Cover photo for David McChesney's Obituary
David McChesney Profile Photo
1942 David 2024

David McChesney

June 2, 1942 — March 27, 2024


 The Reverand Arthur David McChesney (David), age 81, of Ocala, Florida, died on March 27, 2024, at his home with his family by his side. 

   David was born on June 2, 1942, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a son to the late Hardin Field and Lucy (Blair) McChesney. David had many positive influences in his young life, including his parents’ close friends, Ivan and Emma Wilson. Mr. Wilson called David Little Bud, and so, David (and everyone else after) called the Wilsons Aunt Bud and Uncle Bud. His older siblings, Liz, Field, and Mary along with Mary’s husband, Carl, cultivated his love of sports, especially baseball. They took him to baseball games as a child and gave him the opportunity to obtain autographs of the players after the games. It was during this time that he became a loyal Cincinnati Reds fan. He listened to baseball games on the radio and wanted to be a sportscaster. However, as a child, he was also observed preaching to the cows, Prezzie, Bappie and Meffie, at the family farm. Legend has it that the cow named Prezzie knocked him over, and so David decided to stick with the Presbyterians. 

   David’s father, H. F. McChesney, taught at Western Kentucky University and David attended the campus school for teacher training, graduating from College High School in 1959. As his father had attended a Presbyterian college (Westminster), David attended a Presbyterian college, Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Bible in 1963. He played on the basketball and tennis teams in college. He also worked at the public library in Jackson where he once checked out a book to the noted author Eudora Welty. He met his wife, Anna Frances Stanton at Belhaven. They were married in Birmingham, Alabama on August 24th, 1964. They lived in Starkville, Mississippi while Anna finished her college degree at Mississippi State University and David worked as a teacher in the public school system. He also worked part time from 1964 to 1984 for Mobil Travel Guide doing hotel inspections during his summer vacations. 

   After Anna graduated from college, the couple moved to Louisville, Kentucky where David attended the same seminary as his father, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. David graduated in 1968 and served at his first church, Old Auxvasse-Nine Mile Presbyterian, in Williamsburg, Missouri from 1968 to 1970. During this time, his daughter, Carol Ann, was born. 

   The small family then moved to Marion, Illinois where David served at First Presbyterian Church of Marion from 1970 to 1980. It was during this time that his son, John, was born. He also served on the Board of Trustees of John A. Logan College. The family then moved to Decatur, Illinois where David served as an associate pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church. He also served on the board of Planned Parenthood in Decatur. During his years in Illinois, David took his family to baseball games in St. Louis, Chicago, and occasionally in Cincinnati. 

   In 1984, the family moved to his wife’s hometown of Birmingham Alabama, where he served as pastor at 76th Street Presbyterian Church (later called Eastminster) until 1994. He taught Old Testament part-time at Jefferson State Junior College during these years. He then served at First Presbyterian Church in Livingston, Alabama until 1997 and then First Presbyterian Church of Albertville, Alabama until 2001. During his years in Albertville, he played in a competitive tennis league. 

   In 2001, he served as interim associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Ocala, Florida until his “retirement” in 2005. After retirement, David continued to serve in a part-time capacity at the Reddick Presbyterian Church in Reddick, Florida until 2014. He also served in an interim capacity at Fort King Presbyterian Church in Ocala, Florida from 2018-2019. David spent the largest portion of his life in Ocala. Living in Florida, he was able to attend spring training baseball games, minor league games and basketball games at the University of Florida. 

   David collected baseball cards and sports memorabilia and met many friends through this hobby. He had the ability to remember statistics and details and could (and would) talk to any fan of baseball, football or basketball about their favorite team and players. In addition to the Cincinnati Reds, David also was a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals. He also enjoyed college football, especially his favorite SEC teams, Alabama, Mississippi State and Florida. 

   He was an avid reader of books of all kinds. He especially enjoyed non-fiction, including biographies of sports figures as well as ordinary and extraordinary people. He was brilliant with numbers and did a Sudoku puzzle on most days. David also loved singing, performing in skits and making people laugh. On several occasions he performed a rendition of Andy Griffith’s skit, “What It Was, Was Football”. 

   In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his wife, Anna Frances McChesney, his brothers Hardin Field McChesney, Jr. and Halbert Jonathan McChesney, his sisters Mary Frances McChesney Kindell, Eugenia McChesney Birkhead, Elizabeth McChesney Stark, and Marianne (Tweety) McChesney Dugger. He is survived by his son John David McChesney, daughter Carol Ann McChesney (Christopher Neely), two sisters, Emma Susan McChesney Jensen and Maria McChesney Flynn, his dear friend Christine Berryhill, and many beloved nieces, nephews and friends. 

   A memorial service has been scheduled for May 25th, 2024, at 2 p.m. at Fort King Presbyterian Church, 13 NE 36th Ave, Ocala, Florida 34470. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Ft. King Presbyterian Church.

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