A Celebration of the Life of Chase Gentry, 53, of Clovis, will be held at the Clovis Civic Center, 801 Schepps Blvd., Clovis, NM on Tuesday, September 7 at 2pm with David Lansford officiating, assisted by Fr. Sergio Leal, Fr. Carlos Chavez, Ernie Kos, Christen Ray and Scott Reeves. There will be open visitation at Wheeler Mortuary until Tuesday morning. The family will receive guests at Wheeler Mortuary on Monday evening from 4:00 until 7:00 PM. Mr. Gentry will also be available for viewing at the Clovis Civic Center on Tues. from 11:00 AM until service time. Memorial donations may be made in Chase’s name to the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch 6209 Hendrix Road NE Suite 2, Albuquerque, NM 87110 or the High Plains Humane Society P.O. Box 930 Clovis NM 88102.
Chase Darin Gentry passed away in Albuquerque, NM on August 31, 2021. Chase was born in Clovis, NM on May 13, 1968 to Nancy Carmichael Gentry and John Gentry. He graduated from Portales High School in 1986 and received his Bachelors of Business Administration from Eastern New Mexico University and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity where his mother, Nancy was the housemother for several years.
Chase’s entrepreneur spirit began at a young age. His first job was at 12 when he began running the concession stand at four ball parks in Portales under the supervision of Bill Wahlman. As a teenager, he had a job pulling weeds and cleaning at the Portales National Bank and later worked as a teller. His next business endeavors included the Roving Chef – a mobile concession stand and also a snow cone truck. He then worked for Mickey Bear Enterprises as a DJ and later purchased two DJ services. For the next 16 years, he traveled around New Mexico and Texas as a mobile DJ, the Chaser. Chase employed and managed multiple people within his businesses, creating jobs with his signature smile.
While attending college at Eastern New Mexico University, Chase wanted to become a mortician and worked at Wheeler Mortuary while still working at dances and events as a DJ. Chase became not only an employee of Wheeler Mortuary, but very close friends with Scott and Debbie Reeves. After graduating from Eastern New Mexico University in May 1992 he took a job as assistant to Dallan Sanders at the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce. Dallan Sanders was Chase’s mentor and good friend. Chase became both Chamber Director and Economic Development Director after Dallan’s passing in 1999. During this time, Chase began working with Ernie Kos as the chamber directors of Portales and Clovis. They jointly hosted a weekly radio show, “The Connection” highlighting the many ways to connect Clovis and Portales and initiated the Clovis/Portales Microplex. They also jointly purchased a button machine for both chambers to share – that button machine is currently being used for the branding initiative focusing on heartfelt connections.
Chase was hired as the Executive Director of the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation on September 1, 2002 where he has worked for the last 20 years with the director of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce. Chase and Ernie’s work relationship and friendship spanned over three decades. His professional highlights and economic impact include Southwest Cheese, Business Enterprise Center, Pattern Energy, High Plains Community Development and many other success projects under his leadership.
His hobbies included work, travel, movies and spending time with his dogs, Keoni and Kia. Chase is now enjoying the company of his dogs, Koko and Kiva in heaven.
Over the course of his lifetime, he has been a proud member the Association of Commerce and Industry, the ENMU Alumni Board of Directors, NM Tourism Department Region 3 Board of Directors, Roosevelt County Health Planning Council, NM Business Quarter Board, Senator Domenici’s Rural Payday, Roosevelt County Historical Society Board of Directors, Rural Economic Development Forum, Eastern New Mexico Tourism Association, NM Chamber Executive Association, Leadership Clovis class of 1996, Portales Mainstreet, Texas Association of Fairs and Expos, Portales Schools/ENMU Gear Up Program Board, NM Partnership Board, NMIDEA, and Eastern Plains Council of Governments, as well as Portales Masonic Lodge #26 AF&AM and dozens of other regional and local boards.
Chase received the prestigious “Dallan Sanders Economic Developer of the Year” award two times during his career and was pivotal in the creation of the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum. His most recent economic development launch was “Clovis Remote”, a job creation program connecting the local community with remote job opportunities.
He had a very quiet way of demonstrating his faith, but the sense of love and comfort that God has for us splashed out everywhere he went. When Chase was present, the atmosphere was peaceful because he carried Jesus everywhere with him.
Chase is survived by his mother, Nancy Carmichael Gentry and his brother, Clark Gentry, his father, John Gentry (Debbie), his brother Kaleb Gentry (Kayleigh) and Kenzleigh and Korbyn, his sister, Jenny Gentry, his aunts and uncles, Sue Davis, JE Carmichael (Vicki), Patsy Clark, Kenneth Smith, and cousins, Lesli (Richard) Dolgener, Chad (Tia) Clark, Corbett (Sara) Clark, Kenny (Mary) Smith, Kay (Ty) Bridges, his best friend, Ernie Kos (Ron), his dogs, Keoni and Kia and countless friends and Ohana.
He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Pete and Ernestine Carmichael, his paternal grandparents, Dean and Delta Gentry, his nephew, Kasyn Gentry, and aunt, Pat Smith.
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