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McKinley Principal Steve Chadaz passes away

Steve Chadaz

Photo courtesy Shauna Norton

Update; the candlelight vigil planned for Sunday evening has been cancelled. Instead a celebration of his life is being planned for a later date. Details will be posted in the Leader as they become available

The odds were stacked against him and despite a valiant fight, McKinley Principal Steve Chadaz passed away during the night at Ogden Regional Medical Center. By a major miracle, his children, who live all over the country, and his wife Susan, were all able to be by his side.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet but will be forthcoming.

The family expressed their appreciation to the community for all the love and support shown during these difficult last few days.

A beloved principal at McKinley Elementary School he suffered a ruptured aorta early Tuesday morning. He began experiencing chest pains after doing some light chores around his Tremonton home, according to a family member.

“It is not hereditary. It was a 1 in 10,000 that that happens, just stupid luck,” said brother-in-law Joel Ramsdell.

Chadaz was taken by his wife to Bear River Valley hospital then transported to Ogden Regional that afternoon where the aorta tear was discovered. He was immediately taken in for surgery.

“During the surgery it appears he had several strokes, which affected the back side of his brain,” said Ramsdell.

The school’s PTA has set up a memorial at the front doors of McKinley Elementary where you can sign a card that they will present to the family. Community members have been asked to join in offering prayers for McKinley’s beloved principal.

This is the second principal from McKinley to pass away in the last 10 years. Brent Larson died of a heart attack in March of 2006.




35 comments for “McKinley Principal Steve Chadaz passes away

  1. marilynn
    July 4, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Thank you for your excellent coverage at this difficult time.

  2. Lyle
    July 4, 2014 at 8:41 am

    We are so sorry to hear about Steve;s passing. We hope and pray that his family is comforted during this very hard time. Steve is loved and will be missed so much.

  3. Kathy Fuhriman
    July 4, 2014 at 8:58 am

    So Sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. Very sad day for his family and for McKinley elementary. He truly made a difference in this life.

  4. Vicky
    July 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Very sad day. Our love goes to is lovely family. Love and Care Kyle &Vicky Jensen.

  5. Tracy Hansen
    July 4, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I am heart broken to hear of Steve’s passing. He was a wonderful man, husband, teacher, principal and boss. He did so many wonderful things for students. He genuinely cared for the children and wanted the best for him. No matter what he was doing he was always working to make the world a better place and making a difference for those whom he had in his life. He will be missed by all. His family are in our prayers.

  6. Moriah
    July 4, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Steve will be greatly missed! He was a very caring man.

  7. Katie
    July 4, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Mr. Chadez was hands down the most amazing principal I have ever met. Both my boys were lucky enough to have him as a principal. The past few years I watched him go outside every morning and greet the kids, every afternoon and send them off, making sure they were safe, playing ball with the kids, leading the entire school in songs and assemblies, high fives and hugs. And I want to say thank you to him and let his family know how blessed I feel to have had him make such an impact in my son’s life. The past few years my youngest was having kind of a hard time and Mr. Chadez made it a point to check on him, follow up, ask if he was ok and when I came to the school he would make sure to tell me how much he liked my son and if he was concerned about him or that he though he was doing great. This school will never be the same. Thank you Mr. Chadez for loving our kids, protecting our kids, teaching our kids and loving our kids as if they were your own.

  8. Marilee Tueller
    July 4, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Steve was a wonderful man who put a lot of positive energy into his job and community. McKinley felt like a happy and safe place for students and parents alike. I had many nice conversations and interactions with Steve that just cemented in my mind the type of good man he was. I am so saddened by this tragic outcome. My prayers go out to his family. We all mourn with you.

  9. Brooklyn francom
    July 4, 2014 at 9:58 am

    One time when my friend got hurt he came over and helped us. He was a great principal. We will miss you.

  10. Madsens
    July 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Sad day for those who knew and loved him.. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone. A man that many can look up to and aspire to be like.

  11. Lisa Upton
    July 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I am so sad to hear this! Steve was the principal who hired me at Dale Young Community High School! I enjoyed working with him. He was a great leader with a kind heart. He will be missed.

  12. Bryon Crocker
    July 4, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Steve was a good guy always fair to me
    Threw all the bull I put him and his wife threw
    We need more principals for are kids like him
    I’m sorry chadaz family prares from me and my family

  13. Beth and Perry Stamey
    July 4, 2014 at 10:29 am

    So sorry for the Chadaz family. He was our bishop when we first moved in and made us feel welcome in this community. Our prayers are with you at this time of need!

  14. sherri madson
    July 4, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Steve Chadaz was one in a million. I loved him as a friend, as a ward member, and as a boss (or as he would call himself- a part of our team). He was always such a positive role model and continually showed love and compassion. I know the McKinley team would do anything for him because they knew he returned the same. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him. Our family also loves all the rest of the Chadaz family. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  15. Lori
    July 4, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Heaven is brighter today! Thankful for his example

  16. Marie Wise
    July 4, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Steve was a good friend to me, as we were the same age. I enjoyed his friendship, from kindergarten thru high school. He was always the kind supportive person , I imagine he was as a teacher and principal. I will always regret, not meeting up with him since those school days. One good man Steven Chavez.

  17. Tammy Nelson Pettigrew
    July 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Like Marie, it is impossible to think back in school from elementary through high school without wonderful memories of Steve. He has always been one of the truly good guys – in whatever he endeavored.

    I heard this line yesterday and it seemed so appropriate. Death is when you close your eyes and see the light instead of the dark. Sweet dreams, dear friend.

    Prayers of condolence are lovingly sent to the entire Chadaz family.

  18. Teresa Thompson-Hart
    July 4, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Steve was an amazing man who was so caring and gave all of himself to everyone he interacted with as does his beautiful wife Susan. I had the good fortune to live close to them for a period of time and even clog with them and they were such a fun and giving couple. Steve’s influence will live on in the lives of every single person he touched and in the families those people have and the communities those people live in. His influence will be felt forever. Thank you Chadaz family for your generosity of spirit. May you all be wrapped and held in peace and love during this very difficult time.

  19. Kim McMinn
    July 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    It’s hard to know what to say when so much has been said. Steve was, and still is, and awesome man. I had him way back in 7th grade when he taught at ACHIS, and had the privilege of being in the Tremonton 13th ward with him and Susan for the past 8 years. He was always kind and courteous; I don’t think I ever heard him raise his voice. It is hard when a man this good dies young, but there should be no question as to where his spirit is now.
    To Susan and family, I am so sorry. Nothing I can say to you will “make it better”. But know that I am praying for you and have nothing but love for you. To Susan in particular, you are one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had and I thank you. If you ever, EVER, need anything, don’t hesitate to call. Much love from the McMinn household.

  20. Montoya & Sons
    July 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    We are saddened by the news of mr chadaz passing. He truly was a great example to all those young and old. He will live on in those who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  21. Ryan Olsen
    July 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    If there was good to be done, time to be donated, people to be valued, or a smile to be shared, Steve Chadaz was present and accounted for! Thank you Steve for being a force for good and always leaving people better than when you found them-You did that for me! I express my heartfelt condolences and love to the Chadaz family.

  22. Ann Jensen
    July 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I want to write something outstanding for this outstanding man. But as I begin writing, I am flooded with so many memories. Mr.Chadaz made everyone around him feel like they were so important and never acted as if he was. He was the very definition and example of what Christ wants from all of us. You will be missed Steve!

  23. Stacey Hatch
    July 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. He was very happy positive role model and he will be greatly missed. All our love the Hatchs

  24. Jeremy Woolley
    July 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Steve Chadaz was a good principal and friend to all of those kids, teachers, and parents that passed through that school. Thank you to the Chadaz family for sharing his life with us. He has blessed the lives of countless individuals and have inspired many to do great things. I broke the news to my children just now while celebrating the 4th of July and they heartbroken. They can not believe Mr. Chadaz is gone. I told them that He is now in Heaven and he has a great view of any fireworks that we can display here on Earth. Farewell Mr. Chadaz, you will be missed and our love and prayers go out to your family. Love from the Woolley’s (Jeremy, Teresa, Lillian, Elizabeth, Pearl, Abigail, Madison, and George)

  25. The Juarez family
    July 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I am so sorry for The Chadaz family and everyone who knew this great man. McKinley will never be the same without him he was an amazing person and helped my son many times when he was having trouble adjusting to a new school, and helped my niece when she was being bullied. I loved dropping my son off at school and he was always there to greet everyone with a smile on his face. I remember one time when I picked up my son early they were having a dance party and Mr. Chadaz was out there dancing with all the kids and Mrs. Spackman ran to grab her camera it was one of many great moments. Thank you Mr. Chadaz for everything you have done in all our lives!!! You will be greatly misses. Love the Juarez family (Ben, Traci, Jess, and Koren)

  26. Angie
    July 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Mr. Chadaz will be greatly missed he was an amazing man loved by all!!! His family will be in my families thoughts and prayers!!

  27. Beth Bartells
    July 4, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I want the family to know how I loved Principal Chadez. He was a great influence in my sons schooling. When ever I would walk into the school. He would always let me know how my child was doing. Our family ended up moving to Ogden. Things changed so we moved back. My son Nicholas Bartells was so happy to be with his favorite principal. It has really touched my son by his passing. As I feel it has many other students. Yesterday happened to be Nicholas birthday. He said “Mom? Did he die on my birthday?” I said No, It was early this morning. Its awesome to walk into a school and the principal can tell you how well your child is doing by name. I am glad that I was able to do as most moms do. I got a picture of Principal Chadez and my son. I think it will be a great way for him to remember him. I know for him leaving the school being a 6th grade was scary. I hope all the kids who will return to the school in the fall. Will have a positive outlook as the Principal did for all his students. I loved Principal Chadez as a parent. He did great for the school and the community. He will be greatly missed by so many. Beth

  28. Jenny P.B.
    July 4, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Steve was one of my favorite primary teachers about twenty years ago. I am sorry for his family’s and school’s loss.

  29. Marlene Black
    July 5, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Steve Chadaz made McKinley School feel like coming home. I loved helping at the school often because of the atmosphere he created. He had such a positive attitude and made it fun to be there. He knew names, was a friend to all of us, including students, teachers, and parents, and let us know he genuinely cared about each individual. We will miss him. Marlene Black

  30. G L Hansen
    July 5, 2014 at 11:49 am

    What a tragic loss to the community but especially to McKinley. He will be missed.

  31. Mattie Jones
    July 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Mr. Chadaz made our school a fun place…he wrote songs, even created his own money. McKinley school will no longer be the same place without Mr. Chadaz he always made everyone feel welcomed and loved at McKinley. I guess heaven needed a good man! We will miss you Mr. Chadaz

  32. Ryan Dubois
    July 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I am so saddened by this news. Susan and family, I want you to know what an honor and privilege it was to work with Steve and to have him as the perfect principal for my children. Mr. Chadaz is a hero at my house, and I hope to pattern myself after him. Our prayers and condolences are with you and our whole McKinley Elementary family at this time.
    We love you,
    The Dubois Family

  33. Marsha Clark
    July 7, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I am sooo sad to hear of Steve’s death. I worked with Steve at the High School and have remained good friends. I always looked forward to that smile and kind words.
    I will truly miss him. To his wonderful family, my prayers are with each and every one of you.

  34. Stephen and Peggy Dansie
    July 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Steve blessed the lives of all. He has touched the lives of many, both family, students and coworkers. We morn for his family’s loss and ours. We have lost a good man down here on Earth but the Heavens have gained an Angel.

  35. Brian Petersen
    July 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I’ve known Steve for many years and can honestly say that I never knew a kinder or more positive person. It was an honor and privilege to associate with him as a friend and as an educator. We will all miss him in our community and the children will undoubtedly be saddened by his loss. Prayers and condolences go out to Susan and their family.

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