Obituary Listings

Charles "JR" Bryant Vest

April 3, 1953 February 27, 2019
Charles  "JR" Bryant Vest
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Obituary for Charles "JR" Bryant Vest

Charlie “JR’ Vest was born in April 1953 to Charlie & Rosie Vest in Ventura California and passed peacefully on February 27, 2019 at his home in Nipomo California.

Charlie, best known as “JR” to distinguish him from his father, was the husband to his wife of 46 years and proud father to his deceased son and former United States Marine, Michael.

JR’s early life was occupied by sports playing baseball, softball and golf but most of all, learning and perfecting his lifetime passion, the shooting sports

A family move to Santa Maria in 1966 to establish the KFC business lead to him graduating for Righetti High School in 1972. At the same time, JR was learning the “chicken” business helping his father run the 7stores through the central coast and an 8th in Chico.

As Chico is a distance from Santa Maria, JR earned his wings and became a private pilot flying trips to Chico and wherever his father had business interests.He cherished his time piloting the Piper Camanche 250 through the skies.

He married his wife, Laurel in 1973 and they soon had a son, Michael. Mike would grow up to make JR proud as a father of a United States Marine. Mike served in Somalia during the UN pullout in 1995 and tragically was haunted by PTSD and passed in 2016.

JR had a passion for law enforcement and was aPOST Certified Firearms Instructor. He used his training as a Reserve Police Officer for the Santa Maria Police Department serving as the Range & Firearms Training Officer for the reserves. His personal training included not only law enforcementand SWAT tactics, but he also became a competitive shooter in many pistol, rifle and 3 gun matches. He went on to train several other law enforcement agencies including the CHP and U.S. Air Force Security teams.

After his father passed in 1984, JR assumed the responsibility of running the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets. His dedication to cleanliness and superior customer service is well know in the community and amongst other business leaders. In addition, JR used the KFC business to support the community with involvement in police charities including the local YMCA donating time and money to the organization.

As the years progressed, JR not only found himself leading the KFC business, but with the assistance of his wife, tending to his mother Rosie, who was a local gadfly and active in social circles. Rosie passed in 2007.

JR’s brother Jimm, 7 years his junior, shared their interest in flying and shooting sports and trained together for several years. Although Jimm lives in Orange County, they maintained a bond that only brothers can have and shared many fun adventures in their youth and a lifetime of inside jokes.

In recent years, JR successfully ran the local KFC outlets and was always proud to proclaim that his stores sold the most “chicken on the bone” than anyone else on the west coast. The returning customers, professional friendships and dedication to his vendors is a tribute to a successful business.

All in all, JR was fiercely loyal to his family, dedicated to his business and passionate about his interests.

Charles “JR” Bryant Vest is survived by his wife Laurel Vest and brother Jimm Vest.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Santa Maria Country Club Thursday, March 14 at 3:00pm until 7:00 pm.


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