William Segal Chiat
7 Apr 1955 - 10 Jul 2020
I'm extremely sad to share the news that Bill Chiat passed away suddenly from a fatal heart attack yesterday morning. Bill lived in Napa, CA with his husband James Gladfelter and was a member of Midnight Squares. He was always smiling and a very giving person. He will be sorely missed.
- Michael Levy
The world has lost an amazing and accomplished man, William Segal Chiat who departed this world on July 10, 2020. Bill, as he was known to his family and friends was born on April 7, 1955 in Minneapolis, MN. Bill attended the University of Minnesota where he received a B.S. in Biological Science then to the University of Michigan graduating with a master’s degree in Environmental Education. Bill recognized the importance of education and caring for the environment. While in High School he worked as the natural resource educator at Many Point Scout Camp. Bill was also an Eagle Scout and achieved Vigil, the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow bestows. Following graduate school, Bill accepted a position at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point as an instructor and director of the University’s environmental program. After six years, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich offered him a position with the DNR with the mandate to improve the State Park system. Following his move to California with the love of his life, Jim Gladfelter, he continued his environmental work with the Ventura County Regional Sanitation District. In 1984, Arizona Governor Fife Symington recruited Bill as Director of the Governor’s Office of Excellence in Government. Successfully completing his mandate, Bill returned to CA to accept a position as the Assistant County Administrator in Santa Barbara. Bill and Jim then moved to Napa were Bill became the County Executive Officer and then the Executive Director of CALAFCO. His final accomplishment was the establishment of the CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government where Bill held the position of Dean. Under Bill’s direction, the CSAC Institute is now considered the premier continuing education program for county officials in the country.
Bill and Jim were together for 36 years and married for twelve. They lived life to the fullest, traveling throughout the world and enjoying the finest wine and cuisine. Bill and Jim were deeply involved in their communities, where Bill’s legacy will continue long into the future.
Bill is survived by his husband James Gladfelter, daughter and son in law Megan and Eoin Gorman, two grandsons, Patrick Giles and James William, his mother, Marilyn J. Chiat, sister and husband Penny and Paul Svenkeson and many loving family, friends and professional associates. Bill was preceded in death by his father, Harvey Jay Chiat. Memorial services were held at Tulocay Cemetery on July 14 where Bill now rests. Donations can be made to If Given a Chance, where a special scholarship fund has been established in Bill’s name. A celebration of Bill’s amazing life will be held at a future date.
- Napa Valley Register, 1 Aug 2020