Obituary of Kenneth Steven Chesko
Kenneth Steven Chesko was born in Regina, SK on May 20, 1949. The son of Hungarian parents, Ken enjoyed the simple pleasures of childhood, frequenting the movies with his younger sister Deb, playing baseball, hockey and music. He attended Campion College where he graduated with honors. During his high school years, Ken was a founding member of the Chore Four. During the late 1960’s, along with Don Guthiel, Darryl Guthiel and Mark Hanley the group pioneered the first ever folk mass at their church, offering a more upbeat sound than the traditional organ music of the time. In 1968 Ken founded the Regina Guild of Folk Music, alongside close family friend Dr. Dick Jack and Terry Yuzik. The guild was the first of its kind in Western Canada. Ken continued his work with the guild as it evolved into what is known today as the Regina Folk Festival. After high school, Ken played a stint with the band The Gass Company, with Anita Gass, Darryl Guthiel & Don Guthiel. In 1970-71 Ken went on the road with a band called The Aggregate. Along with group members Mark Mesik, Larry Wing, Candy Cooper, Barbara Gephart and Sterling Tinsley, Ken toured the U.S., Mexico and Canada performing on record and with U.S.O. shows. In 1972, Ken joined the group BitterSweet with Art Zimmerman, Brian Davis and Bill Rothecker. Later, Harvey Frasz joined on drums and the name was changed to Summit. Anita Gass then reunited with Ken as a vocalist for the group. Ken played with the group Summit for over 30 years, rocking many stages in the local music scene and across Canada. Julie McIntyre later joined the group when Anita retired. Ken began his musical teaching career at Ray Hunker Accordion Studio in Regina and was later hired at the Music Box by Peter and Sharon Dyksman. He went on to teach at the Academy of Music and was instrumental in organizing and adjudicating the Technics Music Canada Western Region Music Festival and the Saskatchewan Music Festival. Ken went on to a successful career in sales at Long & McQuade where he received numerous awards at the regional, national and international levels. Ken retired after 47 years. In 1989 Ken became involved in a fresh new venture at New Music Productions alongside Mike MacNaughton and Greg Fehr. Here, Ken was involved in directing, composing, arranging and performing jingles for film and video scores. Some of his work included “Meet Me at the Track” for Queensbury Downs, “Back to the Heartland” for the Labatt Briar, “Fun, Festive, Friendly” for the City of Regina, and “Huddle Up in Saskatchewan” for the 1995 Grey Cup in Regina. Along with friends Tom Mullin and Don Chatwin, Ken was a longstanding volunteer with the Regina Exhibition Association where he committed his time for over 35 years. His titles included Chairman of Off Grounds Committees, Summer Fair Co-ordinator and Chairman of Major Entertainment (Grand Stand) during Buffalo Days. He enjoyed the vast number of entertainers he met throughout the years, with some of his favorites being Kim Mitchell, Deana Carter, Michelle Wright, Jeff Healy, Randy Bachman, Paul Brandt and Jan Arden to name a few. Ken’s dedication to music, volunteerism and to the City of Regina continued with his work on the Regina’s Warehouse Business Improvement District Board from 2007-2010. His involvement played an integral part in the revitalization of the Warehouse District, where many local musicians still play today. Ken has dedicated over 40 years to his church music program, playing at Sunday Mass, baptisms and weddings. After retirement, Ken enjoyed traveling with his wife and friends to sunny destinations such as Phoenix and Palm Springs. Ken had a real love for food, old movies and especially for his family. “Thank you for filling our souls with your melodies; you were a gift and a blessing to everyone who knew you. Keep on playing that music Dad.” Ken was predeceased by parents Steven and Mary Chesko. He is survived by his wife, Delee Chesko; his daughters Amber (Chris) Clayton, Kenda (Brian) Chesko and Stephanie (Dean) Papachristopoulos; his grandchildren Mason, Memfis, Maximus, Zoe, Parker and Griffin; his sister Debra (Robert) Kovatch; nephews Jason Kovatch, Brad (Krystie) Kovatch and great-nieces and nephew. Ken also took pride in the extended family he inherited. Arlee Devlin, Michelle (Rob) Nisbet, Rick Jr.(Julia) Friesen, Shane (Samantha) Friesen and grandchildren Trinity, Ronan, Elsa, Macey, Clay, Raya, Ahnon, Grady, Malaya. The family thanks the Allan Blair Cancer Centre and the Pasqua Hospital Palliative Care Unit and their amazing staff for their compassionate support and care. Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Family Parish, 1021 McCarthy Blvd., Regina, SK, on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Pasqua Hospital Palliative Care Unit 3A, 4101 Dewdney Avenue, Regina, SK, S4T 1A5
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Holy Family Parish
1021 McCarthy Blvd.
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada