July 6, 1927 – December 30, 2019
YARMOUTH, Maine – 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.
- Joseph Willimann, Father (deceased)
- Helene Benziger Willimann, Mother (deceased)
- Lee T. Chandler, Husband (deceased)
- Richard Shaw, Son
- David Shaw, Son
- Christopher Shaw (Diane Shaw), Son
- Debbie Thomas (Kent Thomas), Step Daughter
- Richard Chandler (Debbie Chandler), Step Son
- Kathleen Shaw, Granddaughter
- Douglas Shaw, Grandson
- Brian Shaw, Grandson
- Meredith Shaw, Granddaughter
- Austin Shaw (Stephanie), Grandson
- Melanie Klein (Harrison Klein), Granddaughter
- Carlene Shaw, Granddaughter
- Suzanne Davison, Step Granddaughter
- Elizabeth Schumacher, Step Granddaughter
- Kent Thomas, Jr, Step Grandson
- Kathleen Rinaldi, Step Granddaughter
- Shannon Castonguay, Step Granddaughter
- Richard Chandler, Jr., Step Grandson
- Chad Chandler, Step Grandson
- Rob Chandler, Step Grandson
- Bernard Willimann (Meaghan Willimann), Nephew
- Stefan Willimann (Sarah Willimann), Nephew
- Helene Michalski (Michael Michalski), Niece
- Angela Widmer (David Widmer), Niece
- Marie-Jose Willimann, Sister-in-law
- Francis J. "Franzi" Willimann, Brother (deceased)
- Marie-Louise "Mimi" Willimann, Sister (deceased)
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Visiting Hours Friday, January 10, 2020
- Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, January 11, 2020
January 9, 2020
To the family of Trudy Chandler from her friends in CTDAR:
We know you will be missing Trudy, as we have been since she left Weston for Maine, but we also know you, as we, have many great memories of times spent with her. Ever the consummate hostess for meetings at her house in Weston, she was always a sweet, humble, yet up front lady, whom we were privileged to have in our Devils Den chapter and whose company we always enjoyed. Even after she moved, she stayed loyal to her CTDAR friends in Drum Hill. All of us send our sincere sympathies. Pam Bochinski and Ellen Uzenov
January 3, 2020
We met a month before you left, Dear O'ma, and boy did I feel lucky to have had that chance. Thank you for helping me find my water bottle, and also for loving football the way you did. That's how I watch football now, sort of there, but really, just enjoying the buzz all around me, content that life is unfolding the way it is, all by itself, and no longer requiring all that energy I used to pour into it to make it go, go, go. Rest in peace now, for your work is done. All my gratitude, and blessings to your surviving family. I know we're all going to miss you.
January 3, 2020
My Oma, the best grandma in the whole wide world. So many amazing moments and memories! I'll always remember playing in the basement on the green and yellow inchworm, spinning on the sit n spin, always being afraid to walk in the basement alone cuz the black tar paint that was on the foundation always looked like monsters, Pop Pop's train set, the kamikaze birdhouse, the long steep driveway, the endless games of Dominoes and Uno, while eating popcorn and trying to throw it in her mouth, my Uncle's- Christopher, Richard and David, all my cousins, the no kid zone living room, sleep overs and watching Black and White classic movies(The Spiral Staircase), ice cream sandwiches, candy jars, snacks and treats, the outside tree swing, Easter egg hunts, Thanksgivings, Christmases, numerous slideshows of Pop-Pop and Oma's adventures from their travels and the free history lessons, summer trips to Maine and experiencing Casco Bay, lobster and crab. Thankful and grateful my husband and children were able to share and get to know Oma too! All made because of her. Her giving spirit of love, compassion, humor, understanding, and class. She was the real deal, the whole package! RIP my sweet Oma, you will be missed dearly but never forgotten. To ALL my family, I love you very much. I will always have my memories!
January 2, 2020
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Christopher and Richard, whom I grew to know through the many fun video chats my daughter, Shelly, shared with me with Oma and the guys. Deepest sympathy to the other family members in the great loss of Oma also. I grew to know and love her, as Shelly did. She was an amazing lady with always a smile. She flies high now, with God's angels! You will never be forgotten.