Alston R. Chace
February 22, 1932 – June 3, 2019
CHAPLAIN, COLONEL, USAF
Ret. Chaplain, Colonel, Alston R. Chace, 87, of Brewster MA formerly of Gardner and Swansea died June 3, 2019.
He served as Command Chaplain for Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, MD., responsible for the supervision and support of the chaplain service within the command.
Alston was born February 22, 1932, in Fall River, MA, and spent his youth in civic, religious, and athletic activities. He graduated from Gardner High School in 1950 where he was a member of the national honor society, lettered in varsity football and during his senior year preached his first sermon at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. While earning a bachelor's degree from Tufts University, Medford, MA, in 1954 he was the center and place kicker on the varsity football team. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Beverly Morse in 1955, he began his seminary training at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, and earned a master of divinity degree in 1957. He also completed a master's degree in counseling and guidance from Troy State University, Troy, AL, in 1973. Alston was a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and the Academic Instructor Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, in 1973 and 1975 respectively. He completed the Air War College Seminar Program in 1979.
Alston entered the Air Force in July 1961 and served at military parishes both stateside and overseas. Assignments included Cadet Chaplain, Headquarters U.S. Air Force Academy, CO; Staff Chaplain, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott AFB, IL; and Command Chaplain, Headquarters United States Air Force in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany.
He earned the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, AF Commendation Medal and the parachutist badge, having completed the United States Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, GA. Alston was promoted to colonel September 1, 1978, with date of rank June 5, 1978.
Throughout his military career, Alston was active in the Boy Scouts of America Program after earning the rank of Eagle Scout at 13. Years later he was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the National Court of Honor. He was also a four-time recipient of the George Washington Honor Medal for his patriotic essays entered in the military writing contest sponsored by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
In 1990 Alston officially retired from the Air Force and became Rector of his former parish St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. During the next seven years he served as Dean of eight Episcopal churches in North Worcester, MA and was the Diocesan Armed Forces Representative.
Alston retired from full time parish ministry in 1997 and moved to his home in Brewster enjoying visits from family and friends. He conducted worship services when needed and served as President of the Brewster Men’s Club and Cape Cod Tufts Alumni Association. Alston also served on the board of Sight Loss Services for many years and was Chaplain to the Blinded Veterans Association. He enjoyed sailing, kayaking, playing golf at The Captains Course and cheering for his prized Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots.
Alston will be dearly missed by his wife of 64 years, formerly Beverly Morse, son John Chace and wife Kristin, of Fort Wayne, IN, daughter Carey Loving of Brewster, his brother’s wife, Joy Chace of West Palm Beach, FL, grandson Peter Chace, his wife Sarah and their four children, granddaughter Alicia Harris, her husband Chris and their daughter, granddaughter Stephanie Chace, and grandson Jamie Loving. He was preceded into eternal life by his beloved son James Chace, parents Dr. Frank and Alice Chace of Fall River, MA and brother Col. Frank Chace, USMC, of West Palm Beach, FL.
His Funeral Service will be celebrated on Friday, June 21, 2019 in The Church of the Holy Spirit, 204 Monument Rd., Orleans at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA at a future date.
The family is requesting that memorial donations be made to The Church of The Holy Spirit, Orleans, the Blinded Veterans Association, Alexandria, VA or Sight Loss Services, Inc., Cape Cod and Islands.
- Funeral Mass Friday, June 21, 2019
Alston R. Chace
June 18, 2019
It was my pleasure to know Rev. Al during his time as minister at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Gardner, MA. He was a true gentleman and a wonderful human being. Being a funeral director, I got to know him personally and have never met a finer man. I also got to serve he and Beverly when her parents died and were buried in Gardner.
I will hold very fond memories of working with him and serving families always close to my heart.
Please accept my deepest sympathies at this time of your loss.
May Al rest in peace with the Lord, he honored and served so well.
Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home,
June 16, 2019
Al was one of the finest men I ever knew. He served our blind clients with the same fervor that he did his charges in the Air Force - he was one of the few Chaplains to be certified as a parachute jumper, as he felt it was important to experience what his men did in order to understand them better. As he lost his own sight, he put that to use to help and counsel others who were blind just like he did his men. We loved him, we honor him, and we will miss him.