioux Falls, SD, and eventually took a position within the Post Office in Mankato. Phil retired from the Post Office in 1988, and then founded and ran his own painting business in town for many years.

Phil loved card games and bowling and was a member of several bowling leagues over his lifetime. He enjoyed fishing trips to Canada, relaxing at their lake house near Cleveland, reading books, and was a huge fan of Science Fiction. Above all, Phil treasured time spent with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He made it a priority to be present for family events, including his children and grandchildren’s youth and college sports, dance recitals, and gatherings. Phil loved life, his friends and family, and had a kind heart. He will be deeply missed.

Phil is survived by his five children, Joe (Karen) Chester of North Mankato, Bob (Merrelin) Chester of North Mankato, Mark (Joyce) Chester of New Ulm, Nancy (Mark) Kowalski of St. Peter, and Julie (Kevin) Johnson of Rice; eleven grandchildren, Kelsey (Caleb) Siem, Molly (Travis) Hoium, Gena (Miller Crawford) Chester, Olivia Chester, Christopher Schrupp, Mackenzie (Simon Koenigs) Chester, Jessica (Dan) Wersal, Brandon (Lexi Eggers) Kowalski, Kyle Johnson, Erik (Tessa) Johnson, and Sara Johnson; four great-grandchildren, Theo, Margot, Caden, and Carly, and another expected in February 2023; sisters-in-law, Diane Wild and Judy Streitz; many nieces and nephews; and over 100 foster babies.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents; the love of his life, wife Joni; and sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Mel Stout.


The live stream link below is a complimentary service provided by Northview ~ North Mankato Mortuary. Unforeseen technical, internet, facility, and/or acoustical circumstances may produce a diminished end product. Please note, if the live stream does not appear, we are attempting to record and publish the service for later viewing.

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

Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church

105 N 5th St, Mankato, MN 56001

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