COPY-Business, community leader David Chozen dies

LAKE CHARLES, LA (WAFB) - A man Governor Bobby Jindal called "a tireless advocate for our state" has died at a Lake Charles hospital.

David Chozen, 60, was a lifelong resident of Lake Charles and served on numerous boards and commissions. Most recently, he was appointed to the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District Commission (Superdome Commission).

He was also a fundraising chairman for Governor Jindal. "David was a dear friend and a tireless advocate for our state," Jindal said Thursday. "He will be missed and his memory will be in our hearts forever."

For more than 20 years, Chozen was the owner and manager of the Manpower franchises in Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria. He was active in numerous community organizations and was named the Lake Charles Police Department Citizen of the Year in 2002 and again in 2009.

Chozen was engaged to WAFB News Director Vicki Zimmerman. He died Wednesday evening. A memorial service will be held at 6:00pm Sunday, August 16, at Hixson's Funeral Home in Lake Charles. Visitation will be from 3:00pm until the start of the service.

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David Edward Chozen, a lifelong resident of Lake Charles, passed away Wednesday, August 12, 2009 in a Lake Charles Hospital.  He was 60 years old.    A memorial service will be held at 6:00pm on Sunday, August 16, 2009 at Hixson's Funeral Home in Lake Charles.  Visitation will be from 3:00pm until the start of the service.   Private entombment will be at a later date.  Mr. Chozen was born November 19, 1948 to Harry and Ruth (Nelson) Chozen.   For more than 20 years he was the Owner/Manager of the Manpower franchises in Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and Alexandria.  Most recently he was owner of Chozen Business Services and served as a consultant for Lofton Staffing & Security Services.   During his years with Manpower he was honored with the company's Power, Pacesetter and Gold awards and in 1994 was named Best Office in Gulf South Region for sales and growth.  He was probably best known for his quarterly employment outlooks surveys that he presented through newspaper and television.   He was very active in the business community and political arena serving as fundraising chairman for SWLA for Governor Bobby Jindal.  Mr. Chozen was dedicated to serving his state, community and fellow man as is reflected in his membership on many boards and commissions.  Most recently he was appointed to the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District Commission (Superdome Commission).  Also on a state level he previously served on the Insurance Rating Commission, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Board, Council on Automobile Insurance Rates and Enforcement, Louisiana State Board of Commerce and Industry, Governor's Pan American Commission as Vice Chairman, Louisiana Recovery District Board of Governors, Louisiana Private Industry Council, Community Chairman on Labor, Louisiana State University Foundation 1860 Society, and Alliance for Good Government.   His dedication to service started in his local community where he served on the Board of Directors and numerous committees for The Chamber Southwest, Better Business Bureau, LABI WESTPAC, President Elect McNeese State University Foundation, Southwest Louisiana District Livestock Show and was on the Advisory Committee for the Junior League of Southwest Louisiana, Lake Charles Kiwanis Club,  Sowela Technical Institute, President of the Pioneer Club, Calcasieu Parish 4-H/FFA, Lake Charles Symphony Board, Contraband Days of SWLA, Calcasieu Personnel Management Association, the Calcasieu Parish School Board Tax Committee and Chennault Industrial Airpark Authority. He also gave generously to the local firefighter and law enforcement charities.  David's work with the Boy Scouts of America Calcasieu Area Council Board and the UTMB Shriners Hospital for Children-Galveston Burn Hospital were positions he considered the most rewarding.    He worked on the Boy Scout's Board for more than 10 years and served as Council President in 1987.   David began his work with the Shriner's Burns Hospital at the University of Texas in 1990 on the Board of Governors.  He continued his support of the hospital as an Emeritus Member on the hospital's board after 10 years of active service.   In addition to serving on the McNeese State University Foundation Board he was also Past President of the Quarterback Club, H.C. Drew Advisor Board, Pinch Hitters Club, Tip-Off Club and numerous special committees at the University.   David's talents were also called upon by the City of Lake Charles to serve on the Mayor's City Employee Pay Raise, Community Relations and Clean City committees.

David was a Master Mason, 32nd Degree Scottish Rite and Shriner.   He was also a member of the National Royal Order of Jesters since 1985 serving as Director in 1992, Fraternal Order of Police and Coastal Hunting & Fishing Club.   

Among his many honors David was named the Lake Charles Police Department Citizen of the Year in 2002 and again in 2009.  He also earned the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver and Guardian Awards, Kiwanian of the Year and was recognized in the Who's Who in the South and Southwest.

He is preceded in death by his parents Harry and Ruth (Nelson) Chozen, his brother Richard Chozen, his maternal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. A.A. (Lily Jinks) Nelson of Lake Charles and paternal grandparents Abraham and Ida Chozen.

He is survived by his fiancée Vicki Zimmerman of Baton Rouge, his nieces Pamela Chozen of Ellettsville, Indiana and Stephanie Chozen of Memphis, Tennessee, his uncle Bobby Chozen of Palm Springs, California and numerous cousins and his "extended" family and caregivers Kim Vaughan and Secmonuer Alexander of Lake Charles.

Pallbearers are Dr. Francis Bride, Claude 'Buddy' Leach, Bill King, Dr. David Wallace, Tommy Davis, Edley Hixson, Clint Hixson, Dr. George Vincent, Brad Vincent, Art Grady, Art Cooling, Chief Don Dixon and Randy Bellon.

Vicki, Kim and Secmonuer would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Rick McCall of Lake Charles for the exceptional medical care he provided but more importantly his compassion and friendship.    We would also like to express our gratitude to Dr. James Abrussezze and Alicia Ross of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Justin Trahan, Donna Vanchiere, Erin Domingue, and many of the other outstanding nurses and aides at Christus St. Patrick Hospital and Sandy Bolton and the staff of Christus Home Health/Hospice.  And to beloved friends Dr. Francis Bride, Buddy Leach, Edley Hixson, Dr. George and Nina Vincent, Jim Jones, Mike Johnson, Tommy Davis, Kevin Koenig and Hunter Lundy; your love and support made all of our lives richer and our burden lighter.

In lieu of flowers friends are asked to send a contribution to McNeese State University Foundation Harry Chozen Baseball Scholarship Fund.   

As one friend said, "Heaven has a new supervisor".