by Conan Tigard
Chester B. Tigard has paddled his last river on this earth. After years of canoeing rivers all over Texas and the surrounding states with his second wife, Lillian, and the members of the Houston Canoe Club, Chet has chosen to see what other rivers there are to paddle and conquer in the afterlife.
Chet began his life in 1932 in California and spent most of his early years in Healdsburg, Cloverdale, and Walnut Creek with his younger brother, Jimmy. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and soon found himself working for Martin Marietta in the NASA Space Program teaching the Navy how to assemble the Titan rockets for the Mercury Missions in both Florida and Texas. He married Betty Davidson in 1960, had two children, divorced, and then married Lillian Barthelme in 1979. After NASA, he was an inventor, realtor, and finally owned his own house remodeling business. His one true passion was whitewater canoeing. His biggest accomplishment was open canoeing the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. After Lillian passed away in 2015, he moved to Oregon, where he quietly moved on at the age of 85.
Chet has handed off his paddle to his son, Conan, his daughter, Kylie, his granddaughter, Cierra, and his first wife, Betty. Paddle on, dad . . . paddle on.
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