Oklahoma Department of Human Services Commissioner Jay Dee Chase, 82, of Norman, died Sunday following a short struggle with pneumonia, family members said.
Chase was appointed to the commission by Gov. Brad Henry in February 2007 and was one of the most outspoken commissioners.
“We were very saddened to hear of Jay Dee's passing,” said Preston Doerflinger, interim director for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. “In the short time I have worked with Jay Dee, I found him to be passionate about human services and willing to fight for the issues important to him. The employees of this agency had no better advocate. He was not only a dedicated member of our commission but he was a decorated war veteran who served our country in combat and during the Cold War.”
Fellow Commissioners Aneta Wilkinson and Richard DeVaughn remembered their friend with fondness.
“It has been a pleasure to serve on the commission with Jay Dee these past few years,” Wilkinson said. “We became such good friends and I will miss him greatly. Jay Dee was dedicated to this agency and the people we serve. He has been criticized recently for being outspoken over issues but his heart was always in the right place.”
“I know the state of Oklahoma and the country is losing a great American,” DeVaughn said. “Jay Dee served his country in Korea and was a great supporter of the University of Oklahoma. He was a gentleman to the tee and a great friend. He will be missed.”