Chester Leo “Chet” Sours, 82, of Port Charlotte, Fla., and formerly of Warren, Ohio, passed away Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, from a lengthy illness in Port Charlotte.
He graduated from Warren Harding High School in 1948, and Ohio State University, after attending both Kent and Youngstown State. Chet went on to serve his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a sergeant and combat medic with medals. He was a member of the American Legion, the VFW and the Moose in Florida. Chet was an accomplished professional pianist and studied the Hammond B-3 organ. After serving his country in the Korean War, he returned to Ohio to work with Hall-of-Famers, Madam Rose Brown, Ola Hanson, Chuz Alfred and Jim Gary, among others. Chet later went on the road with Jack Yeager, ending up in Miami, Fla., where he was heard by Fred Crane, the highly regarded pianist. He played opposite Crane for the Al Belletto Band. After retiring, Chet began to play again with Vince Evans and Jack Gorham, here in Florida. He was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 2006. Chet will be remembered for his outstanding musical accomplishments. His wit, sense of humor and charismatic smile will be missed by many.
Chet is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Sours of Georgia; brother, Kenneth Sours of Ohio; nephew, Paul (Sharon) Sours; great-nephew, Max Sours; and several nieces, nephews and cousins, all of Ohio. He was preceded in death by his parents, Chester B. Sours and E.L. Twitchell Sours; wife, Eleanor Jo Gay Sours; and longtime companions, Dorothy “Dottie” Larson and Elisabeth “Betty” Spahr.
Chet’s service will be private. Donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Arrangements are by National Cremation Society of Port Charlotte.