August 01, 2023

Honoring the Legacy of Greg Chaillé

Greg Chaillé, early 1990s

In Memoriam: Oct. 27, 1949 - June 30, 2023

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Greg Chaillé, whose 32-year tenure at OCF was transformative. After a long battle with Parkinson's, Greg passed away on June 30, 2023 surrounded by his family. 

The Chaillé Family, in particular, Greg’s children, Adrienne and Peter Chaillé, reflect on how storytelling and connection were at the core of Greg’s work at Oregon Community Foundation, as a means to inspire more giving and involvement in good works in Oregon. 

They write of his life and contributions in his obituary, published in The Oregonian: 

Gregory Chaillé Obituary

Gregory Alan Chaillé was born Oct. 27, 1949 in Pasadena, Calif., to Nastassia “Nancy” Mickelson and Harold “Hal” Lambert Chaillé. The third of four siblings, Greg was raised in a family of community leaders, artists, and teachers. His mother was the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, growing up in Flint, Michigan, where her father was a Union organizer. Her siblings included concert violinists and painters. Nancy met Greg's father, Hal, studying at the University of Michigan before they relocated to California, where she became a beloved school counselor and where Hal practiced law, eventually being elected as a Superior Court Judge. Greg was fascinated by his family's history, including the French Huguenots who immigrated to the colonies during their persecution and the Chaillé who was a General in the American Revolutionary war. This legacy of dissent was apparent in Greg’s parents’ commitment to social justice, a value that shaped Greg’s life.

Greg married his High School sweetheart Christine (née McConnell) at age 18, and they studied throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, receiving their Bachelors degrees from UC Berkeley and their Master's degrees from San Francisco State University. Initially set on studying architecture, Greg discovered sociology and wrote his thesis on worker participation. Greg wholeheartedly supported Christine as she pursued her Ph.D. and launched her successful career in Early Childhood Education. As young students they were active in the anti-war movement. Married for 33 years, they lived throughout the Los Angeles area, Switzerland, and Connecticut before eventually settling in Oregon, where Christine had received a teaching position at the University of Oregon. Never losing his love of design, Greg created amazing spaces through his creativity wherever they lived. They had two children together, Peter and Adrienne. Above all, Greg was a devoted father, sharing his active imagination and quirky sense of humor with his children, and instilling his love of the great outdoors, his passion for music, and his commitment to community in them. As a family, they shared countless adventures together. He enjoyed cultivating hobbies such as kayaking, fly-fishing, skiing, sailing, and cycling.

Once in Oregon, Greg sought opportunities to give back to the community, eventually connecting with the first statewide community foundation, the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF). Initially hired as a Program Officer, Greg quickly demonstrated his capacity for visionary leadership, becoming the second Executive Director at the age of 38. Over his 30 years with OCF, Greg put the "Oregon" in OCF as he traveled the state building relationships and learning from the many community leaders that tirelessly advocate for their communities. Through these deep partnerships and with the support of incredible mentors, Greg and his team transformed the organization, growing it to over a billion-dollar endowment providing millions of dollars in grants at the time of his retirement at age 62. Greg was passionate about inspiring charitable giving and was pivotal in fostering collaboration across philanthropic organizations, always seeking opportunities to partner with others. His impact on early childhood education, children's dental health, volunteerism, the arts, and the environment in Oregon are incalculable.

Following his retirement, Greg traveled extensively with family and his dear friend Hirut. He also continued to support OCF as a strategic advisor, and to serve on several Boards of Directors and supporting many organizations, including Start Making a Reader Today (SMART), Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), the OHSU Foundation, and Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. He highly valued the relationships with so many community organizations and their teams and provided countless hours as a mentor and advisor. Greg co-authored the book “State of Giving” which documents the impacts of philanthropy across Oregon through stories of leadership. Greg also spent his time playing golf, hiking, biking, and hosting impromptu jam sessions in his beloved home, where he always had the music playing.

Greg passed away peacefully June 30, 2023, after managing Parkinson’s Disease with grace for many years. Greg is survived by his siblings, Cathy (Bill), Mike (Dayu), and Lucy (Gary); his former wife, Christine; his children, Peter (Erin) and Adrienne (Jean Paul); his beloved grandchildren, Molly and Giacomo; and a large extended family. Greg deeply cherished his friendships with so many people in our community and will be deeply missed.

It was Greg’s wish that any memorial tributes be made to the giver’s nonprofit of choice.

Greg Chaillé Storytelling

OCF will continue to work with the Chaillé family to gather and share stories of Greg’s impact and leadership, with more opportunities to come throughout the year. Please consider sharing your memories and stories at

OCF will amplify these stories and voices of those who have been so pivotal to OCF’s success and growth inspiring a new generation of leadership and volunteers.

Inspire More Giving

Should you wish to honor Greg’s lifetime of inspiring giving and encouraging public service in Oregon, please consider these opportunities to contribute.

Oregon Fund

This fund serves the state’s greatest needs, addressing important issues like OCF's work to close the “opportunity gap” in Oregon — the chronic lack of educational and employment opportunities available to Oregon’s low-income children, children of color and rural children — to build a stronger future. 


Greg Chaillé Public Service Scholarship Fund

Greg’s family and friends established the Greg Chaillé Public Service Scholarship Fund to honor his commitment to improving communities in Oregon. The scholarship is for graduate students with high standards for academic work who will be entering public service at the completion of their studies.