Donna Ruth Chandler, 89, died peacefully on July 20th at her home surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
Donna was born on May 21, 1931, in Lancaster County, Nebraska. She was raised on a farm in Nebraska and at the age of 7, her family relocated to Richmond, California. Donna graduated from Richmond High School in 1948 and began working for State Farm Insurance Company in San Francisco. She later worked as a secretary for the California Highway Patrol in Berkeley, CA.
Donna met her life-long partner, Milton Chandler, on a sidewalk in Willows, CA, where the two were introduced by her high school friend, Eleanor Gundrie. They later attended dances regularly in Paradise, California. Donna and Milton married in 1951 and Milton began working at the Standard Oil Refinery in Richmond shortly after that. The couple had two children while living in Richmond. They later bought their first home in Pinole, CA and had two more children while living there. In 1962, Donna and Milton relocated to Pascagoula, Mississippi, where Milton was transferred to help build and later operate the Chevron Oil Refinery. They had two more children while residing in Pascagoula.
A devout Catholic, Donna was a very active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and president of the Altar Society for several years. She was also a long-time member of the 20th Century Club. In addition to her limitless patience, she has always been defined by her strong faith and has witnessed to others by her many acts of kindness.
Donna Chandler leaves a great legacy which is best described as “unconditional love”. Her goal in life was not necessarily a successful career or abundant wealth, but rather a lifelong dedication to God and family. Donna was extremely proud of her six children and spent most of her life encouraging and being a cheerleader for them. She was also thoroughly proud of her 14 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. All of her grandchildren testified that “Grandma always made them feel loved and accepted”.
Proverbs 31:25-28 best describes Donna Chandler “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Bernard and Alberta Harless, brothers, Bernard and Bobby Harless, and her husband of 65 years, Milton Chandler.
She is survived by her children, Garry Chandler, Linda (Alan) Kaplan, Danny (Melanie) Chandler, Mary (Julius) Huhn, Jane (Davis)Hickson, Carol (Joe) Blackwell; grandchildren, Joey (Jen) Connell, Lee (Anna) Tarver, Maris Kaplan, Erin Chandler, Nick Kaplan, Colton Hickson, Donna (Jacob) Jones, Hannah Chandler, Emilia Blackwell, Milton Hickson, Laura Hickson, Amanda Blackwell, Ariel Chandler, Paul Blackwell, and four great grandchildren: Ab Tarver, Peyton Connell, Parker Connell, and baby Alice.
Due to the current circumstances, there will be a private funeral at Sacred Heart Church with interment at Machpelah Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to: Resurrection Catholic School General Fund, 520 Watts Ave, Pascagoula, MS. 39567
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