Gerald "Jerry" Warren Chase was born on July 9, 1934, in Glendale, California, to Elizabeth Bowman Chase and Robert Chase. His early years were spent in the northern Los Angeles area, with high school years at Santa Monica High School. Jerry went on to college at West Point in New York, and graduated in 1957. He first served in Korea with the engineering battalion, and later returned to study and earn a Masters Degree in Civil and Nuclear Engineering at University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. While there, he met Sara Homburg and they married in 1962.
Jerry served in the Army Corps of Engineers for twenty years, with his final assignment in Des Moines, Iowa. After the U.S. Army had switched to being a voluntary entry organization, Lt. Col. Chase was sent to Iowa to encourage the youth of the state to serve their country, learn and travel through their service. When Lt. Col. Chase retired from the Army, he took a teaching position at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and also earned his Doctorate in Civil and Construction Engineering at that time.
Jerry was also a proud citizen of Ames. In his free time, Jerry volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club teaching the game of cribbage. The weekends were often spent working with Habitat for Humanity and later, Food at First.
Jerry Chase is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sara H. Chase, his two children, Jessica Jane of Ames and Elizabeth Chase Vivas, and his son-in-law Gerardo Vivas, of Oak Park, Illinois. He was much loved by his three grandchildren, Gilbert, Sarah and Carlo Vivas, as well as several nieces and a nephew.
A memorial service will be held on March 28th, 2022, at Northcrest Community, 2300 Northcrest Parkway, at 2:00 p.m. with a gathering to follow. In the Grand Room located off the main entrance. Call 515-232-6760 and press "0" for the operator for more information about Northcrest Community.
Memorials may be made in remembrance of Jerry to either The Boys and Girls Clubs of Story County, Ames Youth and Shelter Services, or Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa.
In 1974, I reported in to 76th Engineers on my my assignment as a newly commissioned Medical Service Corps officer. Colonel Chase was the Battalion commander. He was an outstanding officer who showed me the greatest kindness. I consider myself very fortunate that I served with this fine officer.
Colonel, Retired, U.S. Army
I first met Jerry when he joined the construction engineering faculty during my senior year at Iowa State in 1977. We both studied for the EIT exam together. Decades later I reconnected with Jerry when I joined the Con E faculty in 2002. Jerry and Sally taught my wife and I how to play cribbage several years ago. Jerry was always interested in my teaching at ISU and was always positive every time we met. We last met in the summer of 2021 and we shared lunch and a walk around the neighborhood. I will miss him dearly.
I worked at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Story County for 4 years and every week Mr. Jerry would come in and teach so many of our youth cribbage. They were always hesitant because it was a game they didn’t know but he always found a way to connect and make every one of our members feel special. He was truly an angel and such a light in our lives! He will be missed.
I have many fond memories of Jerry during my 15 years at Habitat for Humanity. He was the best advisor….always willing to give of his time and talents. He will be greatly missed. Our deepest sympathies to Sally and family. 🙏🏻
As professor & advisor, Jerry was a mentor to me more than 40 years ago. It has been a privilege to stay in touch with him throughout the ensuing years. His commitment & love for teaching greatly influenced my own quest to return several years ago to teach here at ISU --I talk about his impact often in the classroom as regards true servant leadership. Our thoughts are with you Sally. God bless.
Both Jerry and Sally are among the finest people it has been my privilege to know. They been supportive and compassionate within their church and community and especially with one another. My deepest sympathy, Sally.
Belinda (Sjoblom) Lyons
Dr. Chase was a great professor. He was my firsts advisor at Iowa State and was a great mentor for me as I made my way in the construction industry. He was so patient and kind. Rest in peace Dr. Chase.
I met Jerry when I moved to Ames in 1987. We were nextdoor neighbors for about 25 years. I’ve never met a more kind, caring and positive person than Jerry. The world would be a better place if everybody had a neighbor like Jerry Chase. Rest in peace, Jerry,
Jerry was a great professor, he was thoughtful, encouraging and so caring. My first construction engineering class was his first as the professor and we connected. We stayed connected to this day and I will miss him dearly.
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Ames, Iowa 50010