Cover photo for Jean Chestnut's Obituary
Jean Chestnut Profile Photo
1942 Jean 2022

Jean Chestnut

June 27, 1942 — April 28, 2022

Helen “Jean” (Harper) Chestnut, 79, of Bridgewater, passed away on April 28, 2022, at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital.

She was born on June 27, 1942, in Cave, WV to the late Roscoe Thomas and Bessie May (Mowery) Harper.  She grew up in Franklin, WV, and graduated from Franklin High School.

Jean married Lyle Douglas Chestnut of Highland County on March 31, 1962 and together had three children, Karen, Lisa and Dale. The family lived in Harrisonburg, VA.

A loving and devoted wife and mother, Jean played games with her children, taxied them to school (three different schools at once for a while), and supported their many activities, often even as chaperone (cheerleading, sports, scouting, bands).  She worked as a telephone operator; at one point, she had memorized phone numbers for most of the businesses in Harrisonburg.  Her favorite music included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell.  She collected owl figurines.  Traveling was a treat for her and included trips to Baltimore, MD, Richmond, VA, and Wondervu, CO, to visit family and sightsee, as well as trips to Myrtle Beach, SC, and Hawaii.  Jean could often be heard telling others that she was proud of all her kids and grandkids.  She treasured her relationships with other extended family as well – aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.  She enjoyed attending family reunions and staying in touch over facebook.

Jean lived the past five years at Bridgewater Retirement Community where she made many friends among the residents and staff.  She particularly enjoyed playing bingo and attending musical performances.

Jean warmly welcomed her kids’ spouses into the family.  She delighted when grandchildren arrived; Mik and Anne to Karen and her late husband, Barry Cox; Carl to Lisa Chestnut; Emilee to Dale and wife, Cindy Robey Chestnut; and great-grandson Mateo to Carl Smith.  Additionally, she is survived by her sister, Reta (Harper) Corn of Maryland with whom she spoke daily through recent decades.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Lyle in 1993; brother, Woodrow Harper; and sister, Mary Elaine (Harper) Cody.

A private committal service will be held in Monterey Cemetery.

The family invites friends and extended family to join them 12 p.m., Saturday, May 21, 2022 at The Highland Center, Monterey, VA, for a time of remembrance, storytelling and meal of fellowship to celebrate Jean’s life.  RSVPs to attend the meal are cordially requested by Friday, May 13, to

The family request that instead of flowers, those who would like please send a memorial contribution in Jean's memory, to American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK, 73123 or Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Time of Remembrance

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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