Cover photo for Gary L. Chase's Obituary
Gary L. Chase Profile Photo

Gary L. Chase

Gary Louis Peter Chase was welcomed into Heaven on Monday, December 20, 2021. He passed peacefully at his home in Galesburg after battling end-stage renal failure.

He was born September 17, 1951 in Dearborn, the son of Stanley Jr. and Flora (Ratiu) Chase. Gary attended Our Lady of Grace, St. Mary’s school, Hackett HS (Class of 69) & graduated from WMU in 1975 with a BA in Marketing. He worked at Gull Lake Country Club to pay his way through Hackett. While attending WMU, Gary worked for Meijer where he met the love of his life Joy (aka Joyful Ann Honey) Merrill. Gary was hired in 1978 by the U.S. Postal Service. He worked as an LSM operator, expeditor and express driver until his retirement in 2013. He made lifelong friends everywhere he went.

In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting (aka playing poker with his deer hunting buddies), fishing, traveling with Joy, doing yardwork and swimming at the MN house, winning cornhole, transporting vehicles for Ford, playing Santa Claus at the annual Merrill Christmas parties, animal rescue, cheering for the Wolverines, Lions, and Tigers and volunteering at West MI Cancer Center.

Gary had a wonderful sense of humor and a smile and joke for all of us. He looked forward to Sunday family dinners followed by lively board games. He loved hosting 4


of July parties (where there were some close calls with the fireworks but no lost digits), going on family vacations up-north to Onaway and siblings weekends and dinners. Family was always his top priority. On October 27, 1973 at St. Margaret Catholic Church, he married Joy Merrill, who survives.

Also surviving are his daughters Molly, Katie, Anna, and Jenna all of Kalamazoo; sister Amy Chase; brothers Jeff, Michael and Rob (Kami) Chase; brothers and sisters-in-law Tim (Sharon) Merrill, Sally (Dan) Perrin, Cheryl (Rick) VanderVeen, Jeanne (Kevin) Lewis, Tammy (Bob) Bailey, Linda Merrill, and Nyla Merrill along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Ricky; mother and father-in-law Richard and Bernice Merrill, and brothers-in-law Rick and Pat Merrill.

According to Gary’s wishes, cremation has taken place.

Friends may meet with Gary’s family from 5-8pm on Friday, January 7 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego. A memorial mass will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, January 8 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kalamazoo.

The family would like to thank Gary’s medical team including DaVita Dialysis, Drs. George Adam and Jim & Jack Hunt.

Please smile and think of Gary every time you hear a Bob Seger song or shoot a rubber band at someone.

Contributions in memory of Gary may be made to the Ronald McDonald House.

Messages of condolence may be posted at


Offer Condolence for the family of Gary L. Chase

Condolence Messages

Don Stanfill

December 23, 2021 at 10:12 am

Joy and family, Jan and I are so very sorry for your loss. We hold you all in our hearts and prayers ❤️


Sheila white

December 23, 2021 at 10:13 am

What a blessing to have known him. May the family take solace that he touched many lives !


Sara Stark

December 23, 2021 at 10:17 am


So very sorry for your loss. We’re all here for you thru this difficult time, and I’m sure your Dad will still be with you in spirit each step of the way, too. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

~Sara Stark~


MJ Carter

December 23, 2021 at 10:46 am


There are no words at a time like this but please know that in time, the wonderful memories of your father will help to replace your tears with smiles. I am praying for you and your family.



Pam Rice

December 23, 2021 at 11:26 am

Joy and family,

Ron and I are so very sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed hearing about his sense of humor. His dedication to you and the girls was remarkable.


Ron and Pam Rice


Melissa Tolbert

December 23, 2021 at 11:49 am


I was very sorry to have learned about your loss. Please know we are thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

Melissa Tolbert


bill smith

December 23, 2021 at 1:11 pm

The Staff here at Deals Unlimited offer our condolences for the loss of Gary. We share if your loss and wish nothing but blessings and heartfelt sympathy during this time. Your family will be in our thoughts.


Janet Hahn Hogue

December 23, 2021 at 1:30 pm

Sorry to hear about your loss. Prayers for the family.


Terri Goodacre- Gott

December 23, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Joy, So very sorry to learn about your husband. Please accept my sincere sympathy tó you and your family. I have had two husband’s, both died so I know how it feels.I never had kids, so it was especially lonely. I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you.


Cledith Dowty

December 23, 2021 at 3:52 pm

Joy and girls…I’m so sorry to hear about Gary. There are not enough words to ease your loss. Just know you will never lose your memories of Gary.

My thoughts are with you all.


Barb Engleright

December 23, 2021 at 6:01 pm

So very sorry for your loss. Gary was such a funny and nice guy. A bright light at Meijers when he worked, always ready with a smart a comment.


Cher Jones

December 23, 2021 at 7:06 pm

Gary was such a hoot as a co-worker. I worked midnights, he worked days.

He came in with a smile and a joke EVERY morning. 🙂 Made even the worst

nights at work seem OK.

It was a sad day when he retired. Even more sad now that he has passed.

Sincere sympathy to the entire family.


Lily and Ben Kanipe

December 23, 2021 at 11:09 pm

Our prayers and thoughts will be with you Joy and all the family in the loss of your loved one. I will always remember Gary with a smile on his face and how sociable he was to everyone who knew him.. May he Rest In Peace.


Patricia "Burd" Clingenpeel

December 24, 2021 at 6:05 am

Dear Joy & family…my heart goes out to you. Gary was such a wonderful

person. We all had a good time working together at Meijers…

May God Bless all of you….


Patricia "Leonard" Clingenpeel

December 24, 2021 at 6:06 am

Dear Joy & family…my heart goes out to you. Gary was such a wonderful

person. We all had a good time working together at Meijers…

May God Bless all of you….


Edward and Jeannie Nufer

December 24, 2021 at 9:21 am

Joy and family Ed and I are so sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers to you all.


Marian Sullivan

December 24, 2021 at 11:54 am

Dear Joy and Family, I am sorry to read that your loving husband and father died. I am looking at your picture in the St. Ann 1996 parish book; a happy family!


mary beth kaiser

December 25, 2021 at 3:28 pm

SO, sad to hear of this news. Greg and I are sending Joy and the girls are condolence’s. We will remember him fondly.

Greg and Mary Beth.


Kasie Melton

December 25, 2021 at 9:21 pm

Love you “Uncle Tim”! Give Uncle Pat and Uncle Rick a hug for me!


Gary Corradini

December 26, 2021 at 7:04 am

Know that many are remembering Gary and feeling the loss you are going through Joy.


DaVita Dialysis staff

December 28, 2021 at 7:10 am

We enjoyed seeing Gary’s smiling face every day when he came through our door. He was always so pleasant and kind to us and provided us with some good conversation. It was a pleasure to be a part of Gary’s life and he will be missed.


Kevin & Jeanne Lewis

December 28, 2021 at 7:29 am

Gary will never be forgotten for his laughter and tricks he played on family members. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family always.


June & Steve Anson

December 29, 2021 at 10:10 pm

Joy, Molly, Katie, Anna & Jenna,

We are so sorry. Gary was such a special guy. He always had a joke to make you laugh. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.


Nancy Rice Feniger

January 3, 2022 at 3:56 pm

Joy and daughters, I am so very sorry for your loss. Please accept my sincere sympathy tó you and your entire Chase/Merrill families.


Clint and Karen Williams

January 4, 2022 at 9:56 am

Joy and family, sorry for your loss. Gary was a good man, a good father, and an all around nice guy. He will be missed. Gary is at peace now and in a better place. Take care of yourselves during this tough time.


John Stanaszek

January 5, 2022 at 9:55 am

So many great memories of Gary as the big cuddly bear of the neighborhood. He tried to scare all of the younger kids, but he would blow his cover when he would start to laugh. He was always kind, gentle and a little stubborn. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the girls.


Leave a Condolence

Cancel reply

Please share your message of condolence with the family, It will be visible to the public but your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked









Obituary Notification Service

Enter your email address if you would like to be notified when a new obituary notice is posted:

Search Obituaries

How do I send a condolence

At the bottom of this page, you will find a condolence form. You will need to fill out some basic information prior to typing your message. (We will not share your e-mail address with anyone) Once you are finished, simply click the submit condolence button. The condolence will be approved before it is published to the web site.

Share This Obituary

Your Name


Your Email


Their Name


Their Email





This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Visits: 2

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors