Charles Hoster “Chess” Byrne

Charles Hoster “Chess” Byrne

Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois, USA
Death 28 Feb 1972 (aged 71)
San Gabriel, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Churchyard, Map B35, Lot 3063, Space 3
Memorial ID 58221616 · View Source
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Charles "Chess" Hoster Byrne was born in 1900 in Cairo, Illinois. His middle name came from Dr. Hoster, who delivered him. He had an older sister, Mary Alice; three younger brothers, Joseph, Cecil and Leonard; and the youngest, a sister, Ruth Eleanor. In 1920, he was living with his Aunt Lee in Albuquerque, New Mexico while attending embalming school and working as an apprentice in Santa Fe.
About 1926, he met Clara Louise Kemps and they were married on March 16, 1927 in Los Angeles. In 1928, they moved to Chicago, Illinois where they had their first child, a son. In 1932, their second child, a daughter, was born. During the depression, they moved to where jobs were available. At one point he was a radio announcer. He had a baritone voice and was a good singer and performed at various occasions, including weddings. The family moved to Los Angeles about 1933 and returned to Chicago about 1934. Charles worked for the Chicago Motor Club, a AAA affiliate. In 1936, he was asked to open a new office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Afterwards, they moved with AAA to Phoenix, Tucson and finally to Los Angeles in 1938. Charles worked as an embalmer for a small funeral home and then for Forest Lawn, where he worked with his brother, Joe. Soon, they were both funeral directors and they were in charge of all the celebrity funerals. About 1960, Charles developed a skin allergy to chemicals which necessitated an early retirement from Forest Lawn. In 1966, his beloved wife, Clara Louise died. Charles was lost without her and struggled to find himself. In 1972, he succumbed to lung cancer caused by his many years of smoking. He was the father of two and grandfather of seven.

Family Members


  • Created by: Roger
  • Added: 5 Sep 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 58221616
  • Roger
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Hoster “Chess” Byrne (26 Dec 1900–28 Feb 1972), Find a Grave Memorial no. 58221616, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Roger (contributor 47319143) .