Gertrude “Trudy” Chandler, 92, our beloved Oma, passed away peacefully at home on December 30, 2019 surrounded by her family.
Born July 6, 1927 in Brunnen, Switzerland on the Lake of Lucerne to Helene and Joseph Willimann, hoteliers in the mountains of Switzerland, she grew up in the Canton of Schwyz. Oma attended finishing school and later assisted her parents as hotelier in Brunnen and Arosa, Switzerland. In her early 20s she traveled between Europe and New York City with her parents and grandparents and eventually settled in New York City and started a family with her first husband Hugh Shaw.
From her European background, Trudy was a descendant of the Swiss Benziger family (official press to the Holy See) and from her American background, she was descendant of the founder of the American department store enterprise of Henry C. Lytton of Chicago.
She later married, Lee Chandler, and moved to Weston, CT where she lived for almost 40 years. She married into a wonderful family who adored and loved her as their own. Every summer she would reside in Maine on Princes Point in Yarmouth, as did her family since the turn of the century, and absolutely loved being on the ocean.
In the early 2000s, she moved to Maine full time where she lived fully surrounded by family and friends for the rest of her life. She considered it a blessing that all her children were by her side for the last 6 months of her life and had the most wonderful neighbors in Yarmouth and Weston.
Some of her many passions were playing tennis, dominoes, curling, traveling the world through the Lehigh University Alumni Association, being part of the Daughters of the American Revolution, watching her beloved Boston sports teams and spending summers in Maine along Casco Bay. She lived passionately for her family and shared many stories of her childhood in Europe.
Our Oma lived a long and wonderful life filled with love, devotion to family, generosity, faith and adventure. She had the biggest heart and everyone who knew her gravitated towards her stories, kindness and compassion. She made sure everyone around her felt loved, listened to and appreciated.
She was predeceased by her mother Helene Benziger Willimann, father Joseph S. Willimann, her husband, Lee T. Chandler, her sister Marie-Louise “Mimi” Willimann and her brother Francis J. “Franzi” Willimann.
She is survived by her three sons Richard Shaw of Yarmouth, David Shaw of Omaha, NE, and Christopher Shaw and wife Diane of Yarmouth. Her 7 grandchildren Kathleen and Douglas Shaw of Fishers, IN, Brian Shaw of Danbury, CT, Meredith Shaw of Boston, MA, Austin Shaw and wife Stephanie of Barre, VT, Melanie Klein and husband Harrison of Reading, MA and Carlene Shaw of Yarmouth. Her sister-in-law Marie-Jose Willimann of Huntington, NY, niece Angela and husband David Widmer of Huntington, NY, niece Helene Michalski and husband Michael of Yarmouth, nephew Stefan Willimann and wife Sarah of Providence, RI and nephew Bernard Willimann and wife Meaghan of Yarmouth - as well as 10 grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Her step-daughter Debbie Thomas and husband Kent of Trumbull, CT, and their three children, Suzanne Davison, Elizabeth Schumacher and Kent Thomas Jr., step-son Richard Chandler and wife Debbie of Inverness, FL and their children Kathleen Rinaldi, Shannon Castonguay, Richard Chandler Jr., Chad Chandler and Rob Chandler and each of their individual families – all who loved her dearly.
The family would also like to extend their deepest appreciation to Shelly Northup, Tyra Sell, Lorrie Mininger, and Nicole Aldrich for their care, devotion, love and admiration they shared taking such good care of our Oma during the last years of her life. You filled her days with so much happiness.
She will forever be remembered for her captivating charm, humor, class and generosity.
Visiting hours will be Friday, January 10, 2020 from 4pm-7pm at the Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane in Yarmouth. A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate her life will be on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 11:00am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church 326 Main Street in Yarmouth.
You may offer your condolences or share your memories at www.lindquistfuneralhome.com.
Donations can be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at www.lls.org.