Norma Jean Bender Chidester, age 81, of the Gaines-Canaan community of southern Upshur County, passed away at her home on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, after a long battle with Myeloproliferative Neoplasm, a rare type of blood cancer.
She was born on February 26, 1940, a daughter of the late Clarence Bender and Barbara Alice Humphrey Bender Anderson. She was united in marriage on September 8, 1956, to Ersel Wade Chidester, Sr., who survives.
Also surviving are one son Ersel Wade (Mickey) Chidester, Jr. and wife Linda of Buckhannon; five daughters: Sharon Cathaleen Chidester, of Canaan, Starrleen G. Wooddell and Forrest Wooddell, of Greenbank, WV, Ann Renee Wilson and husband Vernon Craig, of the Gaines-Canaan community, Angela Marie Chidester, of Texas, and Shannon Richelle and husband Nicholas Bosley, of Canaan; one sister Annabelle Hall, of Baltimore, MD; seven grandchildren: Misty Dawn and husband Frank Fuller, Kathryn (Kat) Grayson Dixon and husband Fredrick Scott Dixon, Brandy Ann Hedrick and Josh Hedrick, Eric Wade Chidester, Dylan Wade Chidester and wife Eva, Ashley Dawn Wooddell and Cheyenne Madison Martin; and eight great-grandchildren: Ty Bosley, Abigale Fuller, Kyndal Alderman, Hayden Chidester, Journey Phillips, Cedric Wooddell, Luke Belch, Halayna Belch and Keiara Vandevender.
In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by one beloved son Tony Ross Chidester; two brothers: Leonard Bender and Hartzel Bender; and four sisters: Martha Beckman, Lavinia Beckner, Flossy Lee Cutright, and Shirley Heater.
Our beloved mother valued her family above all else. She was a strong woman and was always there to listen, counsel, love and comfort her family through good times and bad. She was our rock and will be missed beyond measure.
In accordance with her wishes, she will be cremated and a private family graveside service will be held at the Canaan Cemetery at a later date. Online condolences may be extended to the Chidester family at www.heavnerandcutright.com.