Cover photo for Richard J. Chase's Obituary
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1922 Richard 2020

Richard J. Chase

September 4, 1922 — July 3, 2020

Athol, MA – Richard J. Chase, Sr. of Athol, died peacefully at home Friday, July 3, 2020. Richard was born September 4, 1922 in the rectory of West Lebanon, NH to Agnes Mitchell and Leland Grover Chase, Sr. After graduating from Stevens High School in Claremont, NH. Richard continued on to University of New Hampshire. In 1941, Richard put his education on hold to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. For four years during WWII, Sgt. Chase served as a gunner in a SBD Dauntless dive-bomber in the South Pacific, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. After the war, Richard finished his studies at UNH where he met his future wife, Natalie Fairchild. The two were married in 1948 and enjoyed life together until her death in 1994.Richard and Natalie moved to Athol in 1950 when Richard accepted the offer to work for Edward T. Fairchild, editor and publisher of the Athol Daily News. Here, he and Natalie raised a family of four and became committed to local affairs. Richard was a sincere booster of Athol and was active in the Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, Advisory Board of the Blue Cross Blue Shield, Board of Directors of the Athol Memorial Hospital and Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. Richard exhibited a joy of living raising his children, working as the publisher of the Athol Daily News, and travelling with Natalie, and after her death, sharing his life with Beverly Levanway until his own passing.Richard will be missed most especially by his family: son Richard J. Chase, Jr. and his wife Kelly, grandson Shane his wife Isabel Harvey and their son Nicolas (Nico), granddaughter Jennifer and husband Jay Iverson and their children Chase and Lark; son Edward G. Chase (Ted) and Jackie Godin, Laura Godin, Emily Godin and her son, Owen; son Stephen F. Chase & his wife Beth Gospodarek, their children, Asher and fiancée Aracelly Gonzales Medina, Caleb and Tobey; daughter Marjorie and Paul Thibodeau; as well as his wife, Beverly Levanway and her children Maureen and Denise Gamache. Memorial donations can be made to the Salvation Army Athol Corps Community Center (107 Ridge Avenue, Athol, MA, www.SalvationArmyMA.org/Athol) or the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (nmcrs.org). An Episcopal service and burial are planned for a time in the future when family gatherings are more prudent.
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