FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.—Dr. James Staton Chase, 85, of Fayetteville, Ark., passed away Monday July 31, 2017 in Fayetteville.
He was born July 2, 1932, in Richmond, the son of Francis Seabury and Sue Wilbourne Elder Chase Jr. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Dr. Chase was a central figure in the life of the Department of History at the University of Arkansas from his arrival as an associate professor in 1968 until his retirement in 1999. He chaired the department from 1970 to 1976, and for many years edited the department’s newsletter. He also founded a university publication featuring the best in undergraduate and graduate research and writing. Dr. Chase was honored in 1995 with the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Advisor Award and the Associated Student Government named him “Teacher of the Year” in 1994.
Dr. Chase specialized in the history of American politics and was an expert on elections. In 1972, Governor Dale Bumpers appointed him to the Arkansas American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. The following year, he published a book on American political conventions that is still considered a standard within the educational community. He was an active member of the Democratic party and attended its 1976 national convention as a delegate.
Dr. Chase’s educational background was exceptional. He received his bachelor’s from the college of William and Mary in 1953 and earned his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1957 and 1962, respectively. Following the award of his Ph.D., he served as an assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Chase was an ardent supporter of the Foundation for Historic Christ Church, Irvington. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in Korea. He loved dogs to the extent that he was known to welcome them into his college classroom.
He is survived by his sister, Suzanne Winters of Irvington; and a brother, Frank S. Chase of Lewisburg, Pa.
A funeral service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday, August 14, at Grace Episcopal Church, Kilmarnock.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Foundation for Historic Christ Church, P.O. Box 24, Irvington, VA 22480.