Richard Eugene Chase, 71, of Durant was born September 6, 1942 in Gotebo, OK to Samuel Chase and Blanch Thomas Chase, and passed away on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at his home in Durant. Richard was baptized into the First Baptist Church in 1957 in Swan Lake, OK.
In 1962 he was married to Opal Darlene Herrick in Hobart. They divorced in 1976. Richard joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 16. He served 12 years including two combat tours in Vietnam before receiving a medical retirement with the rank of Gunnery Sgt. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Naval Achievement Award along with other medals. Following his retirement from the Marines, he attended school on the GI Bill at Eastern Oklahoma State College where he graduated with honors in 1975, receiving a degree in journalism.
Richard moved to Atoka in 1976 where he was advertising manager until 1977 when assumed duties as editor of the newspaper until 1984. He was a member of the Atoka Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and was a charter member of the Atoka Elks Lodge.
He moved to Durant in 1984 and was program planner at Big Five Community Services. While working at Big Five he became involved in many community projects. He wrote the grant for the current Southern Oklahoma Rural Transportation System (SORTS). He served six years on the Bryan County United Way board of directors and one year as president.He was co-founder and past president of Bryan County Community Services Council, past president and board member of CASA, and board member of Bryan County FEMA.
Richard was the editor of the Durant Daily Democrat from 1992 to 1995 before working as a program planner and grant writer for Little Dixie Community Services in Hugo. He officially retired in 1998 and spent several years traveling in his RV, before turning to Lake Texoma and a houseboat. He enjoyed his children, grandchildren, fishing, hunting and gardening. He was always a Marine and wrote his life story to be handed down to his children and future generations. Richard overcame cancer of the larynx and lost his voice, but never his ability to communicate. He resumed writing as a freelance and enjoyed writing features about local people who excelled or overcame obstacles. He enjoyed his Facebook family and using the social network to provide a service to help individuals and organizations.
He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Kenneth Mosier, and a niece Gwen Pinner.
Richard is survived by three children, two sons, Ricky and Kerry, both of Atoka, a daughter Victoria of McAlester, five grandchildren, Tyler Kerns, of McAlester, Chris Martin, Brittany Chase, Kerry Brian Chase and Koby Chase all of Atoka; a sister Coralinda Kloberdanz of Durant, mother of his children Darlene Chase; two great-grandchildren Livee and Lux Martin; numerous nieces, nephews and many friends.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at Brown's Funeral Service Chapel Durant. Interment will follow at Green Meadows in Atoka with Marine Corp. Honors. Family hour will be held from 6-8PM, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at Brown's Funeral Service Durant. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.brownsfuneralservice.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Brown's Funeral Service, Durant.