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Chester Aikens (left) was in the inaugural class to receive a Trailblazer Award from Mayor Alvin Brown. The awards, presented in March, honored African-Americans who made changes in fields in business, education and public policy.

Longtime civic leader Chester Aikens dies

From Staff

Chester Aikens, a longtime civic leader, passed away Thursday afternoon shortly after a meeting of the Jacksonville Retirement Reform Task Force, of which he was a member.

Aikens suffered a heart attack near the entrance of City Hall shortly after the meeting concluded. Randy Wyse and Mark Treglio, both of the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters, immediately assisted Aikens until the ambulance arrived.

He died later at Baptist Medical Center.

Among his contributions, Aikens served on the Jacksonville Aviation Authority board, was a member of the Jacksonville Civic Council and was named to Mayor Alvin Brown's transition team to help lead the Downtown revitalization group. 

In a statement, Brown said Aikens was a close friend and mentor.

"Dr. Chester Aikens was a trailblazer and community leader who always cared deeply about helping others. He was also a man of strong faith. His loss is devastating for Jacksonville," Brown said in a statement.

"He was a businessman who never hesitated to volunteer his time and energy to make our city a better place," Brown's statement continued.

Aikens worked at his Downtown dental practice at 305 E. Union St. and was licensed in Florida since 1980, according to his practice's website.

He was married and had two sons.

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