Private Family Service
Virginia Ann Chesla
June 1, 1927 – May 3, 2020
Age 92, of Minneapolis and Lino Lakes; passed peacefully on May 3rd at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis, from Alzheimers. Survived by seven children, Stephen, Ginny Felice, Catherine “Kit” (Jeff Vanderbilt), Daniel (Nannette), Patrick (Carol), Michael (Judith), and Joseph; and her brother, David Malthouse (Nan). Predeceased by her husband, Joe Chesla, and sister, Catherine Witte.
Survived by grandchildren Peter, Sarah, Cat, John, Emily Bader, William Vanderbilt, Andreis Vanderbilt, Christopher, Andrew, Jacob, Angie, Ryan, Matthew, Chloe, Colin, Mena and Brian, and many loving great-grandchildren; the Witte family; and many other family and friends.
Compassionate and generous, Ann always wanted to be a nurse. She graduated with an RN from the College of St. Catherine’s in 1948 and began work in the newborn nursery at St. Mary’s Hospital. She stepped away from hospital nursing after several children were born and concentrated on raising her family. Practical skills in taping cuts, bandaging bruises, and managing childhood illnesses helped the family avoid trips to the doctor or the ER. Later in life, Ann worked as a nurse in nursing homes, and as health educator at the YWCA. She volunteered in support of family friends who struggled with chronic health conditions, like ALS.
Ann was a lifelong athlete, enjoying competitive sports of tennis and golf from youth well into her 80’s. She was an early adopter and teacher of Aerobics, Jazzercise, and Tai Chi . She was passionate, enthusiastic and headstrong, generous with her kindness, quick to laugh. She loved music, played the piano and enjoyed opera as well as pop tunes.
Ann absolutely loved nature, and the water. She swam, sailed, and sunbathed next to it. She raised 7 kids next to a pond, and together the family walked around it after dinner hundreds of times. Here, on a week at Gull Lake, Ann is watching the baby ducks with her grand-kids and daughter. Her sweet smile shows the joy of several simple pleasures occurring simultaneously; nature, water, and loved ones close by to share it with.
With her husband Joe, Ann had a good life focused on family and friends. Joe supported the family selling trucks for Ford and Peterbilt. They socialized all of their adult lives with longtime friends from Ann’s nursing school and the ‘Bridge Group’. But their central concern was raising their children. Ann was keen to have her children remain close to one another as they grew into adulthood, a goal that was fully realized.
Having lost her father to Alzheimer’s, Ann kept mind and body active with reading, exercise, puzzles, and a healthy diet; she participated in Alzheimer’s research projects. It is the ultimate irony that she too was ravaged by this disease in the last years of her long life. The family is especially grateful for the compassionate care of Visiting Angels Homecare, as well as the outstanding and loving care by the dedicated staff of the Minnesota Veterans Home, Minneapolis.
A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date, when it is safe to gather.