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Richard W. Chilcote

September 25, 1927 ~ February 21, 2022 (age 94)


Richard W. “Dick” Chilcote, 94, of Goshen died Monday, February 21, 2022 at Goshen Hospital.

Dick was born September 25, 1927 in Elkhart to Bert and Sarah (Ludlow) Chilcote, the 9th of 10 children. Dick lived most of his life in Elkhart, IN having graduated from Elkhart High School after serving in the Merchant Marines at the end of World War Two. He attended Ball State University before returning home to begin a career at H&A Selmer Company where he was a clarinet specialist. Dick worked on clarinets and horns for some of the most famous “Big Band” notables such as Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong. He often could be found leading tours of the Selmer facility to people visiting from all around the world including Doc Severinsen of the famous “Tonight Show” band as well as founders of H&A Selmer from Paris. Four years before his retirement in 1993, Dick made many internal changes to a standard B flat clarinet creating a clarinet that was easier to blow and stay in tune. It remains one of the most popular versions of the clarinet today. He was honored and celebrated for that accomplishment.

He married Barbara Dean Bails on September 8, 1948. Friends first for two years, they began dating and were married for 73-1/2 years. Theirs was a love story for the ages. Barb survives along with the couple’s three children, Randall (Linda) Chilcote of Greenwood, IN, Rebecca Chilcote of Goshen, IN and Patricia (John) Torr of Indianapolis, IN. Also surviving are 6 grandchildren - Rich Anderson, Jenny Guard, Courtney Corley (Matt), Whitney Geiger (Jason), Andrew Torr (Brittany) and Theresa Hearn (Ryan) and two step-grandchildren – Alison Roman and Tom Roman. Dick also is survived by 11 great-grandchildren – Grace, Brady, Brett, Declan, William, Evelyn, Robert, Leo, Remi, Maxwell and Molly.

Grandson Scott R. Chilcote preceded Dick in death in 2008.

A younger brother Ned G. “Ted” Chilcote (Mickey) survives and resides in Tampa, FL. Also surviving are brothers-in-law Allen Craft of Elkhart, IN and Trevitt Simcox of LaQuinta, CA, and numerous nieces and nephews. An avid Notre Dame fan, during football season Dick could often be found in front of the television watching each and every play and talking stats and sports with the best of them!

One of Dick’s most cherished passions was his annual fishing trip to Northern Michigan, Wisconsin and environs with Randy which trips spanned 27 years. Upon returning home from the annual fishing trip, a family fish fry was held to showcase the weeks’ catch.

Of all the accomplishments that could be tied to Dick, those of which he was most proud were his beloved children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. There was never a father, grandpa, “Gramps” or “Big Papa” more loved. In later years, if you told Dick you loved him, he always replied “love you more”.

There will be a private family celebration of life at a later date. Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home are in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Trinity on Jackson Church, 2715 E. Jackson Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46516 or at or the Scott Chilcote Scholarship held at the Indiana University Foundation. You may donate online at (add “Chilcote” in the search bar). If donating by check, please make memorial gifts payable to IU Foundation and mail to P.O. Box 500, Bloomington, IN 47202. Please include “Scott Chilcote Scholarship” on the memo line.

Our family would like to thank the ICU and Hospice team at Goshen Hospital for their tender care of Dick and to all of you for all your love and support.


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Trinity on Jackson Church
2715 E. Jackson Blvd, Elkhart IN 46516

Scott Chilcote Scholarship IU Foundation
P.O. Box 500, Bloomington IN 47202

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