Thomas Weaver Chase
Passed away on June 22, 2020
TALLAHASSEE - Thomas Weaver Chase was born May 25, 1920 to Paul and Bess Chase in Albert Lea, Minnesota. The family moved to Warroad, Minnesota on the shores of Lake of the Woods and the forested Canadian border when his father was called to be superintendent of schools and music teacher. Tom would carry this love of learning, music, and nature throughout his life until he died on June 22, 2020.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota School of Aeronautical Engineering in 1942, Tom served in the U.S. Navy until the end of WWII. He met Norene Olson and they married in 1949. That same year, Tom began his 38-year career with Honeywell’s aerospace division. He started in Minneapolis with his slide rule and worked for the manned space missions from the Mercury Project through the Space Shuttle program, later moving to St. Petersburg, Florida and Long Beach, California. In 1960, he was credited with a U.S. Patent for an Automatic Condition Control Apparatus for aircraft flights.
Tom and Norene raised four children with a love of learning, music, and nature. Toddlers hiked, children recycled, kids took piano lessons. Family vacations were to state and national parks, museums and historic monuments, and international expositions in Seattle and Montreal. In later years family and friends enjoyed boating, fishing, and camping at the family’s Lake Vermilion property in northern Minnesota.
Throughout his life, Tom loved to sing and listen to symphonies. He was a regular member of church and community choirs. He was on a bowling team, and enjoyed woodworking and sharing his hand-made furniture with family. Tom was a hike leader and snow-camping enthusiast with the Sierra Club in California.
Upon retirement, and after an adventure trip to Egypt, Kenya, and Cameroon in 1987-88, Tom and Norene settled in Tallahassee, Florida, but not to settle down. They were active members of the Sierra Club and League of Women Voters. Tom was also fully involved in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee, singing with the church choir and serving on the building, grounds and finance committees well into his 80s and 90s.
In 2015, Tom and Norene moved to HarborChase assisted living facility where Tom excelled in watercolors and, of course, singing. Tom was renowned for leading a dining room full of residents in a hearty rendition of “God Bless America” every day. Family and friends were truly blessed to be able to celebrate Tom’s centennial birthday there May 25. Many thanks to the kind, considerate, and caring HarborChase staff.
Tom was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Norene Olson Chase, son David Thomas Chase, and grandson Thomas Colby Hollister. He is survived by sisters Margaret Chase and Harriet Chase; children Kathy (Rip) Caleen, Paul Chase, and Beth Hollister; grandchildren Chris and Katie Caleen, Andrew Chase, and Sam Hollister; and great-grandson Caleb Chase Lyons. He will be fondly remembered by numerous cousins and friends.
Tom was a quiet man and gentle soul whose giving actions roared. To celebrate his life, consider continuing Tom’s legacy: Learn something new, every day. Enjoy, and take actions to protect nature. Love and serve your country and your community. Vote. Above all, sing to your heart’s content.
A memorial tree dedicated to Tom Chase will be planted in downtown Tallahassee’s Bloxam Park. Memorial gifts may be sent to the Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, or the Tallahassee Unitarian Church. The family will hold a private graveside memorial.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Thomas Weaver Chase
July 3, 2020
My heartfelt condolences go out to Tom’s family and friends during this time.
My memories of Tom are vivid, even though it’s been several years since I last spoke with him at Harbor Chase. He was a longtime member of the Tallahassee Civic Chorale, lending his voice to the bass section. As a young woman with a similar passion for music, I admired Tom for his dedication to the Chorale as the group struggled to gain members (especially men) in those early years.
Even after he “retired” from our chorus, he remained an avid supporter by attending concerts and other chorus activities.
I realize now that I must have met Tom almost as soon as he and Norene moved to Tallahassee. Can that really be more than 30 years ago?!
As described in his obituary, I knew Tom to be a reserved, but passionate gentleman. I will certainly strive to continue Tom’s legacy...especially “singing to my heart’s content”. Rest In Peace dear friend.