STEVENSVILLE — Raymond K. Chandler, 97, of Stevensville, had his home going on Sunday evening at Welcome Home Valley Care while his family, friends and Pastor sang hymns and read Scripture. He was born on Oct. 12, 1921, in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of the late James and Anna Chandler.
Raymond grew up in Massachusetts and when he was 14 left home. A neighbor farmer took him in. He gave him room board but couldn’t pay him wages — instead he gave him a heifer calf. As the heifer grew and required more feed, the farmer couldn’t afford to feed it as this was during the depression. Ray spoke with another neighbor, and this man said he could provide the feed and give Ray room and board for his labor on the farm. He stayed with this family until he graduated from high school. Ray took jobs working in tobacco fields and in a paper mill.
Ray enlisted in the Army and was wounded in Normandy, France during WWII. For his actions in the service Ray received the Purple Heart, European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon with one service star and the Good Conduct Medal. While on leave with a buddy he met the love of his life Ann. They were wed in 1944.
After the war, the couple bought a dairy farm and a truck to haul milk cans to the milk processing plant. They farmed for several years eventually selling and moving to the small community of Blooming Valley, Pennsylvania. Raymond worked during this time for Westinghouse in a factory, delivered milk door to door for Rhoa’s Dairy, hauled fuel for GLF and built six houses in Blooming Valley, but his real desire was to work as a rural mail carrier. He wrote a letter to President Kennedy reminding him of his promise to not involve politics in government jobs since he had scored very well on the postal exam. He received a reply from the White House, a letter that remains in the family scrapbook today. Raymond got his job working for the Post Office and delivered the U.S. Mail for the next 30 years until his retirement in 1985.
Ray and Ann were married for 62 years when his beloved wife passed away in 2006. In 2007 Ray moved to Montana to be close to his family. Ray enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, watching game shows and reading. His real passion was his love of Jesus. He was a dedicated member of Galilee Baptist Church where he served as an usher and regularly helped clean the church. His hearts desire was for everyone he met to accept Jesus Christ as their own Lord and Savior. He had a genuine soul winner’s heart and lead many family members and neighbors to Christ.
Ray started going to the Stevensville Senior Center in 2007 and quickly became a “regular” there. He enjoyed the fellowship of the people and soon started stocking shelves and washing pans. He delivered Meals On Wheels for several years to those in his community. He had a regular table that he sat at there and enjoyed the opportunity to reminiscence with his friends.
Ray was in independent gentleman who drove a car and maintained his own home right up until December of 2018 when his health declined. Ray moved to Welcome Home Valley Care. The love and care he received from these friends brought a huge comfort to Ray and his family. Ray was now enjoying spending his days with the other folks there swapping stories, bantering back and forth, enjoying home cooked meals and receiving lots of love and attention.
Ray lived a long and prosperous life. He was greatly loved and will be missed by his family and all those that knew him. Ray is survived by a daughter Brenda Chandler of Corvallis, Montana, one granddaughter Bonnie (Randy) Jones of Stevensville four great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren. His family rejoices in knowing that he is now in heaven with his precious Jesus and the knowledge that they will see him again one day and so will all those who call upon the name of the Lord. Romans 10:9-10
The family suggests any memorials be sent to Galilee Baptist Church or the Stevensville Senior Center designated for Meals. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at whitesittfuneralhome.com.