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John Sherman Chandler

1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
John Sherman Chandler Obituary
JOHN SHERMAN CHANDLER Born April 20, 1929 Passed October 15, 2016 with a daughter at each hand. How does one begin to fill in the dash of a vibrant life between birth and death? A book could be written on this life. John was born the middle child of Robert Sherman and Ruth (Smith) Chandler in Rochester Indiana. He graduated from Ham-mond High School. He is preceded in death by his first daughter, Mary Chandler, older sister Louise Collins, his father Robert, his loving step- mother Sylvia Chandler, his former sweet, loyal wife Catherine Lois Koselke Chandler and his birth mother Ruth McMillan. He is survived by his two dedicated daughters, Nanette (Anne) Maureen De Felice of Cohasset CA. and Jennifer Diann Warren of Magalia CA. and his younger sister Barbara (Bobbie) Thron of Fresno CA. John also leaves behind the nephews and niece of his sister Louise (Fred) Collins; Pat Collins of Helena MT., Ken Collins of Cohasset CA., Joyce Mitvalsky of Sherwood OR., Mark Collins of Menifee CA., Troy Collins of Helena MT. Nephews and nieces of his sister Bobbie (Don) Thron; Steve Thron of Visalia CA., Sandy Thron of Phoenix AZ., Connie Thron of Fresno CA. and Danny Thron of Visalia CA., plus may nephews and nieces on Cathy's side and many grand nephews and nieces. An Air Force veteran of the Korean War, John came back a changed man. He went in patriotic and came out with questions. He met Catherine Koselke in the Footlighters Theater Group and they married in Lansing Illinois on October 20, 1955. For their honeymoon they moved to California. They settled in the Bay Area where Mary died when born. The couple then moved to Pendleton Oregon where John was a manager for Woolworths. They later moved back to Santa Clara then San Jose California where John worked for Super S Drug Store. He was known to bring the less fortunate to the family home for dinner and a warm place to sleep. In the late '60's John began to grow a goatee beard that his boss demanded he shave. He refused, so he got fired and this began the metamorphous from clean-cut, starched shirt, tie, slacks and shiny shoes to super casual hippy. He started working at Kepler's Book store in Menlo Park during the period of tumultuous social unrest of the Vietnam War era. He would come home with stories of the store being bombed. At one point, David Harris, then husband of Joan Baez, came by the house to pick up a canoe he had built. This was to be used along with other canoes and kayaks in attempt to stop a war ship from leaving San Francisco Bay. Of course the ship was not stopped, but the attempt made the front page. John was a man of peace, although he seemed to love to argue. It did not matter if he agreed or not, he would argue the opposite side just to get you to consider an opposing idea. He later got his family thankfully out of the city to three miles up a dirt road in the community of Berry Creek, CA. Here he had horses. He would saddle up with Medicine Man, Rolling Thunder's old saddle and the family would ride together around the mountain back roads often. He would embarrass his daughters by skinny dipping in front of their friends. Much to Cathy's chagrin, he would also take his daughters to the local watering hole on weekends for music and dancing. Here he became known as "Guru" or "Big John". After leaving the family in late 1975, he spent time in Berry Creek, the Bay Area and Concow, CA. During this time he became a traveling knife sharpener for restaurants. At some point in the '90's he purchased a property in Joyce, near Port Angeles, WA. This became his happy place. He made many friends there that became closer to him than his own family. Here he rented "hydro-bikes" on Lake Crescent and recumbent tricycles on the Discovery Trail. He was a regular attendee wherever good live music was being played or a 49er or Spurs game was being shown. Women adored him and he never lacked a dancing partner. With his distinctive signature feather adorned hat he became affectionately known to the community as "Feather John". When he said he was going to live to be 150 years old, we all believed him. He was ageless. Gone too soon. Right away celebrations in honor of his life began, including music, art and poetry at the Metta Room and two nights of music at The New Moon Craft Tavern in Port Angeles, WA. As John was all about the festival, an event will be planned for spring or summer of 2017 near Port Angeles, WA.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record from Nov. 1 to Nov. 6, 2016
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