Vero Beach, Fla. — Chester Harrison Milnes, 78, of Vero Beach, Fla. and Bedford, N.H., died on February 28, 2013.
He was born in Lawrence, the son of Floyd and Gladys Milnes and resided in Methuen for many years. After graduating from Edward F. Searles High School, Chet served in the U.S. Navy in the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged in 1960. Following, he attended and graduated from Northeastern University. He then began a lifelong career in the insurance industry beginning as an underwriter with Kemper Insurance in Boston, and then as a special agent for American Policyholders Insurance Company. In the early 1960’s he purchased his first insurance agency, Litchfield-Milnes in Dracut. From there he built a conglomerate of 33 agencies known as The Insurance Exchange, Inc. into New Hampshire's largest insurance agency. In 1995, The Insurance Exchange joined USI Holdings in the founding of a new national brokerage firm, and Chet formally retired.
Chet was a founder of the Pelham Bank and Trust in Pelham, N.H. and an active developer in that town. He served as a director of the Salem Cooperative Bank of Salem, N.H. for 22 years, retiring as Chairman of the Board in 2000. He was a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). He was a Master Mason having attained the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite and also was an Aleppo Shriner. An avid sportsman and traveler, he enjoyed life, his friends and his family.
He is survived by his adoring wife of 56 years, Janet; his son, Peter and wife, Robin of Bedford, N.H.; daughter, Susan of Vero Beach, Fla. and Cape Elizabeth, Maine; three grandchildren, Brook and his wife, Nicole of Manchester, N.H., Meredith of Amherst, N.H. and Andrew of Bedford, N.H.; as well as his beloved Vizla, Tanner.
ARRANGEMENTS: The family received friends on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at the Cox Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home in Vero Beach. A celebration of life service followed at the funeral home, with Chaplain Richard Flick officiating.
Calling hours will be held at the Lambert Funeral Home, 1799 Elm Street, Manchester, N.H. from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, March 10 with a memorial service following at 4 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the VNA Hospice House, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960. Online condolences may be sent at www.coxgiffordseawinds.com.