Chase Family

If ever there was a moment when one might ask the question: How many extremely talented creative people can fit into one family before the world collapses on itself, then the answer would be: six. The Chase family is seriously one of the most interesting, amazing combinations of creative people ever. At the head of the table is Dan. The birthday parties he threw for his children are literally still discussed in fairy-tale fashion. Dan is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet: and with a servant’s heart that measures from the east to the west. (And he would definitely want mentioned that he is an Ohio State Buckeye alum.) Dan’s wife Melissa was a God-send for Ellen and I back when we were student pastors. She was an all-star volunteer. We trashed her house on many occasions all in the name of student ministry (Ellen and I accidentally broke a recliner once). But she was always ready and willing to have us back again. She was always there to lend a hand, drive a kid, lead a small group, cook a meal, host a homeless child, and on and on until the list would seem as if it were made up…but that’s Melissa. She loves students very much. Starting with the oldest–James is a professor in Qatar. If there is someone out there that doesn’t love James: I don’t know them. James is like his father–very genuine and always willing to be there for a friend. Emily has more creativity in an eyelash than most people have in their whole bodies. She was another one we couldn’t live without during our student ministry years. She could rally a crowd together like no ones business. In one moment she could have the biggest-bully-biker dancing like a ballerina and then in the next have the sweetest-tiny-6th-grade-girls wrestling to the death for imaginary points that have no true reward…it is amazing to watch. Ellen and I are very thankful to have had someone like her. Callie=”I don’t care what you think.” Not in a snotty, I’m-better-than-you way, but rather in an “I’m going to make videos singing karaoke with my best friend Ashley using brushes and curling irons as mics and broadcast them to the world” sort of way. She is so comfortable in her own skin, in her own style, and in her own world. I wish I could bottle that up and sell to the world. And finally there is Jakey-Poo. Jacob is always willing to make someone laugh. Even if it means dressing in tights, painting his face like a panda bear, and acting like Kung Fu Panda. Which definitely happened. And was amazing. Jacob was my student (actually more like my right hand man) in student ministry, and now he is a lifelong friend. (Even though he makes fun of me…all the time.) The truth is that the Chase family were one of the biggest reasons Ellen and I were successful as student pastors.

This year has been crazy for this family. Over the past 7 months, Dan has been battling some crazy bouts with his health. There were many difficult days for the family. Dan spent the better part of September, October and November in a medical facility of some sort. Well, he is home now and trying to recover. My ask for you is to pray for the Chase family. There are still many tough roads ahead for them.

Ellen and I asked if we could do a family portrait session for them while James was in town. They said yes. And here are a few of those images. I am very grateful to know the Chase family. And Dan Chase is a man whose life story of love, servanthood, and family should be captured in a book (and every man required to read).


Leanne - December 30, 2010 - 9:10 pm

Hi Olives!

Ya know…there’s this weird, “I don’t want to be the first” at something, that plagues me (and sometimes, others). And, I admit, it crossed my mind that no one had commented on this album and that I shouldn’t be the first. But, only for a split-second! I haven’t been blessed to know the Chase kiddoes (although, most are adults!), and I was only able to know Dan for a bit, before I moved away from the area. But, I know Melissa. As I read your kind, and way-cool, words about this family…about her…the tears of “knowing” welled up. I KNOW Melissa, and you’re right-on-the-money. We’ve been friends since 1978 (we were 2, i promise) and she remains as dear to me now, as she was then. Her heart is amazingly special, and I am beyond grateful to have had my life blessed by hers! I can only wish to have known the family, but will unabashedly believe your words…because apples don’t fall far from trees! And, how could those 4 “apples” be anything but the amazing people that they are?

Thank you, for giving them this incredible gift of beautiful memories. I know that it’s so-much-more-than-special to them, and to us, who love them.

Looks like their years of service, as you served as youth ministers, rubbed off on those they were helping…..your giving heart shows it to be so.

Thank You!

Leanne McLane
(former member of NWMBC)

Laura Shook - December 30, 2010 - 10:00 pm

Thank you Randy and Ellen! These are awesome! I LOVE the picture of Dan and Melissa – so sweet!

Joyce Zabo - January 1, 2011 - 10:25 am

Danny is my little brother and will always be the clown in the family. He would “streak” through the house whenever I had a boyfriend over. He was 5-6, I was mid-teens. At a younger age we (brother, 2 sisters) would send him out to pound ants with a hammer on sidewalks, driveways, wherever. We would also give him the water hose turned on to a trickle and have him wash the driveway. These things kept him busy and out of our hair for hours. Keep getting stronger Danny, you need to be there to torment grandkids.. Love ya, Joyce

Corry Susong - January 1, 2011 - 11:17 am

Okay, these people are my cooky relatives and you have made them look so beautiful! I miss you all and i hope and pray you all are each doing well! Miss you and take care…. From Tennessee, Cousin Corry

Melissa Chase - January 10, 2012 - 10:50 am

I wanted to thank you again for captureing what would be Dan’s last pictures with our whole family. I was looking at your website and thought I would look again at the beautiful words you had written. They have touched me . The pictures are still a preciuos reminder of Dan and the love I see on his face for his family. Thank to you and Ellen for your love for us , as it is seen in your pictures!
Melissa Chase

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