Ray T. Chesbro, 91

FULTON, NY – Ray T. Chesbro, 91, of Phoenix, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 3, 2017, at home surrounded by his family.

Ray T. Chesbro
Ray T. Chesbro

He was born and raised on a farm in Pennellville, in the town of Schroeppel, Oswego County.

Ray received his education in the Phoenix Central School District.

Appointed Deputy Sheriff of Oswego County in 1953, Mr. Chesbro later became Identification Officer, Investigator and Lieutenant.

In 1973, he was appointed as Sheriff of Oswego County by the late Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

Mr. Chesbro was elected to that same position in 1974 and retired in 1977.

Mr. Chesbro was active on the Phoenix Central School District’s Board of Education for seventeen years, as a member, vice president and president.

He also served on the Oswego County Board of Cooperative Educational Services from 1967 to 1971.

In 1979, he was appointed by Governor Hugh L. Carey as a director of the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority; he served this position until 1982.

Mr. Chesbro was married in 1947 to the former Eileen Audas.

Mr. Chesbro remained active in several community activities, including the Fraternal Order of Police, a 70 year member of Lodge 622 F&AM in Central Square, United Methodist Church in Pennellville, Phoenix Sno-Drifters, the National Legislators Association, Central New York Rod and Gun Club and the Pathfinder Rod and Gun Club.

Mr. Chesbro was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 1980.

He represented all of Oswego County, the towns of Vienna, Verona, Camden and five election districts in the city of Rome, Oneida County.

In 1982, as a result of redistricting, the 117th Assembly changed its boundaries to include only the county of Oswego.

Mr. Chesbro was reelected in 1984, 1986 and again in 1988.

He was predeceased by his brother, Wayne.

He will be greatly missed and forever loved by his wife of 69 years, Eileen; three sons, Gary W. (Adrienne), Ray L. (Eleanor) and Scott B.; five grandchildren, Jennifer, Joanne, Alexander, Kimberly and Kyle; five great-grandchildren, Sabrina, Kenneth, Bryanna, Lydia and Richard; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, March 10, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Pennellville United Methodist Church, 389 County Route 54, Pennellville, NY, where a memorial service will follow.

Foster Funeral Home, Fulton, has care of the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Pennellville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 205  Pennellville, NY 13132 or Phoenix Food Pantry, 43 Bridge St., Phoenix, NY 13135 in Mr. Chesbro’s memory.

Foster Funeral Home, Inc.



  1. Brother Chesbro was a true friend and will be missed by many. He practiced his faith and lived by it. Sympathies to his family.

  2. Scott, I am sorry for your loss. Please extend my condolences to your family. Our prayers are with you. Your dad was an amazing man whom you all can be proud of and his memory will last forever.

  3. My condolences to the Chesbro family. I always enjoyed talking with Ray any time I could.

  4. Rest in peace sheriff. Thank you for hiring me and allowing me to serve and protect the citizens of Oswego County in the late 70″s. I will always be proud that I carried the badge of OS 18.My condolences to the Chesbro family.

  5. I am so sorry to read this. My heart is heavy for your family’s loss. My thoughts are with you all. You were a great Assemblyman and I loved working for you. You taught me a lot. You and your wife, Eileen, are two wonderful people. May you RIP Ray. You have some good people waiting to show you around up there.

  6. Sincere condolences to all of you in the Chesbro family. Everyone loved and respected your husband, dad, grand dad. I sure know I did. He was my friend when I was a reporter, my mentor when he was an assemblyman and I was a non-trad student at SUNY Oswego,. He was always accessible and would advise and help any way he could. I am proud to have known Ray and be able to call him my friend. Be proud always!

  7. it was an honor to have known Assembly man Chesbro he and I had visited several times when he held office visits in Oswego. He also listened and took notes and when a concern was shared with him he kept me up dated on the issue even when he was on the road. I tell people to this day what a professional representative he was and yet so personable too. We were so blessed to have this man serve us. thank you all and God Bless

  8. Dear Eileen, Gary, Lynn and Scott and families–as my family members were life-time friends with Ray and as we shared a lot of experiences between Juvenile Grange, 4-H and Methodist youth activities, I feel I knew Ray Chesbro all my life! He always was the same with me—whether “just ” a neighbor, a young Sheriff Deputy–or at the other end of his careet as an Assemblyman! I have had the utmost respect for your husband, Dad, Grandpa and feel greatly blessed to have known him!

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