Community - October 13, 2010


Christopher Chandler

Christopher Clay Chandler of Redwood City died Sept. 30 after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle across El Camino Real in Atherton. Mr. Chandler, who grew up in Woodside, was 62.

Mr. Chandler was a graduate of Woodside High School, where he was the first male cheerleader. He entered the cheerleading competition as a joke, but stayed with it after learning he could travel on the bus with all the girl cheerleaders, say family members.

He graduated from San Francisco State University with a business degree and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He served in Vietnam for three years and was honored with three medals.

After working in several businesses, Mr. Chandler started his own event-planning business, ROI International. His hobbies were horseback riding, gardening, trains, walking, and playing with the family dog, Cammie.

Mr. Chandler's wife, Jan, is the director of the dance program at Menlo School, where she has been employed since 1982. Their daughter, Courtney, has been teaching dance at Menlo's middle school since 2004. A celebration of Mr. Chandler's life was held at Menlo School Oct. 10.

His daughter, Courtney, recalls her father attended every play, dance performance, horse show, volley ball or soccer game. He was there for all the small events, as well as the big events, in his daughters' lives.

The family requests that trees be planted in Mr. Chandler's memory and that pictures of the planted trees and their locations be sent to

Willis H. Nelson

Willis H. "Willie" Nelson, field geologist and explorer, died Sept. 26, of complications following surgery. Mr. Nelson, who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey during his lifelong career, was 89.

Born in Three Forks, Montana, Mr. Nelson obtained an engineering degree from Montana State College. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He rose to sergeant and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained while invading Okinawa.

After military separation in April, 1946 he attended graduate school at the University of Washington. He married Evelyn Ruth Smith on March 21, 1948. Following his master's thesis research on volcanic rocks of Utah, he was hired by the USGS in 1949.

His work took him to many mountainous regions in the United States and Indonesia. He was among the first explorers to map unnamed areas of Alaska and Antarctica. Nelson Peak in the Pensacola Mountains of Antarctica bears his name. Results of his field mapping projects have been published in USGS reports and maps, as well as scientific journals. He retired in 1985.

Mr. Nelson and his wife loved to dance, say family members. They belonged to local square dance and ballroom groups in Palo Alto and Redwood City.

He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, of Los Altos; daughter Nancy Moody of Watsonville; sons William Nelson of Santa Cruz and James Nelson of Sunnyvale; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Memorial services for late October are pending.


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