SALINA – Ronald Lee Chandler, 81, died Saturday, May 18, at Salina Regional Health Center.
Born in Wichita, second of nine children of Wilbur and Marie Chandler, he grew up in Chanute and graduated from Chanute High School in 1956, Neosho County Community College in 1958, earned his Bachelor of Engineering at Kansas State University in 1961, and his Professional Engineer license in 1961. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1955 to 1962. Ronald married Nancy Harris in 1961.
A professional civil engineer, Chandler spent his entire career with Wilson & Company Engineers and Architects, joining the firm in 1961 and retiring as Senior Partner in 2003. He was a member and past president of both Kansas Consulting Engineers and the Smoky Valley Chapter of Kansas Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE). He was named Engineer of the Year by KSPE in 1998 and given the KSPE Award for 2018-2019.
Family was always the most important priority to him. He was an avid private pilot, a proud member of the United Flying Octogenarians and flew over 200 flights for the EAA Young Eagles. A lifelong student of history, economics and philosophy, and champion of free enterprise, Chandler was an unwavering fan of the Kansas State Wildcats. He was a member of the Salina Rotary Club, Salina Country Club, the Burger King Coffee Group and Christ Cathedral, and served on the Board of Directors of the Salina Chamber of Commerce.
Chandler is survived by Nancy, his loving wife of 58 years, daughter Amy (Scott) Williams, sons Doug (Lori) and Tom Chandler, and grandchildren Haley, Chandler and Abby Williams, Emma and Keaton Chandler and Trey and Zoe Werr. Also surviving are brothers Steve and Chuck Chandler and sisters Ruth LaRue, Judy Holtry, Jane Holt, Middy Gilfillan and Marty Hughes. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Roger Chandler.
Services will be 11 am Wednesday, May 22, at Christ Cathedra, Salina, KS. Donations in his memory can be made to AOPA Foundation You Can Fly Challenge or Ashby House. For more information or to leave condolences go to www.ryanmortuary.com