Chester was born Feb. 8, 1929 to Albert and Nancy (Swanson) Belkholm in Braham, Minn. He was baptized and confirmed at Hope Lutheran Church in Grasston. He attended Brunswick School through grade eight and went on to graduate from Mora High School in 1947. In 1950 he joined the Navy and after boot camp in the Great Lakes he was stationed in Norfolk, Va. where he served on the USS Orion AS-18 as an electrician. He was honorably discharged in 1954 and came home and took over the family farm. While farming he attended Agricultural classes in Mora that were sponsored by the U of M Extension Service.
On Aug. 24, 1957 Chester was married to Violet Ekberg at the Estes Brook Free Church in rural Milaca. They continued to work and live on the family farm until retirement. They have three children: Connie, Kevin and Carol.
Chester was active in many agricultural organizations. He was on the board for: Farm Bureau, Kanabec County Co-op, Kanabec Soil & Water, Brunswick Creamery and Store, Land O’ Lakes Creamery in Mora, Grass Lake Township Board and also served as a director on the Land O’ Lakes Corporate Board in Minneapolis. Farming was his passion and nothing brought him more joy than to bring in a good crop in the summer and fall.
He was a member of the Braham Covenant Church where he served as chairman during the building of the new church.
Chester was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Nancy Belkholm; his brother, Roy and Vivian Belkholm; brothers and sisters-in-law: Florence and Manly Swanson, Gladys and Ernie Brink, Raymond and Elaine Ekberg and Reuben Ekberg.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Violet; children, Connie (Doug) Smith of Minneapolis, Kevin (Tammy) Belkholm of Braham, Carol (Rev. Steve) Thompson of New Richland, Minn.; nine grandchildren: Erica Belkholm (husband Kenny Blake), Mike, Ross and BreAnna Belkholm, Tyler Smith (wife Rosalyn), Graham Smith, Ellen, Autumn and Ethan Thompson; one great-granddaughter, Coraline Blake; brothers and sisters–in-law: Leroy and Irene Ekberg of Milaca, Alvin and Elsie Johnson of Foley, Donna Ekberg of Anna, Texas, Glen and Ruth Ekberg of Rockford, Ill., and Darryl and Mildred Carlson of Rockford, Ill.; nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Memorial service was held September 11, 2013 at the Braham Covenant Church with Rev. Steve Jennisch and Rev. Steve Thompson officiating. Music was furnished by Sharon Hohn and Mitch and Dianne Lundeen. Honorary Urn Bearers were: Dan Beckstrom, Kenneth Belkholm, Jim Evenson, Art Huebner, David Mattson, Glen Sawyer, Pete Stewart, and Marvin Strandlund. Inurnment was at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Brunswick. Arrangements by Rock-Ingebrand Funeral Home in Braham.