Obituary of Michelle S. Chase
"Michelle (Shelly) Chase, who grew up in Farmington and West Hartford, CT, lived in Stamford, CT from 1994 until her death on June 12, 2018.
Shelly, who struggled most of her adult life with mental and physical illnesses, was a strong advocate for the rights of people living with serious mental illness. A graduate of UConn Law (‘87) and a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, Shelly lobbied before the State Capitol in Hartford and lectured on mental health law at Fordham University. She was active with several mental health advocacy organizations, serving as a volunteer and board member with the Southwest CT chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). She was also a long-time member, volunteer and officer for Laurel House, a Stamford-based supportive community providing a range of mental health programs.
Shelly was deeply engaged with disability rights, but her first love was the arts. She held a BA an arts program from Barnard College (‘77) and an AA from Hartford College for Women (‘73). She founded the Laurel House Art Association, where she facilitated a weekly arts course and orchestrated an art show at the Ferguson Library that featured Laurel House artists’ works.
Shelly is survived by siblings Pauline (Polly) Beam, Francine (Tina) (Albert) Mayas, Rodney (Peter) (Annette) Chase, and Andrew (Kimberlee Hall) Chase. She also leaves three nieces and two nephews. She is predeceased by parents Rodney S. Chase and Sally Lou Cruikshank Chase."
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