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Larry James Chesley

09/27/1938 - 05/02/2021
Service Date: 05/14/2021
Service Time: 10:00 AM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints- 22035 E. Ocotillo Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Visitation Date: 05/13/2021
Visitation Time: 6-8 PM
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ 85201
Interment: City of Mesa Cemetery

“They Call Me Lucky”

Larry J. Chesley, 82, passed away peacefully in his home on May 2nd, 2021 in Queen Creek, AZ.

Visitation and viewing will be from 6-8pm, on Thursday, May 13th, 2021 at Bunker Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ 85201.

Funeral services will be held at 10am on Friday the 14th of May at the Crismon Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Following the funeral, the burial and his final resting place will be at the Mesa Cemetery at 1pm with arrangements made by Bunker Funeral Home.

Larry “Lucky” Chesley was born in Burley, Idaho to Verl and Susie Chesley on September 27th, 1938.  He graduated from Burley High and soon after enlisted in the United States Air Force.  During this time, he continued with his higher education, graduating from Weber State and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.  He then entered Pilot Training and upon receiving his Wings, volunteered for duty in Vietnam.

He was shot down on April 16, 1966 and spent 2,495 days as a Prisoner of War.  Upon his return from captivity, he continued his career in the USAF, acquiring an MBA from Arizona State along the way.  Following his retirement from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1981, he ventured into politics, where he served as a State Senator for 4 years in the Arizona State Legislature.

Larry was involved in many affiliations, but none was more important than serving the Lord in his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Larry and Judy faithfully served four missions for the church in their retirement.

Larry Chesley is preceded in death by Annette and Martin Chesley.  He is survived by Judith Chesley, wife of 40 years, and his children Debbie, Don, Kevin, Philip, Clark, Nancy, Susie, Nikki, and Travis. He has 29 Grandchildren and 14 Great Grandchildren.

The family of Larry Chesley wishes to extend our sincere thanks to all the special people in his life, which are too many to count.




  • Robert Freeman

    We love you, Lucky. I have some sweet memories of Larry’s sharing at byu! We will all miss Lucky so much!

  • Dennis and Lu Ann Ray

    We were so “lucky” to have known and been neighbors with the Chesleys for many years. They have blessed so many lives and his marvelous legacy and example will live forever. You will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

  • He was a good man. As a teenager I loved to hear him tell of his time as a prisoner of war. May he rest in peace.

  • Sandra Hamilton

    Judy, I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know if you remember Dave and I but we were in same ward as you many years ago. Lucky and Annette were the first people we met in the Tempe 8th Ward and became good friends. I loss Dave, almost a year ago, to brain cancer so I know the loss you are feeling right now. My God bless you and the family and know that you are in our prayers.

  • Dan and Gretchen O’Barr

    Rest in piece my friend. We are so grateful that we were friends and we treasure our signed copy of your book.

  • Nicholas S Hagen

    What a privilege I have had to know Lucky, to labor beside him on his campaigns, feel his spirit and to admire his love for our country. Few will ever match his dedication to family, church and liberty. I had the privilege of inviting Lucky to speak before the 150undergarduate brothers of my Kappa Sigma Fraternity at ASU a few years ago. His message of faith, perseverance and overcoming hardships inspired them all. GBU, Lucky. You will be missed.

  • Cytha & Tommy Hunt

    Judy, don’t know if you remember us, but y’all definitely helped us out with your sweet smile and kind hearts when we moved to Gilbert. Hugs and prayers to your family.

  • Judy, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Y’all were so kind and thoughtful to us when we moved to Gilbert.

  • Paulette Gaillard

    Phil, We are very sorry for your loss. I pray that God strengthen you and your family during this time.

  • Paulette Gaillard

    We are so sorry for your loss. I pray that God would strengthen you and your family during this time of sadness.

  • Clyde and Marty Dillon

    So sorry to hear of Lucky’s passing. We loved he and you, Judy. You will both always hold a special place in our hearts.

  • Suzy Willman Horvath

    Sending my love to the Chesley family. I am so grateful to have known him and I am a better person because of it. His influence has been strong and while he certainly has had many jobs, ranks and titles, I am most grateful that he was my Bishop. I was a teenager when I heard him say, “Sacrifice is a bargain”. I was incredulous because it seemed like that could not be true. I couldn’t believe his perspective and from then on, whenever I thought my life was getting hard, I would think back to those words and what he taught me. I ache for the loss that you all must be feeling right now, but I take comfort knowing that he is now void of all pain. May the Lord bless you all now and always.

  • Elaine and Dave DeTemple

    So sorry for yours and your families lost. He lived a valiant life with you by his side. Four missions are amazing. you have done so much for our Savior. Love you both.

  • Lucille Coombs

    Judy, Some of my fondest memories from the Tempe Institute will always be while you and Brother Chesley were there!
    I learned much from you two and treasured that friendship. I love your example. You are the very best!
    Thank you so much for your goodness!
    Lucille Coombs

  • Cleo gallegos

    Dear Family I am the mother of two girls who at the age of 4 &11 were part of a dance team known as Dee’s Dolls, who were honored to participate in the Parade Honoring your Husband and Father when he returned home to Burley Idaho. They stopped where he was sitting and sang a song they made up and still can sing it today. (We love you Larry, oh yes we do, we love you Larry and that’s the truth. We’re glad your home again , home to stay, in the good old USA.). Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you and Pray you find comfort knowing these once little girls still remember your Special Husband and Father.

  • I love Larry and his example and family. He was a great Bishop for me and someone to look up to.

  • David Letteer

    The Chesley’s served out at Lackland AFB area. I had a position at that branch for a short time and we setup weekly get togethers for the trainees. Apples to Apples comes to mind. As I was able to get to know the missionary couple a little bit more, Elder Chesley explained about his service in the military. He provided me a book about his experience, which I still have to this day. It was humbling to have had him share his moments with me. Also, the one-on-one discussion that he and I had about our faith while in the service was a deep spiritual moment for me. I am honored that I have had the opportunity to have known Lt Col Larry “Lucky” Chesley. Until we meet again.

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