William Gilbert Chase

william chase
WILLIAM G. CHASE William Gilbert Chase, 68, of Wilmington, DE died of cancer Sunday, August 6 at Christiana Hospital. Born in New Haven, CT on May 28, 1938, he was the son of Robert Chase and Charlotte Gilbert Chase and grandson of A. C. Gilbert, inventor of the Erector Set. Mr. Chase graduated from the Lawrenceville School and earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University. As an undergraduate, he swam for Yale and the College Swimming Coaches Association of America named him to the All American Collegiate Swimming Team in 1960 and 1961, years when he set new collegiate records. He came to Wilmington to teach at the Sanford School in 1967 and joined the faculty at Tower Hill School in the fall of 1969. He taught physics and chemistry. He eventually taught physics and physical science and served as the chair of the Science Department. He retired from Tower Hill in 1999. Acknowledged by many of his students for the quality of his teaching and for the high expectations he set, he took huge pride in the accomplishments of his students who went on to success after Tower Hill. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars honored him with a Distinguished Teacher Award in 1994. On the recommendation of one of his former students, the University of Chicago presented him with an Outstanding Teacher Award and he was also the recipient of the Oppenheimer Award for Exceptional Teaching. An avid traveler, climber, bicyclist, and hiker, Mr. Chase pursued his interests with passion and shared his enthusiasm eagerly and generously with others. Just out of college, he spent a year hitchhiking through Africa from Cairo to Cape Town. He did several long distance hikes in England, including the Dales Way in Yorkshire and the Coast-to-Coast path from St. Bees on the west coast to Robin Hood's Bay on the east. In recent years he trekked in Nepal and Bhutan and, carrying camping equipment and supplies, backpacked the length of the 211-mile John Muir Trail in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. In May 2005, he walked the last section of the 630-mile South West Coast Path around the most southwesterly tip of England, a route that he covered in stages over several years. He also hiked as a member of the Wilmington Trail Club and organized several backpacking trips for the club. One fellow hiker described him as an 'ideal hiking partner--knowledgeable, experienced and with a wonderful positive disposition that overcame any problem or discomfort on the trail.' Mr. Chase is survived by his wife of 15 years, Susan Mulchahey Chase, and by two sisters, Charlotte C. Thomson, Hamden, CT, and Mary Ellen C. Jacobsen, Windsor, CT, and by five nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be made in his memory to the Lawrenceville School, Box 6125, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 or to Tower Hill School, 2813 West 17th Street, Wilmington, DE 19806. Both schools have earmarked any memorial gifts for scholarships. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, August 19, at 2:00 p.m. at the Wilmington Friends Meetinghouse, at 4th and West streets, Wilmington, DE. Arrangements in care of BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE., HAMDEN.

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  1. Bill has been a close friend all his life-I met him soon after he was born and saw him frequently the next few years, as I roomed with his Uncle Al. For years we have shared many interests- from hiking, to biking, to westies! I shall miss him!My deepest sympothy to Susan, Charlotte and Mary Ellen!

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