From Harford County Public Schools:
Lt. Col. Eugene C. Chandler was instrumental in making important and sustainable changes in healthcare, education and social issues in Harford County with an unmatched clarity of vision, discipline, courage and humility. Lt. Col. Chandler, a long-time Aberdeen resident, passed away on Monday, May 31, 2010.
The youngest of eight children born to sharecropper parents in North Carolina, Lt. Col. Chandler was the first member of his family to attend college. He graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. Following graduation, he went on to have an outstanding military career of nearly a quarter of a century. He was the proud recipient of numerous military medals and ribbons, among those, the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Army Commendation Medal and Vietnamese Honor Medal First Class received while on active duty. His distinguished military service was just the beginning of his well-documented career and profound commitment to community service.
Appointed in 1997 by the Maryland Governor to fill the unexpired term of the late George D. Lisby, Lt. Col. Chandler served as a six-year member of the Board of Education of Harford County. As a board member, he quickly demonstrated good temperament and exceptional leadership ability, and was elected vice president of the board in 2000 and president of the board in 2001. Recognized for leadership that characterized his life of military and community service, for the innovative programs thought fully conceived, designed and strategically implemented, and for his finely honed teambuilding skills as a board member at both local and state levels, Lt. Col. Chandler received the coveted Charles W. Willis Memorial Award, the highest distinction conferred by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education.
“On Memorial Day, we lost another great veteran,” said Board of Education President Mark M. Wolkow. “Gene served the Board of Education, the children, and the citizens of Harford County with great distinction. He was truly dedicated to making our public schools the best for all children, and will be missed dearly by many.”
Other leadership positions included: Board Member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County; a Lifetime Member and President of the Harford County NAACP; Executive Board Member of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education; Chairman & CEO of the Harford and Cecil Counties Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation; Tournament General Chairman of the 2010 21st Annual Gene Chandler Sickle Cell Charity Golf Tournament; and Founding Polemarch of Aberdeen (MD) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Also, he worked closely with the Harford Community College Foundation; Maryland Black Caucus of Black School Board Members; and Harford County’s Black Youth in Action.
Lt. Col. Chandler is survived by his wife, Inez Bonner Chandler, their daughter, Linda Joyce Chandler Keeler, three grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Final arrangements are as follows:
Thursday, June 3rd – Viewing 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the William C. Brown Community Funeral Home, 321 South Philadelphia Boulevard, Aberdeen, MD 21001.
Friday, June 4th – Viewing 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with the funeral service immediately following at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 520 Lewis Street, Havre de Grace, MD 21078.
The Board of Education of Harford County will honor the life and legacy of Lt. Col. Chandler at its regularly scheduled Board Business Meeting on Monday, June 28th, at 6:30 p.m. at the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air.