Ned B. Chase Jr., MD, age 91, of Joplin, Mo., passed away Saturday, May 12, 2018, after declining health.
He was born Nov. 10, 1926, in Gary, Ind., to the late Ned B. Chase Sr. and Ruth (Fields) Chase. At the age of two, he went to live with his grandparents, Roy and Bernice Chase, also of Gary.
Ned attended Horace Mann High School, graduating in 1944. He was active in student council and captain of the basketball and track teams. He played the French horn in the school band and was an Eagle Scout.
After a year at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., on a Rector Scholarship, he was drafted into the Army, serving in Japan in 1945-46 at the end of World WarvII.
Following the Army, he completed pre-med studies at DePauw and then attended Indiana University Medical School, in Indianapolis.
While there, he met and married Martha Gragg, the love of his life, on Aug. 18, 1951, at the Irvington Presbyterian Church, in Indianapolis. They celebrated 66 years of marriage in August 2017.
Receiving his MD in 1952, Dr. Chase completed a rotating internship at the University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital, in Galveston, followed by general practice at Dolly Vincent Hospital, in San Benito, Texas, from 1953-1954. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in order to continue medical studies, completing a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern University Medical School, in Chicago, between 1954 and 1958. Remaining in the Air Force for five additional years, he achieved the rank of Major. While in the Air Force, he was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and at the U.S. Air Force Base in Wiesbaden, Germany, serving as Chief of Orthopaedics at the hospital there. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1963.
Returning to the U.S. in 1963, Dr. Chase and his family settled in Joplin, Mo., for him to begin private practice in orthopaedic surgery. In 1972, Dr. Chase and Dr. Adolph Mueller formed Joplin Orthopaedic Surgery, Inc., with Dr. Chase as president. They were subsequently joined by Dr. Bruce Burleigh and Dr. John Esch. Over the years, other orthopaedic surgeons became part of their practice. In 1995, Joplin Orthopaedic Surgery merged with Midwest Orthopaedic Specialists forming Midwest Orthopaedic Surgery that is now Freeman Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine. Dr. Chase and his group brought state-of-the-art orthopaedic medicine to Joplin and the surrounding area. He set the standards high that are still followed today. He retired from his practice of medicine July 31, 2001.
Dr. Chase was a board certified Orthopaedic Surgeon. He was an active staff member of St. John's Regional Medical Center, Freeman Hospital and McCune-Brooks Hospital and he served as president of the medical staff at St. John's. Dr. Chase was the first physician member of the Board of Directors at St. John's. He started the Crippled Children's Clinic, in Joplin, and donated his time and expertise to the Community Clinic of Joplin. Dr. Chase was president of the Jasper County Medical Society. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, where he served on the regional admissions committee. Dr. Chase was a member of the Mid-Central States Orthopaedic Society, the Southwest Missouri Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, the Missouri State Medical Association and the Missouri State Orthopaedic Association. He was a team physician for Parkwood High School and other local high schools and colleges. In 1997, Dr. Chase received the MIAAA Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contribution to athletes in the state of Missouri.
As a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin, Dr. Chase served as a trustee, elder and deacon. He was also a member of the Mariners SS Class, Tuesday morning men's Bible study and he served on several committees. In addition, he served on the board of the Joplin Public Library for nine years, three of which he served as president. He was a member of Twin Hills Country Club, Joplin Museum Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, the American Legion and the Indiana University Alumni Association.
Dr. Chase was an avid tennis player. He also enjoyed playing golf and bridge and loved to ski both on the water and on snow. Dr. and Mrs. Chase loved to travel, traveling extensively in the U.S. and abroad. He was a loving husband and father and respected by the community. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 67 years, Martha (Gragg) Chase; his children, Michael B. Chase and wife, Carol, of Seattle, Wash., Dr. Patrick R. Chase and wife, Becky, of Fayetteville, Ark., Catherine E. Chase, of Los Angeles, Calif., and Heidi (Chase) Williams and husband, Pete, of Joplin; grandchildren, Libby Chase, of Fayetteville, Lewis Chase, of Fayetteville, Catherine Howe, of Springfield, Mo.; Gage Williams, Dallas Williams and Logan Williams, of Joplin, David Gurdak and Angela Gurdak, of Seattle; his sisters, Sally Gude and husband, James, of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Susan Gonzales and husband, Steve, of Orange Park, Fla., and their families.
The care Dr. Chase received, both at home and Joplin Gardens, from Linda Shy, Rick Warden and Avalon Hospice is greatly appreciated. The family sends a very special thank you to Kandace Eck for her unsurpassed level of care the last few years.
Funeral services for Dr. Chase are 2 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin, with Pastor John Oerter officiating. The family will receive friends for visitation from 5 - 7 p.m. Wednesday in the chapel of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary. Private family burial, with full military honors, will take place at Eldon Cemetery, in Eldon, Mo.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to the Joplin Public Library and First Presbyterian Church, in care of the mortuary.
Online condolences may be sent to our website www.thornhilldillon.com.
Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, Joplin.
Published on May 16, 2018