MRS. DRUCIE CHASE
Drucie Rucker Chase
August 4, 1931-January 19, 2021
Our treasured Drucie Raye Rucker Chase departed this life on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 and was reunited with her husband, John Saunders Chase, and her eldest son, John Saunders Chase Jr.
Drucie was born on August 4, 1931 in Austin, Texas. She was the second oldest child of Beatrice Aldridge Rucker and John Rucker. Drucie attended L.C. Anderson High School and graduated from Huston Tillotson University with a B.A. in English at 19 years old. While attending the wedding of a good friend, fate brought Drucie and John together when John was asked to stand in for a groomsman who couldn't attend at the last minute. John asked her out several times, but Drucie said she would not go out with him until he met her father. The two men bonded over baseball and Drucie' s father gave his overwhelming approval. Soon after, the young couple was married. This happy union lasted for 62 years until John's death in 2012.
Although Drucie was a gifted teacher, because she was only 19 and not 21, she had to seek special permission to teach elementary school. Although professional accreditation was normally not permitted until the age of 21, Drucie was granted the right to teach. She became a devoted teacher at Blackshear Elementary in Austin and Grimes and Dodson elementary schools in Houston. After she retired from teaching, Drucie dedicated herself to raising her three children and assisting her husband in growing his architecture firm. John frequently referred to her as the "wind beneath my sails." In addition, she distinguished herself as a hardworking and compassionate community volunteer.
Drucie was appointed to serve on the boards of the Municipal Arts Commission and the Institute for International Education. She also served on the boards of the Houston Botanic Garden, Emancipation Park Conservancy and Houston Museum of African American Culture. She was a proud member of several organizations including the Houston Chapter of the Links, where she once served as Chapter President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Jack & Jill and a charter member of The Moles. She was also a devoted member of Antioch Missionary Baptist for almost 70 years. A week before her passing she was determined to visit the Houston Botanic Garden. Off we went and her face lit up the minute we entered the Gardens. Her happiness was palpable as we toured the site. She was proud to be a part of its creation. Soon after, she was a panelist in a University of Texas/Rice Design Alliance webinar discussing the history of her home. Drucie was quick to point out that while she was thrilled with the accolades for design, foremost, it was a warm, loving, and vibrant home for her family.
Drucie frequently remarked that she had a great life. She was blessed in so many ways. She traveled the world with her husband, family and friends. She hosted exciting fundraisers, political receptions and social events at their Third Ward home, designed by her late husband. In later years, they spent more time at their home in Galveston and when she wasn't there, she was often cheering on her grandkids at various events from graduations to music recitals and numerous sporting events.
Drucie is survived by her son Tony Chase and his wife Dina al Sowayel; daughter Saundria Chase Gray and her husband Jerome Gray; daughter-in-law Brenda Peters Chase; grandchildren Asa Davis, Chase Gray, Jordan Chase, Grace Gray and Abyssinia ("Kat") Chase; her sister, Johnnie B. Rucker Van Dyke and many other loving relatives. She was preceded in death by her husband John Saunders Chase, son John Saunders Chase III, parents, sister Bernice Hammond and brother John Rucker.
Reverend Art Lou McElroy, Interim Pastor Antioch Missionary Baptist Church will preside over a private Celebration of Life. The interment will be at the Houston National Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest with her husband. The service will be livestreamed starting at 1:00pm, Tuesday, January 26. 2021 on the following link https://m.facebook.com/antiochdowntownhouston/
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed toward the UNCF John and Drucie Chase Young Builders Award. www.uncf.org/donatehouston
(in honor of Mrs. Drucie Chase) or
mail a check to UNCF, 945 McKinney Street, Suite 581, Houston, TX 77002.
Published by Houston Chronicle on Jan. 24, 2021.