Mr. Rick Chase was one of the most animated US History teacher Orange Park High School has ever had. He taught history, but not just by standing there talking to his students, but interacting with them. He was class sponsor almost every year he taught at OPHS. He was more than a teacher, he was a friend and confidant to his students and he truly looked forward to going to work everyday, hoping to making a difference in every life he touched. Sadly, on July 27, 2007, he passed away following a motorcycle accident. He left behind three beautiful children, Chris (Chase) Lloyd and Melinda (Chase) Lloyd, both of Richmond, Virginia and our daughter, Allison who lives in Jacksonville. Rick started teaching at Orange Park High School in 1976 and continued until 1986, when he went to work for FTP/NEA, where he retired from in 2006 at the age of 60. Education was his gift and his passion, whether it be in a classroom or at a board meeting fighting for teacher’s rights, he truly loved every aspect of education. He loved riding his Harley, and especially loved riding with Allison when she bought her Harley Sportster. They made many 5000 mile trips every year with Allison sitting behind Rick on his bike, until she was old enough to ride her own bike. Two of these trips were to the Sturgis (South Dakota) Bike Week. Allison was 16 for the first trip and 18 for the second and made both trips in the saddle. There are no words that can describe what a wonderful father he was to her;
she was his world ~ he was her world.
Rick was my friend, my husband at one point and the father of my daughter. Given the chance to hand pick a father for her, it would have been him. His death has left a large hole in my heart because even though we divorced, we were still a family. I will always love him, as will many of his friends and former students. Rick never had a bad word to say about, or to, anyone. So many of us looked to him for guidance (especially me) through difficult situations and never once did he turn us away. He was kind, patient, loving and the best friend a person could ever hope for. Rick, we love and miss you.
You are always on our minds ~ forever in our hearts
Kelley (Chase) Pickett ~ Class of ‘76