Musician, Restaurateur, Civic Leader Dooky Chase Dead, 88

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans restaurateur, musician and civic leader Edgar "Dooky" Chase Jr. is dead at age 88.

         Chase's granddaughter Tracie Griffin says he died Tuesday. She says Chase and his wife, chef Leah Chase, had been married for 70 years.

         Their famed restaurant, "Dooky Chase," was named after Chase's father, who opened it in 1939 as a sandwich shop.

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         A biography on the family foundation's webpage says the younger Chase delivered sandwiches for the shop but went on to play trumpet in his own jazz band.

         He met Leah Lange when his band was playing for a Mardi Gras ball in 1945, and they married the next year.

         According to the biography, Chase and his mother ran the restaurant together after Chase Sr. died in 1957.

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         Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement about the passing of Chase:

         “On behalf of the people of New Orleans, I extend my sincerest condolences to Mrs. Leah and the Chase Family on the passing of Edgar “Dooky” Chase, Jr. Mr. Chase was a jazz musician, owner of the world-famous Dooky Chase’s restaurant and a generous civic leader. As the patriarch of a great New Orleans family, he was a man dedicated to faith who had an infectious smile, a word of wisdom or joke for anyone who came through his doors on Orleans Avenue. Dooky Chase was a New Orleans legend and leaves a legacy of kindness and generosity for us all. He will be missed.”

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