Oklahoma City -- Jay Dee Chase, member of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services, passed away Sunday, July 1, after a brief illness. Chase was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Brad Henry in February 2007.
“We were very saddened to hear of Jay Dee’s passing,” said Preston Doerflinger, Interim Director for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. “In the short time I have worked with Jay Dee, I found him to be passionate about human services and willing to fight for the issues important to him. The employees of this agency had no better advocate. He was not only a dedicated member of our commission but he was a decorated war veteran who served our country in combat and during the Cold War.”
Fellow Commissioners Aneta Wilkinson and Richard DeVaughn remembered their friend with fondness.
“It has been a pleasure to serve on the Commission with Jay Dee these past few years,” said Wilkinson. “We became such good friends and I will miss him greatly. Jay Dee was dedicated to this agency and the people we serve. He has been criticized recently for being outspoken over issues but his heart was always in the right place.”
“I know the state of Oklahoma and the country is losing a great American,” said DeVaughn. “Jay Dee served his country in Korea and was a great supporter of the University of Oklahoma.He was a gentleman to the tee and a great friend. He will be missed.”
Chase served with the U.S. Army in Korea from 1951 to 1953. He is a highly decorated veteran who has received a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, a Combat Infantryman Badge and 11 additional medals. In 2004, he was named 100 Percent Disabled American Veteran for Oklahoma. He received a Certificate of Recognition for his service during the Cold War (Sept. 2, 1945 through Dec.26, 1991) from U.S. Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen.
Before being appointed to the Commission, Chase chaired the Continuum of Care (Long Term Care) Legislative Task Force in 2001. He was one of 27 members appointed by Gov. Frank Keating, the Senate Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House. The Task Force developed a vocational-technical training program and career ladder for nurse aides that was funded and became law in 2002.
Chase was president of a pharmaceutical company from 1970 to 1984. He also served two years on the Oklahoma Legislative Pharmaceutical Committee. He has served on the boards of Arvest Bank, the Firehouse Art Center in Norman and the Arthritic Foundation.
Chase was also an avid University of Oklahoma supporter and rarely missed a home football game. Chase is survived by his wife, Vickie, his daughter, DeAnn, and his son, Charles, whose nickname Bud is for longtime OU football coach Bud Wilkinson.
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