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October 8, 1956 - February 28, 2016

Burial Date March 17, 2016

Funeral Home Nordgren Memorial Chapel

Place of Service Worcester County Memorial Park

Section Garden of Serenity Lot Number: 126Grave Number: C#3

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     Arsene “Skipper” Charest was born one year to the date of his parents wedding anniversary in Worcester, MA on October 8, 1956 and died at the age of 59 in Jacksonville, Florida on Feb. 28. He spent most of his life in MA and his remaining five years in Jacksonville, Florida with his dearest friend and partner of seven years, Kristen Huntoon. He is survived by his mother Lorraine M. Charest; children– Christopher Charest, Shane and Shace Wilkins-whom they lovingly referred to as Dad; sisters, Dorene and Holly Charest, foster-sister Donna Billsten and brothers; Keith and Kevin Charest, Randy Charest (Kim), Craig Charest (Kristina); a large extended family and friends; his step-daughter Renee– whom he dearly loved; her siblings, mother; and step-grandchildren, from a previous marriage. Skipper was predeceased by his father Arsene D. Charest, JR in 1998 and his nephew Paul Billsten in 2007.

Skip was employed as an ASE – Certified Diesel Mechanic and Technician for 10 years prior to becoming a Union CDL Long Haul Truck-Driver. He worked on a variety of heavy equipment and big-rigs for many independently owned companies. Likewise, he drove for several corporations, transporting biohazards for Consolidated Delivery and Logistics; later transporting goods for National Freight across the contiguous U.S. He was an avid NASCAR and Motor-sports fan. He enjoyed RV-camping and rooting for the Patriots and Red Sox –a risky affair in Florida.

Skipper was proud to have served in the U. S. Army for 8 years. He was a supporter of veteran services, particularly those focused on alcohol and drug abuse treatment. As an active member of Alcoholic Anonymous, Skip proudly had over 30 years of sobriety, a feat that few can obtain. He was also dedicated to helping others laboring under the same affliction; bringing many individuals to AA – family and friends included. He sponsored individuals, participated in, and led meetings. He transported first-steppers to meetings from local sober houses, clinics and shelters; encouraging them at their weakest moments to persevere – “take one day at a time” and “work it till it works”. Skip ministered to a population many shunned. He picked them up when they had fallen, carried them when needed and proudly shook their hand when they succeeded. He lived; “Sobriety, Unity and Service”. May we all learn from his example and look to our own Divine Power for inspiration to rise above our burdens and the courage to up-lift those in need.

Calling Hours will be at Nordgrens 300 Lincoln Street on Wednesday, March 16th from 5-7 pm. A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, March 17th at 10 am in Our Lady of Providence Church 228 Lincoln St. Burial will follow at Worcester Memorial Park, Paxton.