Jesuit Mourns the Loss of Edgar “Dooky” Chase III ’67

Posted February 22, 2024 / Last updated February 27, 2024

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A photo commemorating Chase hangs in the first floor Jesuit’s Madonna Della Strada building.

With sadness, Jesuit announces the passing of Edgar “Dooky” L. Chase III ’67, a revered member of the New Orleans community and Jesuit’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year. Chase was a prominent figure in education, business, and civic engagement.

Born into the legendary Chase family, known for their iconic Dooky Chase Restaurant, Chase inherited a legacy of community service and culinary excellence. He frequently spoke publicly of his parents, Dooky Chase, Jr., and Leah Chase, who instilled in him the values of hard work, dedication, and the importance of community that he carried throughout his life.

After graduating from Jesuit, where he excelled academically while participating in the Blue Jay Marching Band, Chase continued his education at Loyola University of New Orleans. There, he broke barriers as the first African-American president of the student body before earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He went on to study at Columbia University in New York, where he obtained his MBA in 1973.

Chase’s commitment to service was evident through his tenure in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he reached the rank of Captain, and his subsequent professional roles as an audit senior at Price Waterhouse & Company and a law student at Loyola University’s School of Law. His career also included positions at Louisiana Land & Exploration Company, Cox Communication, and Dillard University’s business division.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Chase was instrumental in the post-Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts at Dillard University, demonstrating his resilience and dedication to the New Orleans community. His involvement on numerous boards and commissions, including the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Crime Commission, showcased his commitment to civic improvement and social justice.

Chase’s legacy extends beyond his professional achievements to his profound impact on the community. Fr. Raymond Fitzgerald, S.J. ’76, former president of Jesuit High School, summed up Chase’s character when conferring his Alumnus of the Year award by saying, “Dooky has consistently and assiduously used the best of his Jesuit education to promote the good of others, ethical decision making, and service of God. His selfless and humble spirit marks him as a true man for others.”

Chase’s legacy of kindness, wisdom, and love for his family, school, community will be remembered and cherished. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Alva Jean Darensbourg, their three sons—Trevor, Travis, and Edgar IV ’00—and six grandchildren, one of whom is another Blue Jay alumnus, Trevor Chase ’21. The Jesuit community extends its deepest condolences to the Chase family during this time of loss.

Further details regarding memorial services will be shared as they become available.