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Chester Tarka Passed Away Peacefully on October 7, 2015

October 12, 2015
We are very saddened to announce the passing of Chester Tarka, at the age of 96. Chester was a very long time staff member of the American Museum of Natural History, who served as a dedicated artist in the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology. Chester joined the Museum staff in 1955 and spent more than 60 years working and supporting the research efforts of our curators and scientists. A highly decorated WWII veteran, Chester landed at Normandy Beach, fought in the Battle of The Bulge, and served as part of General Patton's artillery division for four years. Upon returning to the United States he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Chicago and subsequently began working at the Museum. In his spare time, Chester enjoyed tennis, classical music, and retrofitting his cameras to better photograph fossils. He was an extraordinary artist and scientific illustrator, with a talented hand and remarkable eye, and a consummate teacher of photography and illustration to generations of students— his contributions to the work of department scientists improved the quality and impact of their publications immensely. Chester is survived by 3 nephews in Chicago and several cousins in Connecticut. He will be buried at the VA cemetery in Saratoga, NY in a private ceremony on Tuesday, October 13th. Please join Mark Norell, Lorraine Meeker, and Chester’s friends and colleagues in the Paleontology Division and throughout the American Museum of Natural History, in extending our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Submitted by the AMNH Division of Paleontology