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J. Cecil Chaney passed away Saturday morning, April 8, 2023, at the age of 98 surrounded by family.
He was born March 17, 1925 to Thomas Monroe and Dovie Bailey Chaney five miles northeast of Canton. Cecil is preceded in death by his parents and his only sister, Jocele Priest. After graduating in 1943 from Canton High School, he volunteered for the navy. He spent his time at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station where he worked on planes until his discharge in 1946. With the help of the GI Bill, Cecil entered Texas A&M University in 1946 and received a bachelor degree in Agricultural Education in 1950. Cecil’s first job teaching was Veteran’s Ag for one semester in Wills Point. He married Onetta Gilmer in Canton on December 23, 1950. They moved to Winters in West Texas where he taught vocational ag that spring semester. Cecil then accepted employment with the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service and served as a District Conservation in Mabank. While they lived in Mabank, God gave them two children, Judy and Steve. From Mabank, the job took them to Hubbard, Saint Jo, Muenster and finally in 1969 to Kaufman. Cecil retired after 30 years of service for the Soil Conservation Services in 1981. At that time, he received his real estate license. He also serviced cars at Eagle Lube two or three days a week. Also, during this time, he served as a part-time secretary/bookkeeper and did lake dam maintenance for the Soil Conservation District.
J. Cecil was a member of the First Baptist Church in Kaufman. He served as a deacon in each town they lived in after being ordained in Mabank in 1954. After 60 years, he resigned as an active deacon due to health reasons. He held numerous positions in the church over the years, including singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, Sunday School Director, driving in the bus ministry and serving on committees.
In the community, Cecil was a member of the Lion’s Club in each town where they lived and also served on each volunteer fire department. He enjoyed being a member of the morning coffee club with his friends as long as he was able.
God has been good to Cecil and Onetta for 72 years. He is survived by his wife, Onetta; two children: Judy Reznicek and husband Randy; Steve and wife Charlotte. Grandchildren include Brian Reznicek & wife Krystal, Brad Reznicek, Jennifer Perry & husband Dallas, Michael Chaney & wife Candy, Allison Cocchi & her husband Michael. Also, great-grandchildren Jordan Reznicek & Jasmine Lopez, Jacob Reznicek, Hallie Perry, Ellison Perry, J. Andrew Chaney, Jack Thomas Chaney and Blake Cocchi. Also, one great, great granddaughter Kaylee Reznicek.