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David Coggeshall Chase

February 14, 1927 ~ February 15, 2022 (age 95)


David C. Chase died peacefully in his home at Bickford House in Rockford on February 15, 2022. He was born February 14, 1927, in Newport, Rhode Island to James and Julia (Simmons) Chase. After graduating from Rogers High School in Newport in 1945 he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps. After his discharge from the army, he enrolled at the University of Rhode Island where he majored in agronomy. In June of the same year, he married June Ann Haack. They celebrated their 50th anniversary before she died in October 2001. He married Shirley Haffner on August 30th, 2003 at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Woodstock. In 2005 he moved to Harvard. 

David was an avid gardener, and after his graduation in 1951, he joined the U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service. David assisted farmers and landowners in carrying out conservation practices from 1951 to 1964 in Bedford, Honesdale, and Milford, Pennsylvania. In 1964 he transferred to Maine where he worked in Kennebec County and, in 1975 moved to Portland as a resource conservationist. He retired in February 1982 after 31 years of service. 

His love of the land began as a young boy growing up in Middletown, RI. He cherished the memories of playing with his cousins and sister on his uncles' farms which adjoined his family home. He often recalled swimming and fishing in Narragansett Bay with his friends and family. His children remember fondly the times they spent water skiing with their father.

After retiring he fulfilled his lifelong dream of developing a perennial nursery, the Golden Glow Gardens, located in North Yarmouth, Maine. The nursery operated until 1992 when David once again retired and moved to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. 

He enjoyed driving through the countryside and watching the crops grow as he had during his years of working with the Soil Conservation Service. He was able to once more develop a "northern garden," growing plants such as hostas, daffodils, and daylilies as well as landscape their new home on Orchard Lane. He enjoyed sharing his prized daylilies with others and was extremely proud that a day lily was named in his honor, “the David Chase Golden Glow.” He shared his knowledge of plants in a New Smyrna Beach newspaper column titled "Mr. Green thumb." 

During his active years David volunteered with the Cub and Boy Scouts, the 4- H, the American Legion, St. Peter the Fisherman Church in New Smyrna Beach, St. Ann's Church in Woodstock, and the Men’s Garden Club of New Smyrna Beach. He was also a member of the American Hemerocallis Society 

He is survived by his wife Shirley, his four children, James R. of Union, ME, William D. of Burnham, ME, Peter D. of New Limerick, ME, and Ann Johnson of Brattleboro, VT, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his four sisters, Nancy Chase, Ruth Anthony, Martha Chase, and Judith Eichelberger, and a grandson, David Chase. 

David will be interred at a date to be determined in the Resurrection Garden at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock. In lieu of flowers, contributions to St. Ann’s Episcopal Church would be appreciated.


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