David Chandler

Obituary of David A. Chandler

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David Chandler was born in Queens, New York, Jan 28, 1944. He moved frequently as a child due to his fathers profession, a minister of Christ. Lacking the agency to develop connections with people and place in childhood shaped Dave's desire to settle in one place and remain there and that is exactly what he did. He took up residence in Fleming, New York in 1962. Three years later, he married and brought his wife Martha Ann to the land. He commenced with life seeking stability in the spacious tranquility in the pristine beauty the Finger Lakes area provides. He remained there until the day he died in June 2023. Life itself was by no means stationary. Employed in his early life as a finished carpenter, he began working with the family home transforming and improving nearly every aspect of the house, as well as the land tending to the apple and cherry trees there, replacing them over the years with plum and persimmon trees and with new apple and pear when the older ones on the land had given all they could. Tragically, he lost Martha in 1971 and was compelled to provide for the children alone. For some, this would have indelibly altered the course of life and no doubt it took its toll. His profession changed, setting him on the road as a long haul truck driver. His emotional life was to be forever a private place where few would gain entry. Yet, his enormous sensitivity and capacity for creative output filled the days of his years. His children and friends alike watched over the decades as his inspirations took form and shape. When the children were small, he thrilled them by zooming around on Lake Oswego in their tiny speed boat, treated them for ice cream at Guernsey Farm in the summer evenings and took them on smelt runs in the dark of night. He loved water and purchased a 1960 Owens cabin cruiser boat that he single handedly restored: refinishing the hull, rebuilding the engine, and even hand sewing every single cushion cover within to bring to life a beautiful craft upon which he and his four children set out for adventure in the nearby lakes each with a sailor cap upon their heads! Eventually his childhood dred of travel was transformed when his children grew up and went out of the house and attended college and university. As two of his daughters went to study in North Charlotte and Atlanta, over the course of 5 years he explored the entire east Coast from New York to Georgia, stopping at as many beaches and lighthouses as are on the way, always adding to his seashell collection. The love of the water and the sea would permeate nearly every aspect of his life. His curiosity about and respect for cultures and cuisines led him to concoct and create in the kitchen, experimenting with unusual ingredients, with a particular interest in Asian foods and teas. Martha's Czechslavakian father taught him patience with the slow roasting of meats and he perfected his pot roasts. He was fine tuning his pickle recipes and always working with a way to incorporate pineapple - a favorite tropical ingredient. His love of seafood produced broiled swordfishes for the children and shrimp, always glorious shrimp! After digging straight through the shale layer of the property, a new feature of the land: The Pond, would dominate his endeavors and serve as the flowing center piece around which his fantastical windchimes and flower beds grew up and now grace the property. It was his vision realized and bestowed great satisfaction in his heart. In his pelican boat he would paddle about it, for reprieve on the hottest days of summer he would swim in and float upon it and wonder at the fish that arrived without his ever having stocked it. The shore birds that migrated to it, never before observed in the landscape, captivated his attention. For his grandchild Amelie, he set to photographing them and composed an entirely original book about their life cycle and presented it as a storybook for reading and learning. All gifts he gave were meticulously researched and often handmade: they included painstakingly carved and ornamented trays and personalized jewelry for the children. It seems there was no artistic medium his hands did not explore. His closest friends were artists themselves with whom he could best relate, laugh and express his inventive and curious nature. Late in life he was reunited with his beloved sister, Miriam. Their joy, laughter, and subsequent adventures would vibrate out into the world and serve to heal the pain of all those who have known long separation (that was no cause of their own). They spoke on the phone every Saturday enjoying the solace that comes when love that is family is made secure and whole again. A man of extraordinary contradictions, he was as comfortable pondering and resolving the challenge of rebuilding or modifying his various heavy machinery used to transform the land as he was in the delicate endeavor of tending to his tulip and lily bulbs, chrysanthemums, roses and irises. He led a life that was inscrutable to some, and quietly regarded as unusual by others. Intensely private and thoroughly expressive, he always remained true to his own deeply protected, beautiful, artistic heart. He will be missed by those who loved him.
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David Chandler

In Loving Memory

David Chandler

1944 - 2023

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