Cover photo for William "Bill" O. Chastain's Obituary
William "Bill" O. Chastain Profile Photo
1937 William 2022

William "Bill" O. Chastain

January 4, 1937 — January 6, 2022

William “Bill” O. Chastain, long-time resident of Green Cove Springs, Florida, met his Lord and Savior face-to-face on January 6, 2022, just two days after his 85th birthday.

 Bill was born on January 4, 1937, and he loved to share stories of his Cherokee roots from “back home” in Stilwell, Oklahoma.  He was raised by his mother, Jessie B. Dickson and step-father, Bolen Dickson.  He attended Tahlequah Senior High School, where he played football for the Tigers, and he married his high school sweetheart, Darla D. Cox in 1958.  They welcomed their first child, Robert, the year after, followed by another son, Scott, in 1960, and a daughter, Rhonda, in 1965.

 At just 17, Bill enlisted in the United States Navy, where he proudly served our country for over 33 years, including service throughout the Vietnam War.  He was awarded the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, and a Navy Unit Commendation amongst numerous other medals, commendations, and ribbons.  His career included multiple deployments overseas and took him on assignments to Norfolk, Virginia; Beeville, Texas; Meridian, Mississippi; and Jacksonville, Florida, where he retired in 1987 as an enlisted aviation warfare specialist and Senior Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic.  Thereafter, he worked for Lockheed Martin then the Clay County School Board.

 Bill was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, and friend.  He was the kind of man on which you could always depend.  His word meant something, and his heart was as big as they come.  He never met a stranger, and you could count on him to put a smile on your face and to make you feel as if you had his full attention in every encounter.  He enjoyed good, clean humor; Southern gospel music; his pets; and the Word of God, which he studied daily.  He accepted Christ as his savior shortly after entering the service, and he found peace throughout the war from his favorite passage – Psalm 91 – which he kept tucked away with him.  His love for the Lord matured when he returned stateside, and he particularly enjoyed ministering to youth.  He served as a youth pastor and bus pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, as well as a youth pastor and junior church leader for many years at First Baptist Church in Green Cove Springs, Florida.  After his second retirement, Bill spent much of his time with his granddaughter and on honing his painting skills, and he even won several awards in local shows for his acrylic landscapes.

 He was preceded in death by his wife, Darla (Cox) Chastain; and infant son William “Scott” Chastain.  He is survived by his son Robert of Green Cove Springs, Florida; daughter Rhonda (Mark) Caldwell of Middleburg, Florida; grandson Stephen (Kristiana) Knowles of Jacksonville Beach, Florida; granddaughter Amanda Freeman of Jacksonville, Florida; and great-grandchildren Garrick, Lizzie, Alex, Grayson, Claire, Cadence, and Brooklyn.

A graveside service featuring the rendering of military honors will be held at 11:00am on Friday, January 14, 2022 at Hickory Grove Cemetery with Pastor Sam Castano officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please consider instead making donations to one of Bill’s favorite causes: Rock of Ages (Prison) Ministries (here) or the Clay Humane Society (here). 


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, January 14, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Hickory Grove Cemetery

, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

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