Leonard Wayne Chase, one of two sons of Leonard N. and Regina Marcile (Ankrom) Chase, was born October 19, 1938, on his grandparents’ farm south of Auburn. Wayne was baptized at the Howe Methodist Church. He started his schooling near Malvern, Iowa. He next attended school at Clover Dale from 2nd grade through the 8th grade, and then attended Auburn High School, graduating from there in 1957.

After high school, Wayne joined the National Guard and worked construction for a short time before joining the United States Air Force. Wayne served his country for six years, before being honorably discharged in 1962.

On April 25, 1959, Wayne was united in marriage to Marilyn DeFreece at the Auburn Christian Church by Rev. Leo Epperson. The couple would be blessed with three children: Steve, Eric, and Elizabeth, and would add a fourth when Jennifer came to live with them.

Wayne had worked several different occupations in his lifetime, including at a shirt factory, as the Meadow Gold Milk Man, OK Tire, and then for Auburn Public Schools. Wayne worked for APS for 34 years, before retiring in 2016. Wayne also served as the property manager of Crestview Apartments for 15 years.

Wayne was a member of the Auburn Christian Church, serving as church deacon for several years. Wayne also belonged to American Legion Post #23 of Auburn for 40+ years and was a member of Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #3767 of Auburn. While a member of the Eagles, Wayne served as president and held other offices. Wayne loved playing cards with Pitch being the favorite amongst family. He was a “shade-tree mechanic”, often having one of Fern’s or her children’s cars at the house to work on. Wayne and Marilyn always enjoyed having a home filled with kids, dogs, and cats.

In the early morning hours of Friday, October 2, 2020, Wayne passed away at his home surrounded by family, having reached the age of 81 years, 11 months, and 13 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law Paul and Emma DeFreece, brother Richard Lee and wife Jean Chase, brother-in-law Gene and wife LaVeta DeFreece, sisters-in-law Shirley and husband Vern Cotton, Fern Catlett.

Those left to mourn Wayne’s passing include his wife Marilyn of Auburn; sons Steve and wife Lisa Chase of Seward, Eric Chase and Amanda Spangler of Murray; daughters Elizabeth and husband Tim Clark of Olive Branch, Mississippi, Jennifer Nichols of Auburn; grandchildren Katie Oakley (Rose Hallett), Brock (Chelsea) Chase, Shawnee (Logan) Williams, Craig (Lindsey) Chase, Marissa (Jason) Jensen, Cheyenne (Brad) Mack, Sierra Chase (Thomas Rice), Dakota Chase, Courtney (T.J.) Brown, Ethan (Holly) Clark, Aidan Clark, Cal Nichols; great-grandchildren Audryna, Makhaia, Elara, Lennon, Oliver, Lincoln, Liam, Crue, Breckyn, Leo, Natalie, Elijah, Sawyer; niece Tina Chase, nephew Richard Chase both of Colorado; and his cousins Joyce Stanley and Gail Masonbrink; and ALL of Marilyn’s family; and many friends.

A memorial service was held Thursday, October 8, 2020 at Auburn Christian Church, officiated by Rev. Ken Miller and Rev. Richard Bristol. Serving as honorary bearers were grandsons Brock Chase, Craig Chase, Ethan Clark, Aidan Clark, and Cal Nichols. Burial followed in Bedford Cemetery at Howe with graveside military honors provided by American Legion Post #23 of Auburn and United States Air Force Honor Detail.

Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.

Nemaha County Herald

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Auburn, NE 68305
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