Leonard Chester “Tinky” Dement, 93, of California, MD passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at his home surrounded by his family. Born on January 12, 1930 in Great Mills, MD he was the oldest of eight children, born to the late George “Lenny” Dement and Doris Pilkerton Dement.
Chester was the loving husband to his childhood sweetheart, Gladys Bryant Dement, whom he married in June of 1953 at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Valley Lee. In addition to his wife, Chester is survived by his daughters Jacquelyn Dement of California, Virginia Jordan of Lexington Park, MD and Melanie Merchant (Josh) of Lexington Park, MD, his grandchildren Mandi La Valle (Eddie) of California, Jimmy Jordan (Kayla) of Tall Timbers and Tank Merchant of Bealeton, VA; great grandsons Scott Carter and Isaac Soto of Tall Timbers, sisters Mary Broadhurst (Mark) of California and Melva Abell (Billy) of California, sister-in-laws Betty Tippett of Accokeek, Beulah Bryant of Waynesville, OH, Nancy Bryant of Knoxville, MD and Marilyn Dement Brown of Edmonton, KY, godchildren Leon Dement Jr. of California, David Dement of California, Crystal Gershult of Waynesville, OH and Sandi Buchanan of Great Mills, MD, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Chester was a lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County, living primarily in Great Mills and California. He attended Little Flower School in Great Mills. As the son of a farmer and carpenter, he was well educated in the field of hard work. By the age of 10, he had started his own garden and built his first playhouse. As a boy, he helped his father working at Cecil’s Mill in Great Mills, MD, sweeping up the mill and helping to sell grain. In 1954, he worked beside his father as a carpenter with Dement & Sons Construction until 1967 at the time of his father’s death. He then worked for various construction companies throughout St. Mary’s County until his retirement in 1992 from Wildewood. Throughout his time as a full time carpenter, he was a full time farmer, growing tobacco, corn, soybeans and wheat, as well as raising livestock. Of the two job roles in his life, farming is what he loved the most. He had a deep love of nature, taking walks throughout the woods and just sitting and watching nature around him. As a young man, he was an avid raccoon hunter, loved to fish and went trapping with his Uncle Gene for muskrats. In his later years, he enjoyed watching the squirrels and a variety of birds that would visit the multiple feeders around the house.
One of his greatest joys in life was spending time with his family. From the weekly pancake suppers at the family farm, to holiday celebrations, to the simple backyard cookouts, he loved being with his family and friends. He would sit and tell stories about his life, his parents and grandparents and how the county was “back in the day”. He loved to share his story of watching “The Base” coming to the area and watching the paratroopers practicing jumps. He knew most of the woods in this county from his many years of raccoon hunting and would talk about where the old stores were located and families lived.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his stepfathers Theodore Adams and Mark Bradburn, brothers James “Hoss” Dement, Leon Dement Sr. and Merrill Dement Sr., sisters Mildred “Sissy” Hampton and Delores “Tinie” Zucharo, brother-in-laws Emory Bryant, James Zucharo and Edward Hampton, sister-in-laws Lois Ann “Potsie” Dement, Aletha Saigeon and June Ritlaw and several nieces and nephews.
Services and interment are private. A Life Celebration for Chester to follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650 and to The Clements Cuties Foundation, P.O. Box 992, Mechanicsville, MD 20659.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.
Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A.
are you going to tell us how he got the nickname Tinky?
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