Obituaries: Chet (Chester) Roaman

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday January 18, 2023
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Chet (Chester) Roaman
Chet (Chester) Roaman

February 19, 1939 — September 6, 2022

Chet (Chester) Roaman quietly passed away on September 6, 2022, at 83 years young. Chet started life in Bronx, New York, born of Jewish immigrant parents and became a Harvard grad. He had a successful career in New York as a publishing editor but, in 1970 as a young gay man with progressive ideals, he moved to San Francisco. In the city he worked as an independent editor, co-authoring books with innovative 3D filmmaker Lenny Lipton. He authored a column for Zoetrope-funded City magazine entitled "Roaman Around," interviewing gay celebrities including poet Allan Ginsburg, Cockettes founder Hibiscus, and disco great Sylvester.

Chet earned his bachelor's degree at the City College of New York; his first master's at New York University, and his second master's degree at Harvard. He joined the faculty at City College of San Francisco, teaching English.

Chet's community included Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, where he helped save local library branches. He helped improve neighborhood life with support of local parks and sat as arbiter in the San Francisco District Attorney's office's neighborhood court program. Chet loved opera; the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; art museums; friends; the Bay Area food universe; his garden, deck, and home; housekeeper Mila and caregiver Juan; City College colleagues; Potrero Hill buddies; his library family; and traveling companions.

A memorial gathering will be held on Sunday, February 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. at 1180 DeHaro Street in San Francisco. RSVP to [email protected]

All friends and family are welcome.

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