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Chase Morsey


1919 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Chase Morsey Obituary
December 11, 1919 - February 26, 2016 Chase Morsey, Jr. was born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 11, 1919, and passed away at home, with his family, in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California on February 26, 2016, at age 96. Chase graduated from the St. Louis Country Day School, and then graduated from Amherst College cum laude in History with the Class of 1941. After his first job as a salesman with IBM in New Haven, Connecticut, at the end of 1942 Chase joined the Air Force, who selected him for Officer Training School at the Harvard Business School. He graduated with the Class of 1943 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Because of his record as well as his unique background at IBM, Chase was promoted to Captain and then Major, and assigned the command of the IBM Machine Records Unit, at the time the largest IBM punch card installation in the world. This team of 1,800 men and women tracked all Air Force personnel, aircraft and spare parts around the world. The effort was a pioneering use of technology at the beginning of the computer age, and played a critical role in shortening the war and ensuring the American victory. In 1949, Chase joined the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan as a junior member of the Whiz Kids, who came from the war effort to turn around Ford. During his first six weeks on the job - as a 29 year-old analyst - Chase challenged and eventually mustered the support to reverse a decision previously made by the Ford Board of Directors to scrap Ford's historical V-8 engine in favor of a weaker V-6 engine. The reversal of this decision - which was ultimately critical to the revival of Ford - was based on pioneering work in market research on both customers and dealers, and won Chase the nickname "The Man Who Saved the V-8." Chase eventually became a senior executive at Ford, including being the manager of the newly created Product and Programming Department which planned new car models. He was responsible for the product concept as well as production of the iconic Thunderbird. And he eventually became the marketing manager of the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury Divisions where he revolutionized automobile marketing, including televising golf matches, sponsoring a NASCAR team, and the televised launch of the Mustang. After a 15-year career, Chase left Ford in 1964 to purchase the first Ford dealership in Scottsdale, Arizona: Paradise Ford at the corner of Camelback and Scottsdale Roads. From 1968 to 1973, Chase was the Vice President of Marketing, Executive Vice President of Operations, Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Directors of RCA Corporation - the owner of NBC, Hertz and numerous other businesses - one of the largest public companies in the United States. In 1974, Chase returned to entrepreneurship as the founder of Morsey Oil and Gas Corporation, which successfully drilled over 180 wells in Duval County, Texas. Chase's family continues to own this business. Chase was an avid scratch golfer as a member of Bloomfield Hills (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan), The Country Club (Grosse Pointe, Michigan), Eldorado (Indian Wells, California), Los Angeles Country Club (Los Angeles, California), Orchard Lake (Orchard Lake, Michigan), Paradise Valley (Paradise Valley, Arizona), Phoenix Country Club (Phoenix, Arizona), Seminole (Juno Beach, Florida), Shinnecock Hills (Southampton, New York) and Stanwich Club (Greenwich, Connecticut). Chase's favorite golf outing was his weekly game with former President Ronald Reagan, which continued from 1989 until a few years before President Reagan's death. Chase is survived by his wife Beverly and six children, three of his - Chase III, Clay and Marion - and three of Beverly's - Carol, Mark and Kelley - along with nine grandchildren. Services will be private. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Colleagues (www.thecolleagues.com).
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1, 2016
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