Montpelier, VT - Rebecca Chandler, 72, passed away March 5, 2021, in Colchester, VT with loving family by her side.
Born June 4, 1948, in Haverhill, NH to Merrill and Catherine (Tullar) Chandler, Becky grew up in West Fairlee and Bradford, Vermont. She attended Fairlee Elementary and graduated from Bradford Academy in 1966. With a passion for mathematics, Becky went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree from Plymouth State College as a math major. Though she would never make the claim, she was a bit of a pioneer to pursue a mathematics degree at the time as a female; she knew what she loved and modestly pursued it without hesitation. Becky found lifelong friendships in classmates and her dormmates at Mary Lyon Hall, maintained through holiday cards and calls, and occasional summer visits to Cranberry Isle, Maine.
Upon graduation in 1970, Becky accepted a position at National Life of Vermont where she worked with pride for 42 years. She loved arithmetic, as she recently reminded us, and found a great deal of fulfillment and fun in her career as a Senior Pension Administrator. She inspired those around her, family and colleagues, to follow a similar path because of this. When asked, she was always quick to express gratitude for doing something she loved for so many years.
Becky served as her condo association treasurer for 30+ years, continuing to apply her passion and skill for mathematics outside of the office. Neighbors trusted her careful eye and, above all, deeply appreciated her conscientious and kind friendship through the decades.
As a teen, Becky was an active Girl Scout and maintained friendships from her scout troop throughout her life. A bucket list visit was ticked with a trip to the Juliette Gordon Lowe homestead in Savanna, GA, where the Girl Scouts were established in 1912. This was one of a few memorable sites visited on a Vermont to Georgia road trip that she embarked on with family in 2008.
Becky stamped her passport on a trip to Scotland in 2010, touring the countryside with her sister and niece, exploring medieval castles, scenic highland lochs, listening to live Celtic music, and acquiring a few new recipes for the kitchen (not including haggis).
Closer to home, Becky cherished annual trips to coastal Maine and lakeside cottage stays in Vermont with her sisters. Over the years, she enjoyed camping at numerous Vermont State Parks with family, undeterred by stormy weather or unhappy infant nieces. She loved any opportunity to take in peaceful water views, listen to crashing ocean waves, or sit with her toes in sandy water.
Becky was a model for appreciating the little things in life. Always observant, she knew the importance of pausing to smell the flowers, the crisp Vermont air, or taking in a bird’s song. She loved beautiful blooms, outdoors and in - from tending perennials at her sister’s home to weeding flower beds at her condo to mastering the care for her delicate African Violets.
An avid reader, Becky’s coffee table always displayed the latest Time Magazines, keeping herself well-informed and current. Her bookshelf and end table were stocked with favorite classics, new novels, and a latest library loan. She loved playing scrabble and always produced the most impressive vocab that left her opponents grabbing for the dictionary - everyone needs a Mr. Webster, Becky would say. Her unassuming intellect continued to shine through to the very end, helping to save the day with crossword clue answers from her hospital room, and offering an education on retirement plans and problem-solving recipe challenges with her niece.
Quietly passionate about great live music, Becky was a member of the Barre Opera House and attended concerts often with family in tow. Trips across New England were made to see a favorite musician, from Natalie McMaster to Zac Brown Band to Ruthie Foster. Appreciative of local artisans, Becky collected beautiful Vermont prints and paintings of her favorite flowers and landscapes and carefully sourced her furniture from local woodworkers.
Every neighbor, friend, and family member can testify to the delicious knack Becky had for baking and looked forward to the treats she graciously gifted to those around her. Her shelves were lined with treasured cookbooks from King Arthur to Fannie Farmer, dogeared and marked with notes on likes, dislikes, and modifications. Baking and canning were her creative outlets, making delicious breads and pies, cookies and cakes; perfecting her pickles from her favorite Four Corners cukes; making jars of vibrant red strawberry jam, gifted at Christmas in crafty cloth satchels. Whatever emerged from Becky’s kitchen, tried and true or a new experiment, you knew it would be great.
Becky’s family meant the world to her, valuing visits when possible and regularly sending cards and notes in between. Her calm and quiet, genuine and wise nature touched those who knew her very deeply and will be immensely missed.
She leaves her brother Paul E. Chandler and wife Beverly of Verona, NY; sister Cathy (Catherine) Chandler of Montpelier, VT; sister-in-law Janice (Chase) Chandler, spouse of Jay M. Chandler, of Richmond, VT; Aunt Francis Tullar of Lyme, NH. She also leaves eight nieces and nephews who meant a great deal to her: Susan Rudisky and husband Jeff; Larry Chandler and wife Dawn; Lesley Alexander and husband Paul; Carla Chandler and husband Chuck Landry; Gregory Chandler and wife Alissa; Sarah White and husband David, Douglas Chandler and wife Michelle, Amelia Chandler and partner Sarah. And eight great nieces and nephews.
Predeceased by her father Merrill Edward Chandler and mother Catherine (Tullar) Chandler of Bradford, VT; brother Jay M. Chandler of Richmond, VT; sister Janice A. Woodard of Londonderry, NH.
The family would like to thank the team at McClure Miller Respite House for ensuring Becky’s transition was peaceful and calm, and the UVM & CVMC Oncology, Palliative, and Hospice Teams for their care and support.
Per Becky’s wishes, a small private inurnment will be arranged in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.
Memorial contributions in Becky’s memory may be made to the Barre Opera House and McClure Miller Respite House.
The family also invites you to share your memories and condolences by visiting www.awrfh.com.