Memorial services were held for Grandmaster Chaney at Pala, CA just north of San Diego. In a celebration of life ceremony attend by hundreds of family, friends, and students, service had various ebbs and flows from fond memories, sad moments and uplifting moments. Pastor Tim Bales from Las Vegas gave the opening remarks and spoke of the spiritual nature of Bob Chaney, He admired the efforts of Master Chaney to always try to reconcile differences he my have had with individuals in his life and that was one of his many strength. He spoke of the strong connection between Master Chaney’s christian beliefs and his relating these to his martial arts day to day actions. Next The five Buddhist monks from Thailand led by Wat Ratanapanya gave an enlightening speech followed by a beautiful haunting chant that had the large audience somewhat mesmerized and feeling tranquility and harmony. The monks were present because Mrs. Chaney’s spirituality also lies there and Bob Chaney had great appreciation for the culture. The podium area featured a very large formal portrait of Master Chaney, flanked by flowers on one side and flanked by the urns of his ashes on the other.
After a beautiful song dedication by Scarlett Derousse, eight speakers came to the podium in turn to tell their personal recollections of Master Chaney. They were long term friends and colleagues and each was able to relate to his background. Their seemingly common theme that more than all the hundreds of trophies won, the skill, the producing of champions, the success in business and more, that is was the Bob Chaney of care and sharing that he brought to everyone’s lives. Also disclosed among the talks were his propensity for the prank, or his incredibly speeding driving, or inability to locate a location. His daughter Erica and two grandsons JT and Robbie also spoke their emotional goodbyes from the podium. Then Mrs. Chaney thanked everyone for their support and presence. She spoke fondly of some past memories, like how she first met her husband and when she first had the job of being a translator and a bodyguard for him. This grew to be a loving and life long relation. The ceremony ended with a video review of many events in his life showing the many friends and students as well. Finally all the many current and some past students dressed in their uniforms formed an honor guard march in front of the assembled guests and gave reverent and respectful salutations and bows to the Grandmaster, the family and the guests.
The service ended on a most comfortable note, with attendees lining up to pay personal respects and comments to Sarinda Chaney. It was truly a feeling of having had our lives made better by having Master Chaney in our lives.
(With special appreciation for the many students and volunteers who worked behind the scenes to set up this memorial service. There were ushers, food preparation people, student helpers, as well. We want to note that many teachers, colleagues, friends and others were on hand. The constraints of time obviously meant that only a small number of speakers would have to represent the assembly in making the formal comments. Among the masters, promoters, friends, students who spoke formally were Burt Ward, Dennis Warner, Allen Sarac, Eddie Flash Newman, Terry Wilson, Jerry Devine, Cecil Peoples, and Nick Blumberg.)