Anderson Woods “Andy” Chandler passed away on October 29, 2019. He was born in Wichita, Kansas, on January 21, 1926, to Charles Q. and Laura Alice (Throckmorton) Chandler. Anderson’s early life was spent in Wichita, enjoying a close-knit family, boy scouting, being a part of the ‘College Hill Gang’, and graduating from Wichita East High School where he was a national honor society member.
Andy attended Wichita State University in 1943 and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II at the age of 17. He hoped to be a pilot but was assigned as a flight engineer on B-17 heavy bombers. He was honorably discharged from active duty in November 1945 and enrolled at the University of Kansas (KU) in January 1946. While at KU he was a member of Delta Tau Delta National Social Fraternity, and Scabbard and Blade, a college military honor society. He received the Summerfield merit scholarship, and graduated with honors from KU in 1948 with a degree in business. Having served as an ROTC cadet captain, he went on to receive a commission as Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
In 1948 Andy married Patricia Hinshaw, his high school sweetheart. The newlyweds moved to Sterling, Kansas where, inspired by his father’s leadership in banking, Andy joined the Farmers State Bank. While in Sterling, he became an adult volunteer for the Cub Scouts, which continued his lifelong devotion to the Boy Scouts of America. He completed the graduate program in banking at the University of Wisconsin, and attended Harvard University’s senior bank officer seminar.
Andy and family moved to Topeka in 1958 after purchasing Fidelity State Bank and Trust Company. He served as both president and chairman of the board until 2009. In May of 2018, the 60th anniversary of his joining the bank, Andy retired as chairman of the board. He remained chairman emeritus until his death.
Andy served as president of the Kansas Bankers Association, Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater Topeka, Downtown Topeka, Inc., Young Men’s Christian Association, and the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.
Andy’s involvement with the Boy Scouts of America included board memberships in the Santa Fe Trails and Jayhawk Area councils, serving the latter as council president. He served as president of the North Central Region, as a member of National Executive Board, and chairman of the national properties committee, the latter for 16 years. He received the leadership God and Service award, as well as the St. George Emblem of the Catholic Church. His proudest honors were receiving the three highest scouting volunteer awards, the Silver Beaver Award in 1979 from the Jayhawk Council, Silver Antelope Award in 1987 from the North Central Region, and Silver Buffalo Award in 1995 from the National Council. He was the first Kansan to receive all three awards.
Andy received the Patrick Henry Award in recognition of outstanding civilian service to the Armed Forces of the United States. Junior Achievement named him to the Topeka Business Hall of Fame. Washburn University awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Commerce, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Topeka Chapter) honored him with the Outstanding Philanthropy Award.
He was a member of the Orient Lodge of Topeka, became a 32nd degree Mason, and was honored with the Daniel Carter Beard Award. Also a member of the Arab Shrine in Topeka, Andy joined both the Greeters and Legion of Honor, and was named Shriner of the Year in 1974.
Andy was also an active and generous alumnus of the University of Kansas, where his four daughters and three of his grandchildren also graduated. He was the president of the KU Union Memorial Corporation, and served on the KU Business School and KU Endowment Association boards. He endowed the Anderson Chandler Business School lecture series and the Anderson Chandler Teaching Professorship in Business. He also established the Anderson Chandler Scholarship Fund at KU for graduates of Kansas high schools. In recognition for service to KU, the Business School named Andy a distinguished alumnus in 1998, and the University of Kansas Alumni Association awarded Andy the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1997, and the Distinguished Service Citation in 2010, for significant service to the University and the betterment of society and in behalf of humanity.
Andy was also a benefactor of the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Washburn University, the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, the YMCA, First Presbyterian Church of Topeka, Downtown Topeka, Inc., the United Way, and numerous other charities.
Andy and Patricia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1998 with their entire extended family. Patricia passed away in 1999 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. Andy later married Edith Lessenden and was blessed with another 13 years of marriage before Edith passed away. Over his lifetime Andy enjoyed traveling the world (visiting all seven continents), spending time at his Colorado home in Green Mountain Falls, collecting antique cars, golfing, tennis, skiing, reading, and of course KU Athletics - attending two of KU’s Orange Bowl appearances as well as many Final Four basketball championships. He also enjoyed telling a good joke.
Andy is survived by four daughters, Cathleen Chandler Stevenson (David), Cynthia D. Chandler, Corliss C. Miller (Larry), and Colette C. Gaches (Ronald); ten grandchildren, David A. Stevenson, Lauren C. Borgan, Daniel C. Stevenson, Spencer C. Hoad, Sophia H. Halma, Jeffrey C. Miller, Stuart C. Miller, Elizabeth M. Roberts, Jordan C. Gaches, and Katie L. Gaches; and eight great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank all of Andy’s caregivers at Brewster Place Topeka, Brighton Gardens Prairie Village, CareStaf Overland Park, and Ascend Hospice Overland Park. You are all angels.
A visitation will be held from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. with a Celebration of Life following at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, November 9th, at First Presbyterian Church, 817 SW Harrison, Topeka, Kansas. Service arrangements are entrusted to Penwell-Gabel Cremations, Funerals and Receptions, Topeka, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:
The First Presbyterian Church, 817 SW Harrison, Topeka, Kansas, 66612;
Jayhawk Area Council Boy Scouts of America, 1020 SE Monroe, Topeka, Kansas 66612;
or KU Endowment, PO Box 928, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.