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Clyde Ralston Chase

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PINE PLAINS — Clyde Ralston Chase, 84, a lifelong resident of his beloved Pine Plains died peacefully Aug. 6, 2011, in his childhood home surrounded by his family after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

He was born Sept. 25, 1926, to longtime Pine Plains residents Marion (Ralston) and Dr. E. Earle Chase. His grandfather, Fred W. Ralston, was the General Electric engineer who invented night baseball in 1930.

Clyde attended Pine Plains Central School and graduated from The Hotchkiss School, and then Yale University in 1950. His formal education was interrupted when he served as a lieutenant in the infantry in World War II, stationed in Korea.

Clyde married the love of his life, Marjorie Walberg of Rhinebeck, on Dec. 31, 1948. She survives at home.

Clyde enjoyed his teen employment on his uncle’s (Dr. Kenneth F. Chase) farm and his ongoing farm contact through his cousin K. Barrett “Barry” Chase and his wife, Rosemary Lyons, who carry on with Chaseholm Farm.

He was employed by IBM from 1952 until his retirement in 1987, where he worked in personnel, finance and management at IBM sites in Poughkeepsie, Mohansic and Kingston. His IBM supervisors would make light of Clyde getting so many of his Pine Plains friends and acquaintances jobs.

He gave much time to his community serving in many volunteer and political positions including: Pine Plains town supervisor, county representative and county legislator for Pine Plains, Milan and Rhinebeck (where he served 13 years, including stints as majority and minority leader), town Republican chairman (for 44 years), Dutchess Community College Board of Trustees, Pine Plains School Board (for nine years), Pine Plains fire commissioner (for more than 30 years), Lions Club (past president and zone chair), Stissing Masonic Lodge (past master), IOOF (past noble grand) and others.

Upon Clyde’s retirement from the Legislature, fellow County Legislator Harry Schroeder said, “Clyde had little patience for political games. He endured in spite of this. He earned the respect of those he represented and worked with, through ability, honesty and effort.”

Clyde loved time spent with his family and friends, and playing sports, basketball, soccer (halfback for semi-pro Hungarian team), baseball, softball, bowling, skiing and golf.

He coached and played for the Pine Plains Bombardiers in the semi-pro league in Poughkeepsie in the 1950s and early 1960s. (We all loved the Poughkeepsie Journal story where the paid players had fouled out, forcing Clyde to play, and he made the game-winning hook shot as time ran out. He also happily referred to the charity game the Bombardiers played against the New York Knicks at the Kingston Arena.)

He was proud of his 17-1 pitching record in the 1953 softball season. He spent many hours with his boys playing basketball in the haymow and in retirement, golf was his game.

He was a member of the Red Hook Golf Club and won the President’s Cup in 1990. He was also an accomplished hunter, spending many treasured hours in the woods enjoying nature with family and friends.

In addition to his wife, Clyde is survived by his three sons and their wives, Lynden and Barbara, Scott and Jeanne Valentine and Frank and Ann; his seven grandchildren, Wesley, Claire, Madelin, Corbin, Mara, Nathaniel and Max; two great-grandchildren, Aidan and Lydia, all residing in Pine Plains and adjoining towns; his brother, Craig and his wife, Judy of Slippery Rock, Pa.; and by many nieces and nephews, including Wanda Bohlinger.

He was predeceased by his sister, Barbara Losee, and her husband, Gene.

His family gives special thanks to Hospice, Doreen, Brandy, Ada, and all his health-care providers and of course our friends who have helped us in Clyde’s journey.

There will be no calling hours and burial will be private. A memorial service to which all are invited will be officiated by the Rev. Carol Miller at the First United Presbyterian Church of Pine Plains on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 1 p.m.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be sent to First Presbyterian Church of Pine Plains.

The Peck and Peck Funeral Home in Pine Plains has charge of arrangements. To sign the online register go to www.peckandpeck.net.