Arsene, “Skipper” to family and friends, was born one year to the date of his parents wedding anniversary in Worcester, MA on October 8, 1956 and died at the age of 59 in Jacksonville, Florida. He spent most of his life in Central Massachusetts and his remaining five years in Jacksonville, Florida with his dearest friend and partner of seven years, Kristen Huntoon.
He is survived by his mother of 82 years Lorraine M. Charest; children- Christopher Charest, and Shane and Shace Wilkins-whom they lovingly referred to as Dad; his sisters, Dorene and Holly Charest, foster-sister Donna Billsten and brothers: Keith and Kevin Charest, Randy Charest and wife Kim, Craig Charest and wife Kristina.
He additionally leaves numerous extended family nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who loved him; along with from a previous marriage, his step-daughter Renee -whom he dearly loved, her siblings and mother; and step-grandchildren.
Skipper was predeceased by his father Arsene D. Charest, JR in 1998 and his nephew Paul Billsten in 2007.
Skip was employed as an ASE - Certified Diesel Mechanic and Technician for ten years prior to becoming a Union CDL Long Haul Truck-Driver. He worked on a variety of heavy equipment and big-rigs for many independently owned companies. Likewise, he drove for several corporations, transporting biohazards for Consolidated Delivery and Logistics and later transporting goods for National Freight across the contiguous United States.
As much as he loved diesel, he was also an avid NASCAR and Motor-sports fan. He enjoyed camping with his RV while sitting outside watching the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox –a risky affair in Jacksonville, FL.
Skipper was proud to have served in the United States Army for 8 years before honorably being discharged. He was an active member and supporter of veteran services, particularly those focused on alcohol and drug abuse treatment.
Skip was an active member of Alcoholic Anonymous and proudly had over 30 years of sobriety, a feat that few can obtain. He was dedicated to helping others laboring under the same affliction; bringing many individuals to AA – family and friends included. He sponsored a number of people and participated in setting-up and leading meetings. Likewise, He transported many first-steppers to and from meetings, picking them up at local sober houses, clinics and shelters. He encouraged them at their weakest moments to persevere – “take one day at a time, and work it till it works” Skip ministered to a population of people who would be shunned, picked them up when they had fallen, carried them when needed and proudly shook their hand when they succeeded. He lived the words “Sobriety, Unity and Service” May we all learn from his example and look to our own Divine Power for inspiration to rise above our burdens and the courage to up-lift those in need.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday March 16th from 5-7 pm in Nordgren Funeral Home 300 Lincoln St. Worcester. A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, March 17th at 10 am in Our Lady of Providence Church (formerly St. Bernard's Church) Lincoln St. Worcester. Burial will follow in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton. To leave a condolence message, please click link below.