Family and friends of a Castle Rock man who died after capsizing while kayaking at Silver Lake on Friday remembered him as an honest and trustworthy friend who loved hunting, fishing and, above all else, the people in his life.
“He was a great older brother,” Juan Chick said of his brother Robert Chick on Monday. “He’d knock you around when you needed it, and crack a beer with you when you did something you were proud of. He always held everybody in high respect. If you needed help, you’d give him a call and he’d be there right on the spot.”
Chick and Stephanie Green of Kelso capsized while kayaking on Silver Lake Friday evening, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday. Green called 911 while staying afloat with her kayak, but Chick disappeared from sight. Cowlitz Fire District 3 personnel launched a boat and rescued Green that evening.
Officials continued searching for Chick over the weekend. On Sunday, a citizen contacted the Cowlitz Dive Rescue team with information he noted on his sonar while on Silver Lake. The dive team deployed along with a sheriff’s office boat and recovered a body they believe to be Chick.
The Cowlitz County Coroner has not yet officially confirmed Chick’s cause and manner of death nor the body’s identity to TDN, but family and friends confirmed in interviews that “there was no question” the body is Chick’s.
His brother took great pride in serving his country in the U.S. Army, too, Chick said. Family and friends said Robert Chick served eight years in active duty, including two tours of duty, and most recently was in the National Guard as a staff sergeant.
Ashley Deyo, a former classmate who dated Chick for two years, called him a “jack of all trades” who cared about his friends and family more than anything in the world.
“He would have done anything for any of us,” Deyo said. “You could just tell him, ‘I think I need this,’ and he would be there in a heartbeat.”
Chick’s friend Colton Crimmins called him a “very honorable man” who would do anything for the ones he cared about.
Chick was featured in 2009 as one of TDN’s Standout Graduates that year. He was a lover of science, hunting, writing and the trumpet.
“Kids always really respected Robert,” Castle Rock High School Principal Jenny Risner said in the 2009 article. “He’s just a great, well-rounded individual.”
Limhi Blackburn, who grew up across the street from Chick and served in the Army with him, said Chick was the glue that held his friends together. There were at least five boats trying to find Chick after he capsized, and more than 100 people on the docks trying to see how they could help, Blackburn said — “a testament” to how much people cared about him.
“He’d be over at your house whether you needed him to help you with some yard work or to crack open a beer,” Blackburn said. “He never minced words with anybody. … You never had to worry about what Robert was thinking, because he would tell you straight up. (He was the) most open-minded, caring person on the planet. … He’s going to be missed by everyone who knew him, … which is the entire town of Castle Rock.”
Friends and family are currently waiting on services for Chick due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.