Ray Chesson

January 19, 1955 - October 15, 2021

The Honorable Ray Sanford Chesson, 66, of Hamshire, died Friday October 15, 2021.  He was born January 19, 1955, in Winshire, Texas, to Roy Travis, Sr. “Bo” and Onella Chesson.

It’s been said that all a man really has when he pillows his head at night is his honor, integrity, and character. Ray’s life reflected a life of excellent character, undeniable honor, and solid integrity. When Ray stepped into a room, his presence welcomed others. There were no strangers. You felt cared for, loved, and valued. His love for justice and truth was balanced with his desire to help others, especially young people, find their way in this world. Many times, people met Judge under less than desirable circumstances, but he never made you feel like you were an inconvenience. He wanted the best for you. He wanted to see you succeed. He wanted to cheer you on.

His fatherhood spanned past Shane and Justin. He has adopted children all over Southeast Texas and beyond—men and women who have gained from his wisdom, his counsel and sometimes his justice. As a husband and father, he was faithful. His wife—his best friend. His boys—his pride and joy. His grandchildren—the light of his life. These were his trophies. These were the golden and bright spots in every day of his life. His name will live forever in many of our hearts.

After serving his country in the United States Air Force, he began his commitment to his community by becoming the president of the Hamshire Volunteer Fire department, later serving many years as the Fire Chief.  He was a driving force in establishing and building the local EMS service, dedicating 26 years as a medic.  He devoted over 24 years of his life as Justice of the Peace for Precinct Four of Jefferson County, where he served with honor and compassion. His passion and commitment to helping others has endeared him to everyone who knew him.

Additionally, he served as Co-Chair of the Local Emergency Planning Commission and was a member of the Child Fatality Death Review Team for the Garth House. He served many years at the Texas Rice Festival, including Board of Directors, and 2002 as President. Ray worked with Strategic Petroleum Reserve Environmental Review Team and Board of Directors at the Winnie Medical Center and Arboretum. He was also a Board Member for the Hamshire Fannett Education Foundation, and instrumental in establishing Hamshire Fannett Little Dribblers.

Ray is survived by his wife of forty-seven years, Kathy Chesson; sons, Shane Chesson and his wife, Aimee and Justin Ray Chesson and his wife, Courtney; grandchildren, Madison, Braxton Ray, and Austyn; brothers, Roy Travis Chesson, Jr. and his wife, Fonda, of Bandera; Jay Chesson and his wife, Jan, of Hamshire; and John Chesson and his wife, Beverly, of Hamshire; sister, Carla Woodyard and her husband, Matt, of Hamshire; and many nieces and nephews.

Ray is preceded in death by his parents, Roy Travis “Bo” and Onella Chesson; and grandson, Trevor Chesson.

His passion and commitment to helping others has endeared him to everyone who knew him. Throughout all of the endless hours of dedication to his community, he has always remained a devoted husband, a loving father and an adoring pawpaw.

Memorial contributions for Mr. Chesson may be made to Trevor Lee Chesson Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 186, Hamshire, Texas 77622 or Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 153, Hamshire, Texas 77622.

A gathering of Mr. Chesson’s family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at First Baptist Church, 25304 Hwy 124, Hamshire, under the direction of Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. Shuttle service for overflow parking will be offered beginning at 4:30 pm Wednesday at the north parking lot of Hamshire-Fannett High School. His funeral service will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, October 21, 2021, at First Baptist Church, with his interment to follow at Fairview Cemetery, Winnie.

Please observe social distancing guidelines. By attending any public event you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov 


Download Program

Gathering of Family and Friends

  • October 20, 2021
  • 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Funeral Service

  • October 21, 2021
  • 11:00 am


  • October 21, 2021

Comments (48)

    Norma Aubey Lewis says:

    So sorry for your loss. Your family is in my prayers for comfort and healing from your grief and I am also praying for the eternal rest of Ray’s soul with God in Heaven where pain a d suffering no longer exist. Sincerely, Norma Aubey Lewis

    cliff and Captola Leland says:

    So very sorry for the family loss of Ray, he was a very good person. God bless the Family of Ray. May he rest in peace.

    Sarah Porter says:

    Judge Chesson was an amazing man. He seemed to never meet a stranger & emanated love & kindness everywhere he went. He married my husband & I in 2004 & I am so glad he did because he made it even more special & beautiful… Thoughts & prayers to his family & to all who knew & loved him.

    Boe and Sue Lowe says:

    God bless the Chesson family in this difficult time. Rest In Peace Mr. Ray

    Fonda & Peggy Craigen says:

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Mary Barefield says:

    He was a wonderful man. Never a stranger to anyone. He will be missed by us all. Sending prayers to Kathy and family. From Mary Barefield and Kathy Barefield Champagine

    Jim and Wendy says:

    We will definitely miss you Uncle Ray!! You are so loved and will be missed greatly!!

    Gary George says:

    From everyone at Triangle Engine our thoughts
    and prayers go out to the family.

    Roland and Jeanette Weekly says:

    Our Deepest Sympathy to Miss Kathy, Justin, and Shane. The world was a better place with Ray in it. Such a wonderful, honorable, Christian man. You were loved by many and will be missed by many. Rest Easy Our Friend. God Bless the Chesson Family.

    Arlene Trahan says:

    Cathy and boys you have no idea how much this breaks my heart he was such an awesome man and and so proud to say he was my friend. Love and prayers to y’all.

    Ruth Sherman says:

    A man who served his country and community with honor will be missed and forever remembered. God be with the family for comfort and peace. Judge Chesson RIP.

    Chuck Sherman says:

    It was so saddening to hear of Ray’s passing. I am deeply honored to have known him, and worked with him on mutual aid calls with the fire department and EMS over the years. Ray was the type of person to bring out the best in everyone. I remember his calm manner, and sense of humor in the face of confusion and chaos on scenes. He will be greatly missed.

    Ricky Tate says:

    I knew Ray for many years. He was good man. The world was a better place with him here. My condolences to his family.

    Mary A Swearingen says:

    Thoughts and prayers go out to this Family at this time..I attended the Martel wedding in Nome years ago where he officiated…He was an outstanding J.P. May he rest in peace..

    The Thomas Dearbonne Family says:

    Our Sincere Condolences to the entire Chesson Family. We love you all so much. Ray will always be in our hearts. God Bless you.

    lucy and grady holst says:

    Thinking of you all during this difficult time. Thank you Cathy Shane and Justin for sharing Ray with this community. All of you are the way Ray was. Always greet people when you see them. It runs in the family. We are here if you guys need anything. Love and prayers.

    Coni Little says:

    I will be praying for all of you and it hurts that I will not get another opportunity to see Ray smiling as we float down the Frio. Those prayers are ascending!

    David Dewees says:

    Ray was one of the finest men ever in my life. He had pride, honesty, & integrity. He married me on 10-6-2000. He’s the type of man that we aspire to be. My condolences to Kathy and his family and friends in this time of mourning. He’s with God now & no longer in pain. ????????????????

    Clay Dupuy says:

    We will miss you. Love to you and your family.

    Robert & Maureen Primm says:

    Deepest Sympathy for your Family at this Time!

    Pokie Duplantis says:

    It was an honor to have known Ray. He treated everyone like family and always had a kind word and a hug. He will be greatly missed by so many. Prayers and healing for his family at this difficult time.
    Pokie Duplantis & Eric Wilson

    Michael White says:

    Goodbye My Friend.

    Darlie Molina says:

    Love you Ray and family. A great man forever in my heart.

    Russell and Mary Simon says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family. Ray was a caring, friendly and Christian man. Someone you could count on and look forward to seeing. He will always be remembered for helping our community and will be greatly missed. Fly High Our friend until we all meet again.

    Kathleen Thibodeaux says:

    Prayers for you Kathy and your family. Ray was a great man loved by everyone he will be missed .

    Terry Martino says:

    He was such a great person and will be truly missed! Thoughts and prayers for Kathy and the rest of the family.

    Mazie East says:

    Donald and I are deeply sorry for your loss. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers! Mazie East

    Jo Ann Barlow Kimmel says:

    I am so sorry to learn of Ray’s death. He was such a beloved man in the community. My thoughts and prayers to his family.

    David & Donna Watson says:

    Thoughts and prayers for all. God Bless and Keep You in this time.

    Skip Mann says:

    Sending our profound sympathies to Ray’s family. He was a good neighbor and friend.
    Skip & Sandy Mann

    Brenda Lege says:

    Cathy and boys,
    My deepest sympathy at this time of loss. Words can express or help at this time. Know you are all in my prayers and it will take time to get better.

    Gary and Regina Jones says:

    Our continued prayers for the family…let us honor him with remembrance of a life well lived.

    Patricia Korry says:

    Cathy, Our thoughts and prayers are with your family, He will be greatly missed. He was an exceptional man. We all have been blessed to have had him in our lives. Love to all.

    Gary & Patti

    Ricky and Karen Cravy says:

    :”Honorable” is an accurate description for Judge Ray Chesson, but not just because he is Judge. He was indeed an Honorable and Godly Man. I pray for God’s peace for your family during this difficult time. Phil 4:7
    Ricky and Karen Cravy

    David &Elizabeth Hillyer says:

    I Kathy,Shane,Justin and family we are sad to hear about Ray. It was a true honor to have known him. He will be greatly missed by all. Our hearts and prayers are with you.
    Love to all
    David & Elizabeth

    Terry and Kathy Colston says:

    The loss is too great for words. Our hearts are broken! We love the Chesson family!!! Our deepest sympathy to Kathy, Shane and Justin!
    Terry, Kathy and Ashley Colston

    Ida Lee Duplechin says:

    Blessings for the Chesson family. Love for all of you.

    Tommye Hodges says:

    Heaven gained a very special Angel!!! My prayers and love go out to his loving family and friends.

    Sybil Stone says:

    Im so sorry to hear of Ray passing he will be missed he was a wonderful man praying for you Kathy Justin and Shane and family

    Kimberly Glenn says:

    Jay Chesson and Jan y’all are in prayers and thoughts

    Valerie Carter says:

    The world lost a great man today. Blessed to have known him. Prayers for the Chesson family.

    Grace Downs & Dottie Cochran says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family , We Love & miss all of you ! Ray was like family to us and we will miss him so much!

    Betty and Corky Peebles says:

    You are all in our thoughts and prayers at this sad and difficult time.

    Rose Hester says:

    God bless you all. Ray will be missed.

    Ted and Pat Mitchell says:

    Prayers for all. Ray was a good Man. Will be missed.

    Patty Revia says:

    Ike and I are praying for all of the family. We thought a lot of Ray. Prayers and more prayers for Mrs. Cathy

    Barbara Bollich Reeser says:

    Thoughts and prayers for the Chesson family.

    Tony & Darla King says:

    Thinking of all of you during this difficult time of loss. Love you all.

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