Chester "Chet" Panza Sr.

Obituary of Chester "Chet" Severo Panza Sr.

Chester Severo Panza was born on April 30, 1930 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.   He was the son of the late Gino and Josephine (Tavalaro) Panza.   At a young age his father passed away and Chet was raised by his uncle and stepfather:  Luigi.   Following tenth grade, Chet had his mother sign for him, and he enlisted in the United States Army.

After his discharge he made his home in California taking employment at a sawmill.   Chet soon met the love of his life, Doris Smith and they married on July 5, 1955.   The couple was blessed with seven children in their household.    The young family moved to Michigan, and Chet took a position with Ford Motor Company.   A proud member of Local 898 he worked as a Hi-Lo driver at the Rawsonville plant for forty-two years retiring in 1994.

Chet was a car guy.   His prize possessions included a 1964 Thunderbird, Corvette, Lincoln, Cadillac and his Harley Truck.   He also had a passion for his Harley.   He enjoyed riding so much that as he got older he traded in the two wheel model for a trike to make sure he could continue riding safely, longer.

Chet had a passion for sports and loved the Steelers.   He enjoyed being a part of his grandchildren’s lives, and was a recognizable fixture at the Frenchtown Township Recreation ballfield fence for thirty years.

Chester “Chet” Severo Panza Sr., age 89 of Monroe, passed away on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at his home.   He was surrounded by his beloved family and under the care of Great Lakes Caring Hospice. In addition to his parents and stepfather his passing was preceded by his wife: Doris Panza on May 30, 2007; son: Michael; daughters: Cynthia Hammac and Becci Franco; siblings: Joe Panza, Santa Beregi, Minnie Gutierrez, Stella Baker, Dolly Brewer and Evelyn Tomko; grandsons: Dylan Panza and James Paz; and great-great grandchildren: Brycen James Blazo and Sadie Nicole Gutierrez.

To cherish his memory, he leaves four sons: Jim (Julie) Panza, Gino Panza (Diane Enos), Chester (Patricia) Panza Jr., and Mario (Lori) Panza; sister: Adele Henry; seventeen grandchildren:  J.D., Tony, Sarah, Kylie, Gino, Mark, Dave, Jason, Rhiannon, Ryan, Alicia, Mario, Dean, Monica, Wendy, Gino, and Michael; twenty-six great grandchildren, and numerous great-great grandchildren.

Friends may gather on Monday, July 15, 2019 from 2:00pm-8:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe, 2442 North Monroe Street (734)384-5185. Deacon Mike Stewart will lead a scripture service at 6:30pm.   Chet will Lie-in-State from 10:00am until the Mass of the Resurrection at 11:00am on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2420 North Dixie Highway.   Procession will follow to Roselawn.

Memorials are suggested to Great Lakes Caring Hospice. Online guests may visit