A funeral service will be celebrated at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 5, 2021, at Fountain Memorial Funeral Home in Lafayette for Chester “Coach” Patrick Gosnell, 76, who passed away Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center in Lafayette.
Visitation will be observed on Monday, April 5, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. at Fountain Memorial Funeral Home.
A eulogy will be delivered by his beloved son-in-law Jim Gibson. Readers for the service will be René Gosnell and Chuck Kreamer. Mark Gosnell and Ginger Gosnell Gibson will serve as gift bearers. Reverend Father Howard J. Blessing of Lafayette will officiate and assisted by Charlene Banna.
Chester Patrick Gosnell, known as “Coach” to his family and friends, was born on August 5, 1944, in New Iberia where he graduated from Catholic High School in 1963. He went on to attend USL, now UL Lafayette, where he obtained bachelor’s degrees in physical education and economics. Chester worked as a football coach and mentor to many young people over the years. After retirement, Coach most enjoyed spending time with his family, friends and his beloved dog Max.
Chester loved nature, was an avid duck hunter and enjoyed fishing. He liked to watch UL, LSU and Saints football and the Astros baseball games. Family meant everything to him. He was known to cook “the perfect steak” for family and friends. He leaves a legacy of love to his wife and children who were truly the ultimate treasure that completed his existence.
Chester was a truly gifted athlete. His high school career at Catholic High ended with a State Championship title in 1962. He received the unique honor of being named First Team All American in 1962. It was the first award of its kind to come from Catholic High in New Iberia. Coach Faulkinberry signed him as a running back and punter to continue his football career at USL. Along with Coach Bobby Banna and Coach Ray Blanco, he thrived and the GSC Title came to fruition in 1965. He coached at USL and numerous high schools throughout the area. He was a humble coach with a huge heart and had the capacity to mold youngsters into becoming successful adults.
His most treasured memories included watching his son Mark play short stop for the Southeastern Lions Baseball Team. Coach and Myra traveled far and wide to be present for nearly every game he played over the four years. His other greatest joy was helping to train his daughter Ginger in her track achievements. They followed her to the state finals in her events. Of course, he always wore his famous whistle and stopwatch around his neck. Thank you, Dad. You were always one step ahead of us and those special moments were so important in our lives. We now treasure every one of those memories.
Coach was a fighter and a survivor. His battle with cancer lasted over a decade. His wife and children were the guiding force in his treatment and care over the years. He never gave up and never gave in, until he made his final journey home. Bravo Coach!
Chester is survived by his beloved wife he met in the eighth grade, Myra Ann Decuir Gosnell, of New Iberia, they met as teenagers and were soulmates for life; his son Mark Kevin Gosnell and wife René; his daughter Ginger Gosnell Gibson and husband Jim, all of Lafayette; two sisters, Cheryl Delcambre and husband Wayne of Youngsville and Mary Druhot and husband Stephen of Leesburg, Virginia; his brother-in-law Judge Oswald Decuir and his wife Loretta; nephew Scott Decuir and his wife Missey, all of New Iberia; great-nephew Jon Decuir and his wife Aimee; great-niece Laura Decuir, all of New Orleans; two sisters-in-law, Kathy Mitchell of New Iberia and Susan Gosnell of Broussard; his only grandson, Aaron Knobloch and wife Katie; two great-grandchildren, Colette “Coco” Knobloch and Gibson Knobloch. Other extended family members include Chris and Whitney, Kristy and Marley and Mike, as well as numerous dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Miles David “Dutch” Gosnell Jr.; his mother, Theresa Rita Cortese Gosnell; and his brother Miles David Gosnell III.
Pallbearers will be Judge Oswald Decuir, Scott Decuir, Mark Gosnell, Ginger Gosnell Gibson, Jim Gibson and Aaron Knobloch.
Honorary bearers are Judge Dicky Haik, Dr. Scott Thompson and Chester’s classmates and former players.
The family wishes to thank the staff for the compassionate care given to Coach at Lourdes Oncology. Special heartfelt thanks to Dr. Adhikari and Felicia Case. The family would like to thank the infusion center team who were incredible. You girls were angels to Coach and he treasured your tender care and love each time he received his treatment. Merci. Special thanks are extended to Dr. McBurney, Sarah and Dr. Gus Ingraldi. You three were integral voices in his care.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Chester’s name to Acadiana Animal Aid by mail at 142 Le Medicin Road, Carencro, LA 70520, by phone at 337-896-1553 or online at www.acadianaanimalaid.org.
With regards to the most recent mandates of the current pandemic, masks and social distancing are required for gatherings in the funeral home and in the cemetery.
Online obituary and guest book may be viewed at www.fountainmemorialfuneralhome.com.
Fountain Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery, 1010 Pandora Street, 981-7098, is in charge of the arrangements.