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Harry Wilkins Chandler, Sr., 81, of 107 Woodland Way beloved husband of Lura Jean Williams Chandler died Sunday Jan. 13, 2008 at his home.
Born in Abbeville Co. SC he was a son of the late Caleb Wilkins and Annie Greene Mabry Chandler. He is survived by his wife of the home; son, Harry Wilkins Chandler, Jr. (Kin) and his wife, Mandy Ashcraft Chandler of Due West; daughter, Anne Chandler of Abbeville; grandson, Caleb Wilkins Chandler, granddaughter Halle Elizabeth Chandler, both of Due West and special friends, Beth Rabb Madden and family and Gaynelle and Richard Rabb of Greenville. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother William B. Chandler and half-brother, John T. Mabry.
Born in Abbeville, he was educated in the Abbeville Schools and Presbyterian College and he was a life long member of the Abbeville Presbyterian Church where he served several terms as Deacon. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Marine Corp. He was a mason and member of Clinton Lodge # 3 AFM and also a Shriner and member of the Hejaz Shrine Temple of Greenville.
Harry had a deep and committed passion for his profession. He was a dedicated, compassionate, caring funeral director having served families of Abbeville County for over 60 years. For 34 years, he and his late brother co-owned a funeral home. Since 2001, he joined hands with Steve A. Jackson in forming the Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home and has been a licensed Funeral Director for over 60 years. He and his brother offered free ambulance service to the citizens of Abbeville for many years until EMS was established.
Harry was actively engaged in civic, charitable and beautification activities through the years and much of the citizens of Abbeville and tourist who come to Abbeville enjoy today what was brought about by Harry.
He was appointed to the first Historic Preservation Commission in Abbeville and also to the first Zoning and Planning Commission. Before a city Beautification Committee was formed by City Council, he bought, planted and tended flowers around the city. When City Council formed a City Beautification Committee, he was appointed Chairman and served for many years. Later when the Governor's Beautification Community Improvement was formed for each county in the State, he became Abbeville's first Chairman. During these years, much was accomplished in the city and county in areas of beautification, conservation, education, recreation, community development, historical preservation and litter awareness. Abbeville County won the Governor's Trophy in 1993 ? for Class II under his chairmanship.
He served on the City Election Committee for years. For over 40 years, he served as a Board Member of Long Cane Cemetery Association, serving as Vice-Chairman. He served many years on the Board of Advisors for the S. C. National Bank (now First Citizens). He has served since 1976 on the Abbeville County Museum Board serving as Treasurer. For almost 20 years, Harry served as City Representative on the Abbeville County Memorial Hospital Board, serving as Chairman and Secretary of the Board. Upon his retirement from the Board, he was presented a plaque and resolution in "grateful appreciation for his outstanding and dedicated service, years of commitment and his help in assuring its continued success".
The Union cannon, situated on the island in front of the Burt-Stark Mansion, was restored by authentic specifications he offered from Gettysburg. The monument there was surrounded by blooming flowers planted and maintained by Harry.
"Big Bob", the old Abbeville alarm bell, was relocated to the plaza with flowers planted around it. The horse water tough was relocated to the plaza and activated into a fountain. The fountain was featured in the movie "Sleeping with the Enemy".
Brick walkways and benches were added to the plaza and flowers always planted around the monument. He designed and hand made the fleur-de-his flower baskets hanging around the square. He was able to help untold numbers of out-of-town residents find the burial site of their ancestors in Abbeville County cemeteries.
In 2001, Harry was the recipient of the Abbeville County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame award.
Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, January 15th at 3:00 P.M. at the Abbeville Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends from 1:00 P.M. until 2:30 P.M. in the Telford Parlor of the Church prior to services. Rev. Dr. Michael Bush, Dr. George Wilson and Dr. Randy Ruble will conduct the service. Burial will be in Long Cane Cemetery with Military Rites.
Pallbearers will be Wilson Ashcraft, Bill Ashcraft, Mike Wilson, Brad Jackson, Brooks Jackson and Mark Ashley.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Alan Kolb, Don Reese, Richard Rabb, Gene Copeland, Robert Hawthorne, Pete Williams, Jeff Beaver, John McPhail and George Langston.
Flowers are accepted or memorials may be made to the Abbeville Area Medical Center P O Box 887 Abbeville, SC 29620, Abbeville Presbyterian Church P O Box 733 Abbeville, SC or to the charity of your choice.
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