Davis R. Chant passed away quietly at home with his family on Saturday, April 22. He was 84 years old.
His death was caused by a fairly sudden illness.
That news has prompted a prodigious outpouring of shock, surprise, memories, admiration and love.
He is survived by his wife Judy, daughters Holley Chant and Tamara Chant, and grandchildren Hannah Saltzman, a healer/psychologist in Los Angeles, and Jacob Saltzman, who provides health safety and emergency services for the film industry domestically and internationally.
Chant loved to work, loved the real estate business.
Aside from being the number one realtor in the Pike/Wayne Board of Realtors, Chant created in 1964 what has now become the largest independent real estate organization serving New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Chant Realtors has 106 agents, with four offices in Pennsylvania and 2022 sales totaling more than $344 million.
Since 2003, when the MLS started tracking, Chant’s sales has reached 3.8 billion. This includes both commercial and residential sales. Chant loved to work, loved the real estate business.
In addition to the residential market, he facilitated the sale of huge projects like the Milford Professional Park in Milford and Pike Health Properties in Westfall.
And yet, with all of this success, Chant was very approachable. He loved being involved in the community, both as a participant and a supporter of many local not-for-profit organizations such as the Milford Enhancement Committee, the Milford Readers and Writers Festival, The Black Bear Film Festival and the Greater Pike Community Foundation, which he helped to establish 10 years ago, as a founding board member.
He was a prolific mentor of people, not only to his own agents, but to builders and developers. He believed that with the power of positive thought, there is always an opportunity to grow and have a great career.
He treated his staff like family.
“We were touched by the outpouring of calls and messages from so many people whose lives he touched,” daughters Tamara and Holley remarked.
‘A regular guy,’ related to Jefferson Davis
Chant’s family has been in the US for decades. His maternal grandmother, Myrtle Davis, was related to Jefferson Davis.
Yet, Chant has always been “a regular guy.” With a huge smile on his face, his hand out ready to get to know you, he would tell people, “You can call me “Dave.”
He had a gentle way about him that made people want to trust him. “One thing I always remember,” said Bill Rosado, who has done several real estate deals with Chant, “Dave never had to choose his words because he spoke only from his heart and always the truth!”
Chant’s business partners, Pete Helms and John Schmitt, who have been working closely with Dave, will continue managing the business.
“I will be working closely with Carly Longhenry and the team in the Milford office to ensure a smooth transition,” Helms said. “It was Dave’s wish that Carly continue as the person in charge and there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll do it in the exact way that Dave would have himself.
“Dave Chant’s legacy, work ethic and dedication to local people will continue to live on through the wonderful agents he mentored throughout the past 59 years.”
For her part, Longhenry said: “Working for Dave was an honor, and I am grateful to have gotten to know and learn from him. On behalf of the team at Chant, we plan to make him proud.”
A memorial fund for his favorite place
The family has established a special memorial fund at the Greater Pike Foundation to carry on excellent community work in Dave’s favorite place – Pike County.
“Dave was a stalwart member of the community and was always working to bring people together – both businesses and individuals,’ said Gail Shuttleworth, board chair of the Greater Pike Community Foundation. “He brought many new businesses to the community, as well. And he was a really nice guy.”
Contributions to the fund, in lieu of flowers, can be made to “The Davis Chant Memorial Fund at Greater Pike Community Foundation” (http://weblink.donorperfect.com/ChantMemorialFund).
There will be a celebration of Dave’s life sometime in May.
“One thing I always remember, Dave never had to choose his words because he spoke only from his heart and always the truth!”