Chester John Dumask of Presque Isle, Wisconsin joined his Lord Sunday, July 9 , 2023 while in the care of Riverview Health Services in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. He was 96 years old.
Trapper Chet, as he was known, was born April 18, 1927 to the late Raymond and Modesta “Manda” (Polezynska) Damask in Plover, Wisconsin. Our last name was changed to Dumask after confusion with mail delivery as others changed to Domask while some kept Damask. After completing middle school at the Winegar School of Education in 1941, he also attended Winegar Junior High and later graduated from Marenisco High School, Marenisco, Michigan in 1947. During his school days Dad was a well known basketball player renowned for his hanging jump shot. He then enlisted in the United States Navy as a signalman for the duration of the war (WWII). Chet was a proud veteran of our great nation and was the last surviving charter member of the Winegar American Legion Post 480 in Presque Isle, serving nearly 80 years.
After hitchhiking home from San Francisco when the war ended, Dad worked as a carpenter and a minnow catcher selling locally and to Hilger’s Bait. With his earnings as a single man working many jobs, he treated himself to a Model A Coupe with a rumble seat. Also after the Navy, he raced stock cars and snowmobiles in Michigan, becoming a crowd favorite, entertaining fans with his success and signing autographs. Chet also worked as a sawyer/logger and never missed an opportunity to leave the woods to catch brook trout during a thunderstorm. He also won numerous chain saw cutting competitions at the Fireman’s Picnic in Presque Isle. On October 10, 1959, Chet married Arlyce Rae Winters, and together they raised three sons while running their business, Chet’s Hardware and Sports Center in Presque Isle, for many years. During his business years, Chet visited Alaska and test drove snowmobiles for Yamaha and attended many Evinrude outboard sessions helping to provide for their companies’ success. Yamaha wanted Dad to continue testing their product in Australia, but he turned them down saying “I want to go trap minnows instead”. Chet worked late hours in the repair shop and could fix just about anything. After selling the store, Chet continued trapping minnows, fur and crayfish to provide for his family, and was a devoted outdoorsman enjoying fishing, hunting, gardening and making maple syrup. He always provided many varieties of wild game for cookouts and feeds and enjoyed taking his vegetables and produce to share with others at the legion
post. He loved supporting and representing his community by playing a key role in the 4th of July fireworks, creating imaginative floats for the parades and selling maple syrup at his stand during the country fair. Chet also co-donated the building that currently houses the Presque Isle Heritage Museum Cottage in honor of his Mother, Manda.
He was well known and respected throughout the community, and his tough, strong work ethic shone through to those around him. Chet worked very hard to support his family in an effort to provide a legacy for his sons. He was a great friend to many and his smile and charm will be greatly missed for those who experienced it. He lived a very big, adventurous life; growing from a poor young boy working extremely hard in many adverse or dangerous conditions to a successful businessman and outdoor enthusiast with unequaled knowledge of the outdoors. He lived a bigger life than any of us could imagine and always had an amazing story to share; Chet and his stories will be greatly missed.
Chet is survived by his three sons, Mitch (Geri) Dumask of Stevens Point, Wisconsin; Mark (Kim) Dumask of Presque Isle, Wisconsin; Marty (Mary) of Wausau, Wisconsin. 4 grandchildren, Andrew (Avery) Dumask, Michael Dumask, Kaitee Dumask, Mitchell Dumask II and many stepchildren and step grandchildren. He is also survived by his best friend Duke, his golden retriever.
Chet was preceded in death by his parents, Manda and Raymond, along with his stepdad Hans Gunder Larson who helped raise him and his brother Lambert who served in the Navy with him. Step granddaughter Jullyn Inman and step great grandson Trenton Inman.
For the beautiful care and love given to our Dad, we extend special thanks to Donna Jukich and the Presque Isle EMT Department, Dr. Thomas and the Urology staff at the Marshfield Medical Center in Minocqua, Dr. Ewing and her staff at the Ironwood VA Medical Center, Marge Thoma for her meal delivery and care, Carl Wolter for his snowplowing assistance without hesitation. The senior meals lunch bunch, including Josie Blaisdale-Allen, Sue & Randy Domres, Larry and Colleen
Gorilla, Kim Hiort and Carl Schoenecker through the Granary Restaurant in Boulder Junction and the Vilas County ADRC. Special thanks for Jessica Heikkinen and the staff at Riverview Health Care, along with Krueger Funeral Home in Tomahawk, and Nimsgern Funeral Home and Cremation in Woodruff. A very special thanks to Brittany Montgomery for her home health care over the years while caring for our Dad, through the VA and Avanti Health. Also his “adopted” son John Maclean and his outdoor adventure pal Richard Johnson for all of their friendship and support. Very special thanks also, to Sue and Randy Domres for their care of Duke. Each of you gave our Dad the care, love and kindness he deserved, and will never be forgotten.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, July 29th at Evergreen Cemetery in Presque Isle at 10:00 AM with military honors, followed by a fellowship luncheon at the American Legion Post 480 in Presque Isle from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Post 480.
Online condolences can be shared at nimsgernfuneralhome.com Nimsgern Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family.