Frank M. Chambers died on Dec 23rd in Green Valley, AZ where he had been a resident for nearly 20 years. Born in Yonkers, NY in 1919 to Frank and Helen Chambers, he went on after high school to St. Lawrence University. While at St. Lawrence he met his future wife, Ruth Slater, of Norwich, NY.
Frank enlisted in the Navy at the outbreak of WWII
, and he and Ruth were soon married before he shipped out to the South Pacific to serve on the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill. Returning from the war, Frank continued his education at Cornell University and subsequently was called up again during the Korean War
and assigned to Washington, D.C., working in Naval Intelligence. Returning again to civilian life, Frank went on to the University of Florida
where he received his Ph.D. in Education.
At the completion of his education, Frank, Ruth, and their three children took a camping trip around the U.S. before settling down at Muskingum College where Frank was appointed Dean of Men. After three years at Muskingum, Frank moved on to Broome Technical Community College in Binghamton, NY as Director of Admissions. Living in Greene, NY he became involved with young people as a Boy Scout leader and as a youth group leader at the Zion Episcopal Church.
With his enthusiasm for the community college concept, Frank was invited to apply to the new Middlesex County College in New Jersey for the first president's position. As the founding president, he developed a dynamic educational facility with a wide range of curriculum and high academic standards that continues to this day serving the surrounding community. After ten years in this position he retired to the family lake house in McDonough, NY. There he pursued his avid interest in tennis by leading a community effort to build new tennis courts where he played often and taught local youth the game.
Beyond tennis, Frank, along with his wife Ruth, traveled the world extensively, meeting interesting people and being immersed in many other cultures. Summers brought frequent visits of grandchildren who enjoyed sharing their grandparents' love of nature in and around the lake. Grandpa Frank was always ready to share the fun swimming, boating, fishing or just being a loving companion. He often related Ruth's advice to him when he retired; "You can hunt, you can fish, and you can grow a garden. What more do you want?"
After Ruth's death in 1992, Frank met and married Mary Jane Bishop of Owego, NY. They settled in Green Valley, AZ, shared a common interest playing tennis at every opportunity, and traveled the world for several years. Mary Jane died in 2009. Frank moved to La Posada retirement community in Green Valley where he remained active for several more years, not putting his tennis racquet down until in his nineties.
Frank is survived by his son, Frank (Dolly) Chambers of Albuquerque, NM, twin daughters Patricia (David) Burpee of Green Valley, AZ and Roberta (John) Lamb of Lafayette, NY. He also leaves five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a dear friend Carole Green of Green Valley. Frank was a member of St Francis Episcopal Church in Green Valley. He will be missed for his interest in the arts and theater, his humor and his love of humanity, friends and family.