Virgil Chester Strong II
Virgil Chester Strong II
April 13, 1967 – October 5, 2017
Virgil Chester “Chet” Strong II left this world unexpectedly in the early morning of October 5th 2017 at the age of 50 years old.
Chet is the first born child of Tommie and Virgil Chester Strong. Born in Arizona, he grew up in sunny California as the All-American boy. He loved to surf, ride motorcycles, play football, and was an excellent marksman. He was a proud big brother to his sister, Catrina. He also loved their animals, helping the family raise Huskies.
After high school, he joined the US Coast Guard. He served in Michigan, California and Alaska, with an honorable discharge in 1988. For the rest of his life, he was very proud of his service. He reached out to his fellow coasties and veterans, and always found a way to help whenever he could.
In 1990, he married the love of his life, Mary, and shortly thereafter moved to Nevada with their daughter Rachael. Nevada became home for this little family as Chet began working for the state. He worked in corrections then the state attorney for about 15 years before deciding to leave state service to continue his education.
In 2010, he graduated with a dual master’s degree in Public Administration and Human Resource Management, fulfilling a promise to his father.
Chet passionately pursued his interests. He was a jack of all trades and could master almost anything he put his hand to. He was very active with the local brewing community and loved beer and distilled spirits. He could regularly be found at one of his favorite haunts for a pint, and he never knew a stranger. He spent many hours, listening and sharing stories with people he just met. He would tell you exactly as he saw it, sometimes rather sharply, and in the next breath would offer the shirt off of his back if you needed it.
He was the great connector: he loved to look at the big picture and connect people to achieve a goal. He reached out and found long lost family and brought them back into contact with one another. He loved to help people: if you had some goal and you just needed one little component to make it happen, he knew who had your missing piece and would gladly get you in contact. Then he’d sit back with that smile, completely satisfied in helping complete a connection.
Chet is survived by his parents, Tommie and Virgil Strong; grandmother, Odeana Puckett; aunts, Brenda (Brad) Zinn and Lynda Defrancisco; uncle, Joe Puckett; sister, Catrina (Dale) Messer; his former wife, Mary Strong, his daughter Rachael (John) Peters, numerous beloved cousins, extended family and friends that became family. And of course, his cherished pit bulls Titan Blu and Phoebe Rose.
Per his wishes, there are no services. His friends held a celebration of life in Reno, NV in October and his family will hold a private celebration of life on November 18, 2017. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a veteran charity or dog rescue of your choice.
The next time you get together with friends, raise a toast to him. He always loved to raise people’s spirits.
I love you always, Dad. Thank you for picking me, for always being my dad, for always being there, for being my first and fiercest protector. I wonder sometimes how I’ll go on, and I hear you telling me to pick my head up, that you raised me better, to be your Strong Little One. I’ll keep carrying on, but I expect you to be there at the end.
I love you. I’ll make you proud.
He will be truly missed. He was always making me laugh when we worked together at HCC. My thoughts go out to all his family and friends.