Valerie E. Chase, 86, a prominent educator in D.C., died on June 25 at the Washington Hospital Center after a brief illness.
A native Washingtonian, Miss Chase graduated from the old M Street High School and Miner Normal School. She received her bachelor's degree from Howard University, her master's degress from Columbia University, and took additional graduate courses at the Robert H. Terrell Law School.
Miss Chase, whose career in the D.C. public school system spanned almost 40 years, began teaching at age 17 and shortly thereafter became principal of Garrison Elementary School. She went on to serve as principal of Terrell Junior High School for almost 20 years, and in 1933 founded the Terrell Boys Club.
Miss Chase gained the respect and admiration of the educational communnity as a positive disciplinarian and was selected by the District School Board to become the first balck principal of Langley Junior High School. She retired from Langley in 1960.
As a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Miss Chase served on the verstry and became the first woman in the Diocese of Washington and in the United States to serve in the capacity of Senior Warden.
She was also a member of St. Luke's Woman Auxiliary, and for over 45 years belonged to the XI Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Miss Chase, whose wide circle of associated included Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary McCleod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, and Agnes Meyer, is survived by her brother, Attorney Eugene A. Chase of Washington.