Copeland Funeral Service

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     SEPTEMBER 22, 1927 – FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Chester “Chet” Stephen Rogowski, 94, passed away peacefully at home in Beaufort, SC with family by his side. If not for an inoperable brain tumor he would likely still be rejoicing in life, sharing his love and faith with all his family, and climbing the steps at the Hunting Island Lighthouse, as he had done several times since moving to the Lowcountry in 2011.

After his high school graduation in May of 1945, Chet volunteered to enlist in the Navy at the age of 17 during WWII, where he patrolled the West Coast on the USS LSM 436. Chet carried that volunteer spirit throughout his life, working with several churches, charities and hospices, donating his time and talents to benefit others. He had a very strong Christian faith and shared his love and compassion with all whom he met.

Chet was born and raised in Chicago, IL where he met his wife of 60 years, Joyce, while they studied classical piano together at The Metropolitan College of Music. Though their music professor had dreamt of taking them to Carnegie Hall as concert pianists, they opted to marry in 1950 and begin a family. They lived in Chicago and the surrounding area for the next 54 years, after which they moved to Valrico, Florida where Joyce passed away in 2010. A year later, Chet moved here to the Lowcountry. He will be sorely missed by so many from near and far.

Chet was preceded in death by his dear wife, Joyce, sons Stephen and Mark, granddaughter Lauren Browark, grandson Phillip and great-great-grandson Aayden McDonald. He is survived by his children Vickie (Jerry, deceased) Blake, Cynthia (Will) Fahler, Joe (Colleen) and Tim (Margaret), nieces Valerie (Jim, deceased) Gleeson, Joanne Witzkowski and Laurie (Salvador) Patino, and numerous beloved grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Friends of Caroline Hospice in Beaufort SC or the charity of your choice.

Friends and family are invited to honor and celebrate Chet’s life with a visitation at Copeland Funeral Service – One Copeland Drive, from 5 until 6:30 Friday, February 25, 2022. United States Navy honors will be rendered at 5:30 at Copeland Funeral Service.

Following the visitation,  a celebration of Chet’s life will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the chapel of Copeland Funeral Service.

You are invited to virtually attend the Celebration of Life by clicking here. 

Meeting ID: 829 5327 6739
Passcode: 946653

Online Condolences

  1. Diane Russell-Hardy says:

    I did not have the pleasure of knowing Chet for very long but I consider myself very lucky to have met such a kind, smart, talented gentleman. When he lived at Brookdale on Hilton Head, his apartment was just down the hall from my mother, Nancy Russell. My Mom was shy but she was always drawn to musicians and I remember her telling me about “this great piano player named Chet.” They became good friends, sharing their mutual love of music, cats (Rocky was such a great “roommate”), and a belief that everyone should always keep reading and learning, no matter how old they are. I will always believe that Chet was the main reason that my Mom enjoyed the last two years of her life, even though her health was failing. I still have some of the cards he designed for her – they always made her smile.
    This world has lost a really special person and I am so glad that I was able to know him and keep in touch with him a bit these last two years. My heart goes out to the family but I know that you have wonderful memories of this exceptional person that we all loved.

  2. To the Family says:

    May God wrap his blanket of comfort around you all. So sorry for your loss .

    Sincerely, Mike and Yvonne Carey

  3. Debbie Everett says:

    So very sad to hear of Chet’s passing! I feel blessed to call him a friend! Prayers for family. He was one of a kind. Peace be with the family

  4. Sue Johl says:

    My deepest condolences to all of the Rogowski clan. Please know that we Johls loved him very much and will NEVER forget him. He inspired me with his joy for life, love of family and devotion to God.

    I’ll always cherish the time we spent with him in S.C.. He was always game for a little adventure, glass of wine (or two) and a lovely chat! He was a true Renaissance man and gentleman.

    One more angel in heaven to watch out for us here.
    All my love,

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