Leonidas Henry Chestnut
Leonidas Henry Chestnut, 87, was born in Horry County, South Carolina, June 7, 1926, the second of two sons of D.M. and Hattie C. Chestnut. He died on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at WakeMed in Raleigh, only ten day after the death of his wife, Fannie B. Chestnut. They were married in June, 1944. A 1943 graduate of Roanoke Rapids High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was assigned duty as a motor machinist mate on the USS LCS-99. His ship was dispatched to the South Pacific Theater where he participated in the invasion of Okinawa, Iwo Jima (where he saw the American flag raised) and the Solomon Islands. Following his service in the U.S. Navy, he joined the National Aeronautics and Space Commission at Langley Field, VA, the forerunner of NASA, and later returned home to Roanoke Rapids and served two tours of duty with the Army National Guard. He was formerly the Aide DíCamp to the National Commander of the VFW and was, at the time of his death, an active member of the American Legion.
''Nut,'' as he was affectionately known, retired from Champion International Paper Company after 30 years of service. While he was able to do so, he love to hunt, fish, fly his airplanes, hunt for arrow heads, and make great discoveries with his metal detector. He was an expert gardener and later in life become quite adept at computer technology and restoring old photos.
Nut was predeceased by his parents and only brother, Donald Chestnut of Roanoke Rapids, and his wife, Fannie B. Chestnut who died on March 15, 2014. He is survived by his son of whom he was quite proud, L. McNeil Chestnut and daughter-in-law Sandra Chestnut of Raleigh, very special grandson, Austin M. Chestnut and his special joy, his two great grandsons, Jackson McNeil Chestnut and Logan Henry Chestnut, all of Raleigh. He is also survived by nephew David E. Barrow of Myrtle Beach, SC, and wife Brenda, grandnephew David Cox, and grandnieces Alyssa Gates, Jessica Hassleman, and Terri C. Harrison, all of Roanoke Rapids.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel of Askew Funeral and Cremation Services in Roanoke Rapids with Rev. Michael Mooneyham officiating.
Burial will follow in Cedarwood cemetery in Roanoke Rapids with Military honors.
The family will receive friends Friday from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
The flag in front of the funeral home flies at half staff in honor of Mr. Chestnutís service to his country.