Cover photo for Thomas L. Chao's Obituary
Thomas L. Chao Profile Photo
1947 Thomas 2023

Thomas L. Chao

March 26, 1947 — March 19, 2023


Thomas L. Chao, 75, passed away peacefully Sunday, March 19, 2023.  He was born on March 26, 1947 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to parents Fernando and Margaret Chao.

He was a 65-year resident of the Beaches community.  He is a graduate of Fletcher High School, class of 1965. Tom was an avid outdoorsman. He loved camping, fishing, cornhole and horseshoes.  His favorite place to camp was Marker 44. Tom loved boating around the Florida waterways.  Tom loved spending time with family and friends and being the life of the party.  Every evening you could find Tom sitting on his dock admiring the beautiful sunset.  The last few years of his life were a challenge due to his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Tom was a “people person” so being the owner of Chao Travel allowed him to go new places and make new friends. The love for people brought him into the real estate industry and he retired from Watson Realty in 2016.

He was proceeded in death by his parents and his beloved dog, Tippy.

Tom is survived by his wife, Mary Johnson Chao of 38 years, two sons, Steve of Cocoa Beach, Florida, and Randy (Reese) Chao of Melrose, and daughter Tanya (Jimmy) Dennis of Melrose. Tom also leaves behind 8 grandchildren; Steven (Kelly) Chao, Jeffery (Brook) Slack, Hunter and Emma Chao, Jacob and Shelby Stewart, Luke and Mallory Dennis; two great grandchildren, Landon and Maddux Chao; his sister Elsie Taylor; nephew Tom (Susan) Taylor and niece, Tamie (Robert) Binks and two great-nieces and two great-nephews.

Service will be held at 2:00 PM on March 25th in the chapel of Quinn-Shalz Funeral Home at 3600 3rd Street South, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250. Please dress in your best “Beach” attire.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you send donations to Ancient City Game Fish Association/Youth Fishing – PO Box 2001, St. Augustine, Florida 32085 or to The Alzheimer’s Foundation, 225 North Michigan Avenue, Fl 17, Chicago, Ilinois  60601.


To order memorial trees in memory of Thomas L. Chao, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 25, 2023

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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