Lavern Elwood Chandler, age 78, of National City, a former resident of Davison, died on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, at St. Mary's of Michigan Medical Center in Saginaw.
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He was born the son of Leonard and Ona Mary (nee Rogers) Chandler on Nov. 8, 1934, in Davison. Lavern graduated high school from Flint Tech and earned his associate's degree from Flint Junior College and received his bachelor's degree in engineering.
Lavern proudly served our country with the Army of the United States from 1954 to 1962. He was employed as an engineer for AC Spark Plug in Flint. In May of 1982, Lavern received recognition from General Motors Corporation Patent Section and a copy of the United States Patent No. 4, 380,359, which was issued on his invention entitled "Electrical Connector For An Instrument Panel."
Lavern married his best friend, Deborah VanDeWater, on April 21, 2001, at the Chapel in the Woods in Grayling. He volunteered his time and was honored for his dedication and service to the people of Davison through his work with the Davison Area Ambulance Authority and later came to Iosco County, where he worked as a paramedic. He loved being with people and cared for others with deep compassion and he loved the EMS.
He volunteered many hours and enjoyed delivering nice hot meals to the aging in Tawas City and East Tawas and he enjoyed having his sister share in those trips. To you, Lavern may have been a stranger, but in his eyes, no one was a stranger. They were his friends and he never passed anyone without a friendly hello and conversation.
Lavern loved the outdoors and spending time fishing, deer hunting, golfing and sitting around a campfire. But the most important part of his life was not only his family and being a caring and loving husband, father, brother, uncle and friend, but was most of all being a grandpa and watching his grandchildren grow. He enjoyed spending last New Year's Day on a Disney cruise with his wife and two grandchildren, Caitlyn and Landon.
Lavern is survived by his beautiful wife, Debbie; his adored children, LeAnn (Jon) Peterson of Grosse Pointe Woods, Alicia (Lenny) Bartels of Burton, Jason (Shelly) VanDeWater of Fenton, Jamie (Jeremy) Smith; Andrea (Brandon) Howley and Jene' VanDeWater, all of Flint; as well as his loving sister, Vivian Chandler of Tawas City; and his pride and joys, his grandchildren, Aleah, Lexi, Livie, Luci, Karsten, Caitlyn, Landon and Jaxson; along with his special nieces and nephews, Douglas, Dallas, Sandra and John; and including his friends whose lives he touched. He will be missed by all.
Lavern was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Timothy Chandler; and grandson, Gage Spiece.
Funeral services with full military honors and a Last Call EMS memorial in memory of Lavern and his dedication and love to our community was held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Buresh Funeral Home in Tawas City, with the Rev. Jerry Wallace officiating.
Memorial contributions in Lavern's name may be made to the Iosco County Senior Citizens Center of the Aging or to St. Jude's Hospital. An on-line guest registry is available to sign at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Iosco County News-Herald from Feb. 19 to Feb. 26, 2013