Alvin Chess


Alvin Chess passed away peacefully on July 23, 2021 at age 94. He lived much of his life in Cherry Hill NJ, but Al was truly a native Philly son, growing up in the Strawberry Mansion section. He was extremely proud as a member of the 183rd Class of Central High, where he forged numerous lifelong friendships. Upon graduation in January 1945, Al served in the US Navy at Pearl Harbor, before attending Western Reserve University where he received a BS in political science. The “diplomacy skills” he developed served him well in his career as he succeeded first as a traveling sales professional, then a business owner in women’s high fashion (including a partnership with his mother, Jean Chess) and finally as a financial professional.


An avid Philly fan who happily witnessed multiple championships by all 4 major teams, he was much more a caring and devoted father who never regretted selling his 1960 Eagles championship tickets as it was too cold to take his young son.


Al was well read, with an encyclopedic knowledge he displayed nightly watching Jeopardy. He enjoyed cards and his sharp mind made him a desirable partner in bridge or pinochle. He loved tennis and golf, but particularly the opportunity to play with many dear friends and family members. He had a tremendous sense of humor and quick wit, loved telling jokes (many clean, some not so much!), and was always the life of the party. He was proud of his accomplishments, but nothing compared to his love of family. He was a faithful and loving husband to Shirley, his wife of 61 years; wise and caring father to his sons Rick (Laurie Chess), Mark (Jayne Chess), and Jay (Judy Chess, the late Sharon Chess); doting grandfather (Courtney, Rachel, Gabe, Alice, Margaret, Dylan, and Justin) and great grandfather (Abe, Hassan, Lena, Maya). He will be deeply missed by his family and all with whom he shared a smile and a laugh.


Al’s memory will be honored at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 with visitation beginning at 4:00 PM, followed immediately by a memorial service at 4:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill, NJ, Samaritan Hospice, or the charity of your choice.

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