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William Chalke

William Chalke, 73, passed away on December 23, 2020 due to complications arising from COVID-19.

Will was a Phoenix native, born on March 23, 1947 to George and Olive Chalke. Will, known affectionately as “Gabby” by his family, lived a challenging and accomplished life. Extremely principled, he met each of life’s challenges with honor, integrity, and a deep love of God.

Will spent much of his formative years in Payette, Idaho with his grandparents, George and Vernitta Carr. After high school, Will joined the Navy Reserves and served two years active duty in the Vietnam War as a Machinery Repairman on several ships. He would continue his drilling with the Reserves after deactivation, ultimately retiring in 1994 as Chief Petty Officer.

Following active duty, Will went on to earn a Bachelor of Science from the University of Idaho in 1973. He showed great mechanical aptitude early on in his life. He was always fascinated with how things worked and loved to repair broken machines. These abilities led his career choices throughout his life. He also had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and enjoyed spending hours among stacks of reference books. He loved to share what he learned with others; whether it be repairing turbine engines, the elements of physics, or the history of table salt.

After trying his hand in several occupations in mechanical repair and as a machinist, Will found his true calling in the Merchant Marines in 1987. During his career, he sailed on a variety of ships, traveling the world as an engineer. His career allowed him to pursue his great love of travel and engineering. He retired from the Merchant Marines in 2011, with 24 total years of sailing under his belt and had advanced to the rank of Chief Engineer.

Will’s marriage to Barbara Akers produced his only child, a daughter named Rebecca. Will was a proud and deeply loving father, giving his daughter love, support, and passing along his love of learning. He was a devoted son, father, brother, and friend. He was the owner of both a kind soul and a charitable heart.

William is survived by his brother, George Chalke and his wife, Sharon; his daughter, Rebecca Chalke Hansen and her husband, Michael; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, George Chalke; his mother, Olive Chalke; his grandfather, George Carr; and grandmother; Vernitta Carr.

In keeping with Will’s wishes not to endanger others during the pandemic, services will be held at a later date.


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