'A very pragmatic guy'; Arthur Chase, former state senator, dies at 84.

AuthorEckelbecker, Lisa

Byline: Lisa Eckelbecker

WORCESTER -- Former state senator Arthur E. Chase, a businessman whose political positions sometimes put him at odds with his Republican colleagues, died Monday at his home after suffering from heart failure. He was 84.

Mr. Chase was a Worcester native whose political career took him from the Worcester School Committee to the Statehouse, even as he oversaw printing businesses that created high-end stationery for celebrities and invitations to a presidential inauguration.

Easily distinguished by his bald head, Mr. Chase cut a striking figure as he railed against what he saw as public excesses such as county government.

But he was also involved in building new entities, too. As a state senator, he helped launch a Worcester magnet school focused on math and science, and he worked across the aisle with fellow legislators to create the Central Massachusetts Legislative Caucus.

"We got a lot done,'' said Kevin O'Sullivan, chief executive of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives and the former Democratic state representative who worked with Mr. Chase to create a caucus that could coalesce around issues related to Central Massachusetts. "Friendships ensued. It was a very, very good thing. Working with Arthur, Arthur was a very pragmatic guy.''

Mr. Chase was born Feb. 4, 1930, in Worcester to Israel and Esther Chase. The youngest of three children, he graduated from the former Commerce High School in 1947. That same year, he founded Chase Paper Co.

Mr. Chase worked at the printing business while attending the former Worcester Junior College, where he graduated in 1951. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954.

In 1956, Mr. Chase married Wynne Laipson of Worcester, and the couple went on to have three children: Harold, now known as Svi ben Elya; April and Micah.

Mr. Chase later said in an interview that he delayed running for public office, at Wynne Chase's urging, while the couple's children were young. When he did jump into politics, he started with a campaign for a seat on the Worcester School Committee. He won and served two terms, from 1978 to 1981.

His next campaign in 1981, for a seat on the City Council, failed. But Mr. Chase returned two years later and won. He served three terms as an at-large councilor, from 1984 to 1989.

All the while, Chase Paper Co. built up a clientele for high-end printing and stationery jobs. Its work included printing the official invitations to the first inauguration of President Ronald...

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