Chester Joseph Sokol

December 29, 1926 - January 17, 2015

12/29/1926 - 01/17/2015

Chester Joseph Sokol, 88, of Wheeling, West Virginia, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 17, 2015.He was surrounded by his loving wife of sixty-one years and his four adoring children.

Born in Benwood, West Virginia on December 29, 1926, he was the son of the late Thomas and Aniela Szostek Sokol.

Mr. Sokol was a graduate of St. Ladislaus Catholic Grade School in South Wheeling. An exceptional athlete, he was a member of the Wheeling Central Catholic High School football team and State Championship basketball team.

Always loyal, Mr. Sokol declined a contract offer from the Cincinnati Reds professional baseball team to maintain his eligibility for his beloved Maroon Knights.

A WWII era veteran, Mr. Sokol joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1945 and proudly served as a corporal in the Provost Marshall’s office in Germany.

Chester graduated from Wheeling Central Catholic High School in 1947 after completing his military service. Upon graduation, Chester attended West Liberty State College and continued his athletic career as a catcher by signing with the St. Louis Browns minor league organization in 1949.

After two years with the organization and a career-ending injury, Mr. Sokol returned to Wheeling and played semi-professional baseball for the Bellaire A.C.’s and the Elm Grove Civics.

Mr. Sokol was a member of the Wheeling Fire Department for over thirty years, eventually retiring from his positions as Assistant Chief and Director of the Office of Emergency Services.

Following his retirement from the Fire Department, he became the Executive Director of the Ohio Valley Regional Transit Authority OVRTA and Eastern Ohio Regional Transit Authority EORTA.

Chester was a lifelong member of the Polish American Patriot PAP club and took great pride in entertaining those around him with his limited Polish vocabulary. His family particularly enjoyed his occasional renditions of the Polish National Anthem.

Prior to its closing, Green’s Donut Shop was the daily meeting place for Chester and his friends. When his beloved South Wheeling gathering spot closed, he joined the “bunch” at McDonalds in Elm Grove.

Mr. Sokol morning ritual of coffee and donuts was always followed by a shopping trip to Riesbeck’s and a round of golf at the Wheeling Park Golf Course.

When he wasn’t actively participating in sports himself, Chester could be found watching a game in person or on television. His favorite sports to watch were those that were played by his children and grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Sokol was preceded in death by an infant son, Thomas Joseph Sokol; a sister, Jane DeBonis; and a brother, Leo Spyra.

Surviving are his wife, Kathleen McCann Sokol; a daughter, Kathy Zimmerman and her husband, Mark, of Troy, OH; a son, Patrick Sokol and his wife, Mary Anne, of Louisville, Kentucky; a daughter, Susan Porco and her husband, John, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; a daughter, Paula Schafer and her
husband, Patrick, of Cincinnati, Ohio; 13 grandchildren including Jeremy Brittany Zimmerman, Alyssa Stephen Gibson, and Kyle Zimmerman; Brian, Kevin, and Kyle Sokol; Christopher and Andrew Porco; and Catherine, Caroline, Patrick, Matthew, and Elisabeth Schafer; a brother-in-law, Nelson McCann; and several nieces and nephews.

Friends will be received from 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 154 Kruger Street, Elm Grove, Wheeling.

A vigil service will be held at 3 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 2244 Marshall Avenue, with Fr. Gary Naegele as celebrant.

Interment will be at Mount Calvary.

Personal condolences may be offered to the family at

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Vincent DePaul School, 127 Key Ave., Wheeling, WV 26003.

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8 years ago

Dear family of Chester,

I did not know Chester that well but I know he was a very dear friend of my uncleSid Rogersonand a good man. May he rest in peace.

Jackie and Paul Chiazza

Dianne & Mary Jane O'Regan
8 years ago

Dear Kathleen. Pat & family –

We were heartbroken to just learn today from Judy that Chester had passed away. We have such wonderful and fond memories of him at the gatherings at Judy & Jim’s house here in Louisville, and Dianne always felt safe when traveling near Wheeling because she knew he was close by. Our love and prayers go out to you and your entire family at the loss of a kind and very special man. May his memory be eternal!

Charlene Hall
8 years ago

Dear Mrs. Sokol and family,

Please accept my sincere condolences on Chester’s passing. When he was the training coordinator for the WFD, I was the nursing advisor to the Paramedic program. Chester was a delight to work with. He was organized and if I said something was needed for paramedic training, I never had to ask twice. He was a true gentleman and I know from our conversations how much he loved his family. May your memories and the love and support of family and friends give your comfort at this time.


Charlene Hall

Lorri Miller Schodzinski
8 years ago

Dear Mrs. Sokol, Susan, Cathy, Patrick, and Paula

I am so sorry to learn of the passing of your beloved husband and father. What a blessing to have had such a role model and teacher! Your family served as an inspiration to many and was admired. Know you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers throughout the year. Sincerely, Lorri

Daina Roeder Vogler
8 years ago

Dear Sokol Family, I’m so sadden by the news of Mr. Sokol’s passing. I have nothing but fond memories of the times I spent at the house. My sincere and deepest sympathy to all.

The Roeder’s, Nancy, Daina, Joe, Sheri, Lisa, Ty and Scott.

Andrew Harrar
8 years ago

Dear Susan,

I would like to extend my condolences and sympathies to you and your family.

Nancy de Fiebre
8 years ago

Dear Susan,

Please accept my heart felt condolences on the passing of your father. It is never easy to lose one you love so much. My thoughts are with you and your family



Lisa DiProsperis Brooks
8 years ago

Kathleen & family,

I just want to express my deepest sympathy to all of you on Chester’s passing. I always thought he had such a gentleness and warmth about him whenever I would see him. I know how much you all are going to miss him and I hope all the wonderful memories you hold close to your heart will bring you comfort in these difficult days.



Marge John
8 years ago

Kathleen and family, my deepest condolences to you on the loss of a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. I’m at a loss for more comforting words as I have been there. Look after one another and stay close.

Marion Siebieda
8 years ago

Kathleen and Family: all of you are in our prayers. Marion talked to Chester last week and he was worried about us.

Sincere sympathy.Marion and Mary Ann

8 years ago

Kathleen, my apologies. I don’t know why I was thinking Nancy.

Joyce Cammilletti
8 years ago

Mrs. Sokol and Family,

Our deepest sympathy. Know that you and your family will be in our prayers.

Antonio and Joyce Cammilletti

Jennifer Coyne Fraps
8 years ago

Mrs. Sokol, Paula and family,

I am so sad to hear of Mr. Sokol’s passing. I pray that all of the good memories you have of him help to comfort you during this time.

8 years ago

Nancy and family, I am so sorry to hear about Chester. It was an absolute delight to work with him while he was in the Fire Department and then after he retired from there to take care of him as a retiree. He loved to tease me and I enjoyed every minute of it!

God speed,

Judy Rice

City of Wheeling Finance Department

8 years ago

Our condolences.

The Pultz family


Maziar Family
8 years ago

Sokol family,

We are sorry to hear of your loss and extend our heart felt condolences and prayers. While we never knew Chester we have been blessed to know his daughter Paula and his wonderful grandchildren. May the light of God shine brightly upon you and bring you comfort in your time a grief.

Therese Weidman
8 years ago

The heartache you feel is the price you pay for having such a wonderful man. Who would want it any other way. You are all in my prayers.

John M. Clemont
8 years ago

To the Solpl Family:

My prayers are,with the family Chester and I became good friends over the years I worked under his supervision as a bus Driver. He will be missed.

John Clemont