Ersel Anthony “Tony” Chandler 9/14/1938-8/22/2020
Tony Chandler passed away peacefully surrounded by his family after a valiant fight with cancer. He lived life to the fullest and was an avid outdoorsman both on land and water his entire life.
His childhood was spent hunting and fishing in numerous locations on the Colorado River with his friends that remained his loyal friends until his last breath on earth. His Father James Robert “Jimmy” Chandler was killed in War War II when Tony was very young. His Mother, Cecelia Lochridge Chandler and his Grandmother Martha Jane Lochridge raised him by themselves. Loren Johnson was an important person in Dad’s life and was the one that took him on his first trip offshore out of Port Aransas in a small home-made boat. Tony spent his childhood with the Wernli, Weise, Bankston, McNair and Childers Families.
Tony had a strong work ethic and his first job was pulling weeds out of the cracks on the runway at Bergtrom Airforce Base when he was 13 years old. He had lots of jobs but another one he mentioned was day working and doctoring cattle for screw worms with the Berdoll and Callahan Families. He spent many years working in lighting and electrical sales before he started Alamo-Austin Lighting in Austin.
He married the catch of his life on September 2, 1960 when he married Julia Ruth “Judy” Light. When his cancer came back the second time he set a goal of making it to his 60 Wedding Anniversary and fell just a few days short of reaching that goal.
Hornsby Bend was one of his favorite hang outs during his childhood and he had great stories from the Platt and Hornsby Families. He made sure his family enjoyed the outdoors right along with him. Favorite camping, hunting and fishing spots were the Berdoll Ranch and Padre Island before it became Padre Island National Sea Shore. He cycled through boats like most people cycle through vehicles. He taught dozens of people how to fish in the salt water. He started taking his children offshore before they could see over the side of the boat. He was a lifetime member of the Port Aransas Boatmen’s Association.
Tony rode bulls, broncs and bull dogged in his rodeo years. He was a promoter of the boat races on Town Lake in Austin for many years. His passion was hunting and fishing. He loved hunting in Far West Texas on C.G. Johnson’s Elephant Mountain Ranch before it was donated to the State and on the Hooper Ranch. He also enjoyed hunting on the Callahan Ranches in South Texas. While he spent his childhood on the Colorado River, most of his adult fishing adventures were in the saltwater, both offshore and in the bays.
He had many dogs in his life but Miss Austin Smokey “Smokey” was his once in a life time dog. No telling how many dove, quail and ducks that girl retrieved for Mom and Dad and Dad’s friends.
His childhood friends Mike Weise, Roy Wernli and Chico Childers (deceased) were his loyal friends until the end of his life. Tony was preceded in death by his Father, James Robert “Jimmy” Chandler, his Mother, Sylvia Ceceila Lochridge Chandler, his Uncle Ersel Lochridge, his Grandparents Hut and Martha Jane Lochridge, and his Sister in Law, Judy Light.
He is survived by his wife Julia “Judy” Chandler, Daughter Melony Chandler, Son Justin Chandler, Daughter in Law Stephanie Chandler, Brother in Law Malcolm Light, Sister in Law Linda Light, Nephew Michael Light and his wife Brenda, Great Nephew Holden Light and his Wife Melanie and their two children Harper and Cade.
Grandchildren: Kinley Wilson, Hailey Chandler, Teel Sikes and Carleigh Chandler. Great Grandson: Airyn Chandler.
Graveside Service is scheduled for 1:00 P.M. Thursday, August 27th, 2020 in the Pilgrim Cemetery outside of Smiley in Gonzales County.
Pall Bearers: Teel Sikes, Todd Liverman, Bobby Liverman, Austin Johnson, Andrew Garza, Bryon Baccus.
The Family wishes to thank Christus Hospice of Corpus Christi for caring for Tony in his last months.
Plans for a Memorial Fund will be finalized in the coming days. The goal will be to purchase land in Tony’s honor in the Coastal Bend to Protect and Preserve the Wildlife and Fisheries Habitat that he loved so dearly. Details will be available on Facebook in the near future.
Arrangements and care entrusted to Resthaven Funeral Home, Aransas Pass, Texas
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