Beverly B. Chase, 89, librarian at naval center, world traveler

August 19, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Beverly B. Chase, a retired librarian and world traveler, died of complications from a broken hip Aug. 12 at Hart Heritage Estate, an assisted-living facility in Street. She was 89 and lived in Bel Air.

She was born Beverly Bodet in Jacksonville, Fla., the daughter of a physician who worked for the U.S. Public Health Service. She had lived in New Orleans and after her mother's death in 1925, returned to Jacksonville, where she graduated from high school.

In her youth, she became an avid reader and "allowed literature to become a defining element in her life," said her daughter, Carol Ann Chase of Darlington.

In the late 1930s, she moved to Boston where she met Robert Parks Chase, whom she married in 1940.

With the outbreak of World War II, her husband enlisted in the Army.

"She moved to Dover, New Hampshire, to be near his family and during the war was a Gray Lady at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital," Miss Chase said.

Carol Ann Chase said that her father served with the 106th Infantry Division, which bore the brunt of the German offensive in the Battle of the Bulge.

"He was captured at the Battle of the Bulge. He later died in a German prisoner of war camp, and she never remarried," the daughter said.

Mrs. Chase began an apprenticeship at the Dover Public Library and became a certified librarian after studying at the University of New Hampshire. She was a librarian at the university from 1950 until 1956, when she was appointed librarian at the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit. She retired in 1975 when the center closed.

A Bel Air resident since 1980, Mrs. Chase traveled extensively throughout Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand. She spent winters in Barbados and enjoyed sailing in the Caribbean.

"She made her way through life with such grace and sophistication. She read widely and retained it. She had such a keen interest in so many things," Miss Chase said.

A lifelong Democrat who had strong opinions and wasn't afraid to express them, Mrs. Chase enjoyed watching evening news shows, especially the Jim Lehrer News Hour.

"I was just thinking that she's up there saying, `I left too soon and now can't vote for John Kerry,'" Miss Chase said, with a laugh.

She was a member of the Book Club of Harford County and the Garden Club of Harford County.

She was a communicant of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 303 N. Main St. in Bel Air, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 15.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Chase is survived by several nieces and nephews.

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