was born in Fernwood, Mississippi on August 15, 1921, to Fannie and Charles Wesley Chandler. He passed away at his home in Baytown on March 8, 2013, at the age of 91. George lived in Baytown all his life, graduating from Robert E. Lee High School in 1939. He was a member of the Merchant Marines before proudly serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was sent to the University of Texas in Austin for officer training, where he received his Bachelor of Business, Plan III Bachelor of Arts as well as his law degree, and joined the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He also attended Harvard University for officer's training, took graduate business courses and became a member of the esteemed Hasty Pudding Club. He returned to Baytown in 1949 to practice law and had the great honor of serving as Baytown's City Attorney for 17 years. He continued his private practice until he retired in 1997.
In 1947 George married his college sweetheart, Freda Kathern Wolfean, who remained his unwaveringly devoted wife and partner for 65 years. They were blessed with five adoring children, Georgann Schwamkrug, Catherine Mundinger, husband Dan, Vivian Treat, husband Mark, Steve Chandler, wife Patti, and Anita Chandler who gave him tremendous support and care during his declining years and for which the family will forever be grateful. He cherished his grandchildren Victor and Alison Schwamkrug, Samantha and Danny Mundinger, Casey Mundinger Barbles, husband Ryan, Leigh and Hannah Treat, Steven and Emily Chandler. The family gives a special and heartfelt thank you to Victor for his tireless and loving devotion to his grandfather. George was predeceased by his brother Chester Chandler, his sisters Ruth Henderson, Hellen Nelson, Heedie Seago, Virgie Dee Lirette and is survived by his sister Myrtle Walker and several much loved nieces and nephews.
George, our Sea Daddy, was a firm believer in the benefits of exercise and loved nature. He was an avid water and snow skier, jogger and cyclist, and passed on his active lifestyle to his children, teaching them to surf, ski, ice skate and to value health and nutrition. He was also a consummate volunteer and combined these traits in his dedication to the Baytown YMCA where he spent years promoting, fundraising and serving as its president.
George had a zest for life and an unquenchable love for learning. After retirement he became a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist. He cultivated and nurtured a remarkable collection of fruit trees in his yard on Burnet Bay, where he spent hours on its shore, picking fruit and eating pecans, and on the water in his jet boats. He and Freda donated land to the City of Baytown to establish the Chandler Arboretum Park. He also studied to become a phlebotomist, graduating first in his class and being recruited by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
George loved his Longhorns and we have no doubt that he and Darrell Royal are in a huddle discussing UT strategy. He was truly inspirational, and will always be known for his love for people of all walks of life, his courage and his unselfish desire to share his time and gifts with others. He will be missed by his beloved animals, Chevy, Little Girls, Black Kitty and Possum, who gave him such comfort.
Donations may be made to the Baytown Humane Society, P. O. Box 2772, Baytown, TX. 77522. The family would like to extend special thanks to Scott Sheley for his devotion to his friend, to Veronica Garza for her gentle care for George and the whole family, as well as to the amazing firemen at Station #5 who treated George with such respect and kindness. George's greatest accomplishment was his legacy of loving large, courageous zeal for living, unending generosity and constant strength in face of adversity. We were blessed to have him in our lives and thank God for this blessing.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, March 13th at 2:00 at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 3811 N. Main St., Baytown, TX 77521.
To view the online obituary or to post a tribute for the family, go to www.navarrefuneralhome.com
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of Navarre Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 2444 Rollingbrook Dr., Baytown, TX, 77521 (281) 422-8111.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Mar. 10, 2013