PORTLAND — Ellen Isabelle Chase of Portland, died Feb. 2, in her home after a week-long “living wake.”

She was born March 13, 1928, in Bangor, to Bernard Henry and Flora (Russell) Duddy, the fourth of 10 children. She graduated from John Bapst High School in 1946, and later earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

After a brief career as a telephone operator, Chase found a lifelong passion while training as a nurse at the Sisters of Charity Hospital School of Nursing in Waterville. She met and married Lawrence P. Chase, the love of her life, while working at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, where her future husband was training in maxillofacial surgery and Chase was on the nursing staff. 

She worked at the infirmary at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, for 19 years.

She took pride in filling her home with love, laughter and people to celebrate anything and everything. End-of-the-school-year pool parties, birthday parties, holiday dinners and cookouts filled the Chase home. She would not hear of anyone without a place to go for the holidays – there was always room to fit another plate and chair at her table.

Chase was a member of The Nineteenth Century Club in Northampton, Massachusetts, served on the board at People’s Institute in Northampton and volunteered for St. Jude Hospital, breast cancer research and other causes.  She loved all things Irish, as well as being by the ocean and spending time at the family’s summer home in Ipswich, Massachusetts, as well as Maine and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Chase was predeceased by her parents; a daughter, Flo Ellen; her husband of 54 years; two sisters, Joann Rice and Lucille Landbeck; and a brother, Bernard E. Duddy.

She is survived by three daughters, Mary Bridget Chase, Grace Ames and Elizabeth Catherine Hutcheson; a son, John K. Chase; nine grandchildren, Max, Chase, Wilson, Henry, Connor, Jack, Patrick, Aidan and Brendan; three brothers, Robert, James and William; three sisters, Sylvia, Dorothy and Jane; and many  nieces and nephews.

The family is grateful for the care provided by Hospice of Southern Maine and New England Family Healthcare.

Chase donated her body to the anatomical body program at Tufts Medical School. A memorial Mass was held Feb. 5, at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Portland. A memorial service will be held in Northampton, and an internment service in Harwich, Massachusetts, at later dates.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Sisters of Mercy – Northeast Community, 966 Riverside St., Portland, ME 04103, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241, or the charity of one’s choice.


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