Leroy Edwin Chronister of Alton, Missouri, entered into eternal rest with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 9, 2016, at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, Missouri, at the age of 89. He was born the youngest of five children, on April 4, 1926, on the family farm near Alton, to George and Floy (Sifford) Chronister.
In 1944, at the age of 18, he was drafted into the United States Army and served two years overseas during World War II and was a Purple Heart recipient. Upon his discharge he returned home to the love of his life, Helen Irene Howell. Leroy and Irene were united in marriage on March 4, 1949, in Salem, Arkansas. He was a successful dairy farmer, working on the family farm until his retirement.
Leroy loved life and lived it to its fullest. At an early age, he was saved and baptized at Bailey Chapel Church and later served as a deacon for many years in the Free Will Baptist organization. Leroy taught himself to play the fiddle, guitar, and mandolin, at a young age. Most of all, he used his God–given musical talent to bless many, as he ministered to his community with gospel singing. He sang at well over 500 funerals, bringing comfort and hope to many families.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Floy Chronister; three brothers, Jewell Chronister, Granville Chronister, and Duane Chronister; and one sister, Verna Seigel.
He is survived by his loving wife of sixty-six years, Irene Chronister, of Alton, Missouri; four children, Kathleen Crigler and husband, Andy of Alton, Dwight Chronister and wife, Susan of Alton, Lesa Rothgeb and husband, Joseph of West Plains, Missouri, and Mary Ann Roberts and husband, Jason of West Plains; eleven grandchildren, Scott Crigler and wife, Bobbie, Steven Crigler and wife, Merinda, Kayla Collins and husband, Anthony, Lindsey Drake and husband, Matthew, Skyler Chronister and wife, Danielle, Jared Cates, Zachary and Landon Rothgeb, Hannah Fox and husband, Lucas, Jake Roberts and wife, Charli, and Luke Roberts; six great-grandchildren, Sawyer and Stormy Crigler, Olivia and Adalynd Collins, and Allie and Lincoln Fox; many nieces, nephews, and a host of family and friends.
Leroy was active and well respected in his community, serving on the Alton R-IV School District Board of Education for 18 years.
He will be remembered as a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. His unconditional love and inspiration will never be forgotten, and his memory will live in the hearts of those who loved him forever. Our loss is Heaven’s gain.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, January 13, 2016, at 2:00 PM at the Victory Free Will Baptist Church in Alton, Missouri, with Brother Jason Roberts and Brother Bill Bales officiating.
The family will receive friends at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer on Tuesday evening, January 12th from 6:00 until 8:00 PM.
Burial will be in the Hickory Grove Cemetery near Alton, Missouri, with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer.