ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from Chad's life.

Tea water? Thumb water? hmmmm....

Shared by marshal cowley on May 30, 2021
I flew with you dad for a couple years in Gilroy. We always had fun and a good laugh. I don't know how appropriate this story is, but if I am known for anything its being inappropriate so here you go...

We flew a lady who had her thumb amputated somehow- gross, I know- well, we had that thumb in the aircraft with us, in a paper cup, in a bag, on ice. We arrive to the hospital, get her into the ER, and I- being the brilliant man I am- realize I left the thumb in the aircraft. Meanwhile, your father had recognized he had a few minutes to himself and went to the cafeteria to get some tea. I called him, and asked him to retrieve the misplaced appendage, and he agreed. To this day I cannot get the look on his face out of my memory. Such concentration, such determination.....the elevator doors opened, there stood chad, two paper cups in hand. starting to drink from one of them....and I could see the thoughts...."this one is thumb water, this one is tea....ill drink this one." 

We joked and laughed about that for a while. I don't know why he didn't leave his tea at the aircraft, or why he decided to drink from the tea at that time. I'd like to think he knew it was cause I was watching and we could share this amusing moment. gross though it may be. 

We all love and respect your father. We are all better for having spent time with him. 

Much, much love,
...mac
Shared by Joseph Drago on May 27, 2021
To Isla & Ellis,

I first met your dad about 7 years ago or so when we first flew together for another company in Southern California. It was one of those friendships where we immediately clicked and always had a great time on shift together. We initially lost touch for a bit when he started to work for REACH and I was still down in SoCal, but when I got hired with REACH and relocated back to Northern California, I was stoked to find out that we'd be working together again at the same base. Your dad was always the hardest worker in the room and a tremendous leader. I have so many memories of busy shifts and getting ran ragged while flying up and down the State with him, including being stranded at a few places. He always took things in stride and was such a positive influence to be around. 

Some of the best times I had while working with your dad was just sitting around and talk about life in the evenings before another call came down. Chad would talk about future plans with family, personal goals, or just shoot the breeze. When he became a new dad, not a conversation would go by where he would not beam talking about Isla and sharing photos. Even when we ended up working at other bases, your dad and I would stay in touch regularly over the years. Ellis, even though I never had a chance to meet you in person I felt like I knew you because how much your dad loved to talk about you both. He was also that guy, that no matter what time, place, or where you were at in life would help you out if you were in a bind, no questions asked. Friends like him are hard to come by. 

I'm eternally grateful to have known and worked with your dad.
Shared by Katie Taylor on May 26, 2021
I was a flight nurse working with your Dad when we first opened a base in Willits.  There are so many stories its hard to choose just one to write about.  
One night there was a huge rain storm.  It had been raining for the last few days. I was working 24 hour shifts, with 24 hours off between them. Instead of driving hours back home our crew could stay in a house close to the airport for our day off.  It was "one of those days" where we had been working around the clock; and a 24-hour shift became a 36-hour shift. Just to lay in bed and crash was all you were capable of doing - forget eating, forget unpacking.  Sleeping was all you needed to do to be back on shift the next morning.  Anyway, this night there was so much rain the water was dripping through the roof, the power was out and we were all just trying to sleep and stay dry.  Water was dripping on my bed in my room. I was trying to be quiet and not disturb anyone sleeping.  I was trying to move my bed to the middle of the room and then I found water was coming in through the walls.  I went into the kitchen to find whatever I could to collect the water.   I nearly ran into your Dad who was trying to do the same thing.  After yelling at him that he nearly scared me to death, and after he stopped laughing at me, he dropped what he was doing to check on the state of my room.  Without saying a word he moved my bed, put towels down around the floor and then came back with a scented candle from your mom to light to drown out the awful musty smell of that room. 
Your Dad was someone you could count on to be there for you, even without words.  He would see what would need to be done and he would do it.  We were friends for the next 7 years even after I had left the company.  We talked and laughed about parenting, we shared stories and pictures of our kids.  He loved his family above all else, the three of you were the light of his life.  There wasn’t a conversation that would go by without talking about you both.  

Snores, Weirdness, Stoicism, and Gratitude

Shared by Craig Piowaty on May 26, 2021
When we first met 7 years ago, your dad was just hired as the Lead Pilot of REACH 18 in Willits, CA and I was already working as the Lead Pilot at REACH 6 in Lakeport, CA. 
He was a fantastic pilot. We used to compete with one another to see how many patients we each could fly during a given month. Somehow, I would always come out ahead in the contest despite Chad trying his hardest (all while dragging his flight crew to literally every corner of Northern California - usually between the hours of 1:00AM-6:00AM). I only came out on top because my service area was smaller than his and most of my flights only took 20 minutes when his took up to 5 hours. It was this competition that really allowed me to see the capable pilot your dad was. He was creative in finding ways to get the job done, he was thorough in his flight planning, he had an amazing ability to convince his flight crews that they really weren’t as tired as they actually were, he was ALWAYS safe, and he cared about everyone that got in his helicopter. 
Man, your dad snored loud though! I probably shouldn’t remember that but because we all lived in the same house while we were working, I do. I had the displeasure of sleeping in the room next to him. All through the night, the wall would literally vibrate from his snores. It’s a wonder any of us got any sleep at all!
Your dad always said I was weird but not weird in an unlikeable way. I wasn’t the only one that fell into this category among our work colleagues and I feel like his recognition of all the differences of opinions, backgrounds, and experiences, is what allowed us to become friends. He felt like everybody deserved a fair shake in life. 
Chad was a better pilot than I was and he was definitely more well rounded. As we grew as colleagues and friends over the years, I became stuck in my role at work and I was having a hard time “moving up”. Your dad advocated for me and he took the time to instruct me on all of the necessary things I didn’t have much experience with so I could move forward in my career. Though our plan didn’t work the way we wanted it to at the time, I’ll forever be grateful to him for his compassion, empathy, and advocacy. 
Just before I went to go work at an airline - another plan your dad helped me with so I could get the experience I needed to move forward in my career - you were born, Isla. I remember him sending me a short video of you sleeping and a text that said his life had changed forever. He was right. 
When I finally came back to work, your dad’s entire character had changed for the better. Though he was always a great guy, a small chip on his shoulder that existed when I saw him last had all but disappeared. He had a new perspective on life and he was 100% focused on making sure he had as much time as possible with you and your Mom. His Stoic persona was realized with your birth! 
When you were born, Ellis, I remember your dad talking about seeing your immense curiosities and noticing you were a lot like him. He marveled in your abilities to trust yourself. We talked about how we both wished we had your innate ability to try everything. 
You kids were so good for him! I loved seeing the videos he’d send of you learning how to save money, ride your bikes, or just being the awesome kids you are. 
I think your dad learned more from you two than he learned in college, from being in the Army, or running a business. He learned how to express himself in profound ways through watching you and being in the moment with you. Had it not been for the two of you, I’m not sure I’d have ever learned the valuable lessons I did from him on slowing down, arriving at whatever destination life takes me with ease, and to be present in the here and now. 
I’m so grateful to have known your dad. He was wonderful.  

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