To the editor:
The funeral service for this well-known Brown County native was truly a memorial. As has been said in the past, this 88-year-old resident has probably been in almost everyone’s home at some time or other in his 35 years of repairman work at Helmsburg Hardware and then many other years extra on his own. He was also a great storyteller.
A story I remember was the time he was under a kitchen cabinet working when a wasp was intent on making Chelsea leave. Finally, Chelsea took his pocketknife and cut the wasp in pieces — whereupon the wasp stung Chelsea on his hand. That was his story and he stuck to it.
May 1968, years ago when a gas transport truck was filling the gas tank at the Helmsburg (Roudebush) station, the truck caught on fire. The explosion set the station on fire. With flames roaring and intense heat and smoke, the windows of the hardware store across the street were shattered.
Chelsea was working there then when Goldie Chitwood yelled at her husband Clarence to get the money. He grabbed the money bag and took off running down the sidewalk. Goldie always had a list of repair jobs for Chelsea to do each day with the least amount of expense. Chelsea was faithful and only missed one day of work. That was the blizzard of Jan. 26, 1978. Chelsea had tried to walk from Helmsburg from his home on Oak Ridge but was unable to do so.
He and his wife Rosemary (Bay) raised their three children with this work principle, and they in turn have passed it onto their families. Tom Brokaw spoke of Chelsea’s generation as “the greatest generation ever.”
Chelsea Whitehorn, a grandson, shared memories of his grandfather, Lee Snider. The Unity Church pastor added memories of when his father Harold Snider and Chelsea were young men living and working in Brown County. Lee shared a couple of poems his father had written which added to the colorful history of that era. The Rev. Mary Jensen, Hospice Foundation, spoke of the loving care the Sisson family had for their loved one; also, of Chelsea’s storytelling. The three songs by Mary Doris Bay and her daughter were the icing on the cake.
I was told a cassette recording of the service could be obtained for a small fee, should anyone wish one from Meredith-Clark funeral home of this special Brown County resident — a tribute to Chelsea, one saved by the grace of our savior, Jesus Christ.
Mary Jane Richards, Brown County
Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon Thursday before the date of intended publication.
Letters are the opinions of the writer.
Letters must be signed by the author and include the writer’s town of residence and a contact number in case of questions. Only one letter every two weeks, per writer, to allow for diversity of voices in the opinions section.
Please be considerate of sharing space with other letter-writers and keep your comments concise and to the point.
Avoid name-calling, accusations of criminal activity and second- and third-hand statements of “fact.”