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Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Chapel & Oaklawn Cemetery

4801 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL

OBITUARY

Earl "Chip" Carl Trefry Jr.

March 5, 1948February 12, 2020
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Earl Carl Trefry, Jr. (Chip), 71, joined his parents, Earl Carl Trefry, Sr., and Elizabeth Ann Lavis, his nephew William Richard Ellis and dear friend Richard (Dick) Montney, in heaven on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Chip passed away peacefully surrounded by the love and support of his family.

A true New Englander at heart, Chip was born on March 5, 1948, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Raised in Hingham, his beloved coastal hometown, where he and his siblings created memories of a lifetime. As a young teen, he reluctantly moved south as his father pursued a successful insurance career. The Trefry’s landed in Jacksonville, Florida, a place they loved and would call home for the next six decades.

Chip was a graduate of Bishop Kenny High School (class of ‘67), an athlete on the football and golf teams, earning a golf scholarship. He then proudly graduated from the University of Florida, College of Business (class of ’72).

From an early age, he was a leader, tenaciously competitive and had a rebel spirit. He learned to box from his father, showing bullies not to mess with him or his sisters. He enjoyed taking risks and did so with a few of his favorite toys; a hydroplane boat, Harley and Corvette, to name a few. He spent as much time outdoors as he could and was always on the go.

Earl got his nickname, Chip, due to his uncanny similarities to his father, but the name suited him in more ways than one. He had a pure love for the game of golf and chipped his way across the world’s courses. If you were looking for Chip early Saturday morning, more times than not you’d find him at San Jose Country Club with his regular foursome. He was a long-standing member of the club since 1964, making a hole-in-one on each par-3. He even named one of his children after golf’s greatest, Jack Nicklaus. He wasn’t just fond of golf, he enjoyed many other sports too as he played hockey, football, baseball, and coached his children’s teams.

Chip’s love of golf led him to serve his community in many ways, including serving many years as a board member and President of The First Tee of Northeast Florida, founding the SJCC Dick Montney Tree Tournament, and Chairing the Daniel Kids Golf Classic. He passionately advocated for charitable causes through his leadership skills and fundraising efforts. Chip enthusiastically set new fundraising goals for each tournament, proudly exceeding expectations.

He always kept his word, maintaining the highest level of respect and integrity, which showed itself in his sportsmanship and career. He was a hard-working entrepreneur focused on propelling forward and in 1974 formed a family-owned financial planning, insurance, and benefits corporation. Due to his strong vision, the company later became nationally recognized as a leader in its industry receiving countless awards—Lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table, 11+ years Top of the Table, recognized multiple times on Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing private companies and the Gator100, the 100 fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world.

Above all, Chip’s legacy was his family and leaving the Trefry name “better than he found it”. His memory will go on as he touched many lives, but we’ll always think of him every time we step foot on a driving range, attend The Players Championship, eat the belly of an Ipswich fried clam, watch the Christmas Carol, see the Red Sox win the World Series or a father playing catch with his kid.

Accomplished businessman, loved and respected husband, father, brother, grandfather (Ippie) and friend, Chip is survived by his high school sweetheart, wife of 50 years, Suzanne Southcott Trefry; his children: Earl Carl Trefry, III (Chet)/Spouse Cindy, Aimee Trefry Powell/Spouse Eric, Nicklaus Albert Trefry/Spouse Stephanie, and Courtney Michele Trefry/Spouse John; his six grandchildren: Tylar and Christian Powell, Jacob and Morgan Trefry, Nicklaus Jr. (TJ) and Graham Trefry; his siblings: Penny Borgia/Spouse Frank, Pat Ellis, Susan Pattillo/Spouse David; and many nieces and nephews.

The celebration of Chip’s life will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 23 at Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Legacy Lodge, 4801 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida 32207, followed by an open reception at the San Jose Country Club, 7529 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida 32217.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Earl Carl Trefry, Jr. (Chip) to the following charities:

The First Tee of North Florida Address: 475 W Town Pl, Suite 115 St. Augustine, FL 32092

Daniel Kids Address: 4203 Southpoint Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32216

The Trefry family is grateful for the care Chip received from doctors, nurses and caregivers, especially at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida.

  • DONATIONS

  • The First Tee of North Florida
  • Daniel Kids

Services

  • Memorial Service Sunday, February 23, 2020

Memories

Earl "Chip" Carl Trefry Jr.

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Patty Tyler

February 25, 2020

Dear Suzanne, I heard about Chip passing today. I am so sorry for your loss. Chip was the nicest guy and so genuinely good at running an agency. He will be missed! Sincerely,

Mike Wood

February 23, 2020

Dear Suzanne,

I was saddened to hear of Chip's passing this past week. I wanted you to know that he was very instrumental in helping me in the early days of my own Insurance practice. He took time out of his busy days to see how I was doing and offered me timely guidance.

The one thing I always remembered about Chip is his competitiveness always striving to improve his business and yes his golf game. He will be sorely missed by us all. My thoughts & prayers go out to you and your beautiful family.

Kindest regards ,

Mike (Woody)

Michele Olney

February 22, 2020

Suzanne and family. My heartfelt prayers and condolences as you mourn the loss of Chip. He is in heaven now and pain free. The greats who went before him have welcomed him into their loving arms. He is up there playing golf and singing with the angels. God bless you and your family as you share happier memories of Chip.
Michele Olney

Robert Wilhelm

February 21, 2020

One of the very kindest, selfless and caring men I have ever known.
A man of utmost integrity, always willing to be of service. My wife Darlene and I are so grateful to have known Chip for many years and offer the sincerest of condolences to a fine family who will miss him greatly.
Rest in peace, Chip. You have served your Master well indeed.
Bob and Darlene Wilhelm

John Sapora

February 21, 2020

It was a privilege to work with Chip on The First Tee of Jacksonville and North Florida. His passion for kids and vision for the organization were inspiring and essential to our mission. Also thanks to him thousands of attorney families in several states have excellent health-related benefits, which is a great legacy of service.

SANDY LILLIS

February 20, 2020

I am very sad to learn of Chip's passing today. As a good friend of his sister, Pat, I learned to know that he was a very good brother. She has told wonderful stories of him all through our 50 year friendship. I send my condolences to Pat and all of the family. He will be sorely missed by all. Sandy Lillis

Murrell Weissinger

February 20, 2020

I just learned of Chip’s passing moments ago. I’m so very very sad and devastated by the news. I can only imagine what you Suzanne and your family are going through. He was an extraordinary man, loved and appreciated by all who knew him. He was a kind of mentor for me with TheFirst Tee, encouraging me and appreciating my participation. I couldn’t have done my volunteer job without his help. Chip, you are unforgettable and missed more than you could imagine.

Suzanne Kirklin

February 19, 2020

I am so grateful to Chip and Suzanne for letting me join in their lives through Business Planning Concepts for 14 years. I couldn't have ask for a better boss and friend. My sorrow and love to you Suzanne and the family whom I grew to know so well. My prayers are with you all.

Scott Glazier

February 19, 2020

The one word I think of when I think of Chip is tenacious. It was said in his memorial and I agree. He was tenacious in whatever he was doing, whether it was golf, business, philanthropy or his hobbies. If you worked or played with him, he brought out your competitive spirit and made you better or you got run over. I like to think he made me better and I can't think of a better tribute to anyone than saying he made me better. Rest in Peace my friend and my condolences to Suzanne and the family.

Todd Piersol

February 18, 2020

Chip lived the kind of life I aspire to lead. He was gritty, he was a leader, he enjoyed himself and his family, and he was an ethical and shrewd businessman. He also showed me what it was like to really get involved in the community. I wish I had known him longer. He will be missed.
Todd

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