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1935 Vesta 2023

Vesta Bridges Chesteen

September 15, 1935 — October 19, 2023

Ridgeland

Vesta Bridges Chesteen passed away on Oct 18, 2023, in Ridgeland, MS from dementia. Visitation will be Friday, Oct 20, 2023, from 5-8 PM and funeral services will be held on Saturday, Oct 21, 2023, at Chancellor Funeral Home in Florence, MS.

Vesta was in born in Harrisville, MS on Sept 15, 1935, to Winnie Barlow Bridges and Wiley Bridges. She attended school at Harrisville Attendance Center and moved to Jackson to pursue a career as soon as she graduated. In Jackson, she roomed with Amy Patterson (who later married Vesta’s brother, Billie Joe). Interestingly enough, Vesta met William Chesteen, Sr. (Bill) through Amy, and Vesta and Bill later married. Vesta also roomed with another future sister-in-law, Vivian Butler (Chesteen) Watson, who married Bill’s brother, Sam Chesteen.

Vesta’s first job in Jackson was at Kress Five & Dime. Later, in 1955, she started work at what was then the Mississippi Baptist Hospital as a file clerk (an entry level job) in medical records. Eventually, she worked her way up and became director of medical records at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center (the biggest hospital in the state of Mississippi when she was director). She held this position until March of 1997 and it was the pride of her life.

During the time she was working her way up in medical records, Vesta also found time to attend college part time and have two children, Donna and William, Jr.

Vesta retired from Baptist in 1997 but soon found she was bored without a career. At that point, her friend and colleague, Mary Crossman, convinced her to come on board at Mississippi State Hospital in medical records. Vesta worked fifteen years (1998-2013) at State Hospital before retiring a second time.

In her spare time and in her retirement, Vesta loved to fish. She would take her children along with her mother-in-law, Corrine Chesteen, and her stepmother, Veva Bridges, fishing at Bruce’s pond in Harrisville. She also liked to vacation with the family in Biloxi where she would take them out to the pier to fish. Later, when her cousin, Charlene Larsen moved to Orlando, the family started vacationing there every summer. She loved Walt Disney World where her favorite attraction was “It’s a Small World” and, after her children moved to Orlando in the 1990s, Bill and Vesta came to visit a couple of times a year.

She also loved dolls. In addition to her extensive collection of international dolls from Madame Alexander, her son had many beautiful custom dolls commissioned for her throughout her lifetime. Whether they were worth hundreds of dollars or just a dollar, she loved them all. As her other “daughter,” Melissa Westmoreland, always said: Vesta was just a big kid at heart.

She was a huge Elvis Presley fan.  Vesta saw him multiple times in concert and would wake the family up every Saturday morning with Elvis blaring on the stereo. They would listen to Elvis, dance, and clean house. That was the Saturday ritual.

Vesta is survived by her children, Donna Chesteen and William Chesteen, Jr., who live in Orlando, FL.  She was preceded in death by her husband, William Chesteen, Sr., her brothers, Roy Wilkie, Vernon, and Billie Joe, and her sisters-in-law, Teenie (Alma), Ora Belle, and Amy.

The family is especially thankful for the wonderful care she received from Ridgeland Place and Enhabit Hospice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vesta Bridges Chesteen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, October 20, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Chancellor Funeral Home Florence

2576 US 49, Florence, MS 39073

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, October 21, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Chancellor Funeral Home Florence

2576 US 49, Florence, MS 39073

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Chancellor Funeral Home Florence

2576 US 49, Florence, MS 39073

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Starts at 12:30 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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