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The family of Jon Chester Cieslak uploaded a photo
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Eszlinger Jensen, Julia says posted a condolence
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Dear Ann & family. What a shock to hear of the passing of Jon. For years we enjoyed Jon with his ready smile & enlightening and fun conversations. At Christmas we always followed the Cieslak Rule– We set a place for the uninvited guest. A tradition from Jon’s mother. Ann you, the family and community has lost a loving husband, dad, grandfather and an abiding servant. May he Rest in Peace. Russ –RIP and Julie Jensen.
William McDermott says posted a condolence
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Jon and I met as Princeton freshmen in 1967. Freshmen were consigned to the older dorms. Built in the days when the central "Cloaca Maxima" latrine served the purpose, these buildings had indoor toilets as an afterthought. Witherpoon Hall was one of these. A large facility in the basement was of little comfort to those living in third, fourth and fifth floor walkups. So a fourth floor restroom with a shower, two toilets and two sinks was installed to serve the forty-eight residents of entries 1 and 2, floors 3-5. A hallway that spanned both entries provided access to the bathroom. Jon roomed with fellow Minnesotan Mark Bonnell. Their "suite" was bisected by the hallway. They kept the doors open and met everyone. Jon was especially gregarious. He and Mark became friends with me and my roomate, Bill Sickler. Our Princeton paths diverged, but the friendship endured. Jon was generous. During the winter reading period in 1969, he invited me to his family home in the North Oaks suburb of St.Paul. His mother, step-father and brother, Paul ("Bronc"), welcomed me. There were delicious meals and great dinner table conversation. During the days Jon, as promised, taught me to ski on the gentle slopes of the Twin City area, where the poma lift, T-bar, and rope-tow were the rule rather than the exception. (I took great pride in my conquest of the rope-tow, thanks to his instruction!) Jon had a great sense of humor, but he was also serious. The recipient of an ROTC scholarship, he pursued his military studies conscientiously even as anti-Vietnam War sentiment was growing and our military was losing popularity. Jon was civic-minded. He was involved at the national level with the March of Dimes. And I believe he also participated in Princeton’s Trenton Tutorial project for underprivileged youth. He loved music and drew great pleasure from his membership in the Glee Club, with its tours and concerts, often pairing with singing groups from women’s colleges. This paid a huge dividend when he met Ann, who sang with the Manhattenville College chorus, directed by her father. He was Catholic and pro-life, a subject on which the "inteligentsia" disagreed. He stated that this belief determined whether he pursued a particular relationship. Dating was with marriage in mind, and he needed a partner who shared his beliefs. Ann was the woman for Jon, and he the man for her. They shared not only a passion for music, but also an enduring faith. Bill Sickler and I attended their wedding in June 1971. At the reception Ann’s father serenaded the company with an a capella rendition of "That Old Gang of Mine." Then it was off to the Army. Father-in-law’s song proved prescient, as we lost touch. Why was that? Why is it that it takes a death notice to evoke such glowing memories? It is reassuring to see that Jon fulfilled his youthful potential, with fifty years of wedded devotion, a career of distinguished service to country and community, and a large, loving family. What a life! Appropriately, Jon’s Mass of Christian Burial takes place on Princeton’s 275th anniversary May he rest in peace. Ann,my condolences to you and to your family on this terrible loss. God bless you. Bill McDermott