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Chester C. McGranahan, 65, senior vice-president of the National Bank of Commerce, in charge of all branches outside Seattle, Ellensburg pioneer, World War I veteran and one of the state’s best known bankers, died at the family home in Bellevue Sunday morning [October 6, 1957] and will be buried in Ellensburg Tuesday. His wife, the former Edith Schnebly is a member of the family of one of the valley’s earliest settlers.
He was born in Delta, Colo. in 1892 and moved with his parents to Ellensburg in 1900. His father was the late Thomas Harvey McGranahan, and his mother, Anna Findley McGranahan. He went through the Ellensburg schools, was a graduate of Ellensburg High School and was graduated from the University of Washington in 1914. In 1916 he was married to Edith Schnebly, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. P. H. Schnebly.
In addition to his wife, he leaves a son, Dr. Thomas C. McGranahan of Cashmere and four grandchildren, Carrie and Tommy McGranahan of Cashmere and Byrce and Bradley Baker of Ellensburg. His daughter Helen (Mrs. Earnest Baker) died 11 months ago of cancer, the same malady that caused his death.
He joined the staff of the Farmers Bank, Ellensburg in 1915 and in 1924 was promoted to vice president. In 1928 he organized a group to purchase the Farmers Bank from the late R. Lee Barnes and became the president of this bank. He continued as president until 1937, when he negotiated a sale to the national Bank of Commerce of Seattle. He remained as manager of this bank until 1945, serving as one of the vice presents of the NBC, when he was transferred to Centralia as manager of that branch. In 1947 he was transferred to the main office in Seattle.
He was made supervisor of all district branches of the National Bank of Commerce and as director of the First National Bank of Mount Vernon. He continued as a director until the NBC purchased the Mount Vernon bank in 1956. He was also a director of the Marine Bank Corporation, principal stockholder of the bank and later became senior vice present of the National Bank of Commerce when Maxwell Carlson left that position to become president. He was second lieutenant of the Machine Gun Company of the Third Washington Infantry, Ellensburg’s own national guard outfit during the early days of World War I, and later resigned to attend officer’s candidate school at Camp Pike, Ark. He has since been a member of the American Legion.
He was one of the founding members of the University of Washington Chapter of Psi Upsilon Fraternity. He was one of the original founders and captain of the Ellensburg Rodeo posse. He was a member of the Rainier Club and the Washington Athletic club in Seattle, serving as one of the board of governors of the Athletic Club, while still residing in Ellensburg. He was one of the charter members of the Ellensburg Golf and Country Club, and continued that membership until he left here. He was also formerly a member of Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle and was a member of Overlake golf Club at the time of his death.
He was a member of the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church when a resident here. He was former president of the Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce and served many years as a director. He was also a charter member of the Ellensburg Kiwanis Club and was a member of the Masonic Lodge. He was active in practically every community project during his residency here.
Funeral services will be at the Evenson Chapel at 2 o’clock Tuesday. The Rev. Frederick V. I. Ward, rector of Grace Episcopal Church will officiate. The active pallbearers will be Carl Ostrander, Randal Rudolph, and Clarence Fitterer of Ellensburg, Leon Rightmire of Yakima, Howard Bench of Olympia and Jack Cole of Bellingham.
The honorary pallbearers will be Clifford Kaynor, Frank Abercrombie, Elmer Satterberg, Homer Boyd, Maxwell Carlson, Don Baker, Edward Chabot, Ross Williams, Spencer Short, Jack Reitsch, Clayton Lowe, Dr. Robert McConnell, Chester Robinson, Wendell Sizemore, Walter Funk, Robert Mills, Ralph Stowell, Louis Fitterer, Roy Lindberg, Eddie Pacot, E. A. Ruth, Ronald MacDonald, W. H. McGuire, Harold Wittenburg, R. M. Hardy, A. E. Hoerr, Andrew Price, Jr., Keith Fisken, E. K. Bishop, Dale Courtney, Charles L. Plumb, Robert W. Sprague, Kenneth J. Clark and Ben J. Phillips.
The family requests no flowers, but those wishing, may make a memorial contribution to the Cancer Fund, Grace Episcopal Church Ellensburg, or St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Medina. [Interment in IOOF Cemetery]
Contributed by Shelli Steedman