Friends Remembered: Lewis Herbert Chase

Lewis Herbert Chase

Carnegie Hero Lewis Herbert Chase, 93, died Friday, February 16, 2024. He was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 1981.

On May 22, 198, following an accident with a train, a 36-year-old man fell unconscious in his pickup truck, pinned to his seat amid flames. Railroad conductor, Chase, then-50, ran to the truck and three times entered it in unsuccessful attempts to free the man. Despite increasing flames and intense heat, Chase entered the truck again, freed the man, and pulled him to safety. The rescued man was hospitalized for his burns, while Chase sustained minor burns. Both men recovered.

Chase was born April 10, 1931, to Herbert and Vee Chase, but due to an error made by a delivery-room doctor, he had a legal birthdate of March 10, 1931.

Chase joined the U.S. Navy in 1948 serving as a submarine rescue/recovery diver While serving, Chase was decorated for fighting a fire on a munitions ship. He was honorably discharged in 1952.

He married Carmela Marotta n April 4, 1952.

Chase started working for the Santa Fe Railroad in 1955 and retired in 1994 to take care of Millie through her illness with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). He was also very active with the Kern County Fair serving on the sheep committee for many, many years.

He is survived by his children; sons Steve, Michael, and David; daughters Lynnette Chase and Kathy Bird; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, Chase was preceded in death by a granddaughter and two brothers.