The People's Tribune

Wayne Ray Chandler

Wayne Ray Chandler, 84, of Middletown died Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at The Neighborhoods by TigerPlace in Columbia from cancer.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m., Saturday at the Middletown Christian Church. The Rev. Finley Price and The Rev. Dan Sites will officiate. Wayne Lynn will play his guitar as he sings a solo. Serving as organist will be Mary Thomas. Bur-ial of his cremains will be in the Fairmount Cemetery in Middletown.

Visitation will be held from 9 a.m., until the time of service, Saturday, at the church.

Services are under the direction of the Myers Funeral Home in Middletown.

Wayne Chandler was born Oct. 7, 1935 in Mexico, along with Earl Chandler, a twin brother, to Herman Ray and Grace Laura Langford Chandler of Middletown.

When he and Earl were 13 years old, they were baptized in the South Fork of Cuivre River, north of Middletown and were members of the Middletown Christian Church. Wayne was a faithful member of the Church for the rest of his life. He had served as elder since 1973 and also as bell ringer and greeter for many years.

Wayne attended grade school in Middletown and was a 1953 graduate of Wellsville-Middletown R-I High School. He continued his education at the University of Missouri-Columbia for one year.

On May 15, 1955 at the United Methodist-Presbyterian Church in Wellsville, he married the love of his life, Lela Elizabeth Enslen.

After they were married, Wayne and Lela first lived in Wellsville a short time at which time he joined the U S. Army Reserve with six months active duty, and five and half years in the reserve. On active duty, he became a squad leader and acting Sgt. Back home the Fulton reserve unit he attended closed, so he transferred to the meetings of the Missouri National Guard at Mexico. He served a total of six years and one day.

They were honored to parent two sons, Kenneth Wayne and Carl Lynn. They celebrated over 64 years of marriage together. They have lived at their present home in Middletown for over 61 years.

As a teenager, Wayne was an auto mechanic and had started working for his father and Uncle Leslie Chandler at Chandler’s Garage where he worked on cars, trucks, and tractors. He later obtained complete ownership in the company, re-tiring in 1985. Wayne then started selling wealth management and financial planning for Money Concepts with Don Poole of Wellsville from 1985-2000.

When he was first mayor on the town board, he and Pat Lowry flew to Washington D.C. to see our senator to request a corrected census re-count to prove a population of 200 people to qualify as a forth class city for government funding to supply the many utilities that Middletown needed.
Wayne was the Mayor of Middle-town for over 55 years from 1960 –2015. As mayor working with the city council, he got the streets paved and lighted, plus the addition of new water, gas, and sewer systems. He also served as the Middletown Fire Chief and Police Judge for several years.
At the Christian Church, Minister Hugh Ash and wife Doris organized and recruited Wayne to serve as Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 46, with several boys attaining Eagle Scout during his service. Wife Lela served as Cub Scout leader. He was also a former member of the Middletown Lion’s Club.

Wayne enjoyed Sunday afternoon drives with his wife around Missouri and vacations in different areas of the United States visiting scenery and relatives especially in Colorado. He and Lela enjoyed several tours including The British Isles, Hawaii, New York City, Washington DC and several World Fairs in the U.S.

He also enjoyed goose hunting at Swan Lake and fishing on the Missouri River, Salt River, Bennett Springs, and various local ponds with friends and family. He was particular with his yard work and liked mowing but always wanted it to look good. Wayne enjoyed sitting outside in his backyard. He loved cats and antique cars and at one time owned a 1930 Model A Ford. He also enjoyed watching TV, going to see movies, reading comic books, playing cards, and taking multiple trips to the coffee shop to visit with friends. Wayne was familiar with many restaurants. Throughout his life, he also greatly enjoyed taking part in and attending: meetings, plays, concerts, choirs, banquets, award programs, parades and car shows.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Lela Chandler, of the home in Middletown; sons and daughters-in-law.

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