"We've got the whole world in our hands"

“A Clarity of Vision”

A Celebration of Life Tribute

Robert S. Chandler

was held on

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stay tuned to watch a DVD from the afternoon long Tribute

held at King Gillette Ranch

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

For a program, contact ruthkilday@aol.com


A Clarity of Vision ~ A Brilliant Career

A Letter from the Chandler Tribute Committee

“His legacy will continue.”

Bob Chandler became our mentor and our friend. He shared his calm nature and his sly wry humor with us. He will forever be in our hearts. For those whose lives he touched in the National Park Service and our partners, his impact will continue in our professional and personal lives. His legacy will continue.

National Park Directors recognized Bob as a unique leader who could handle the challenges of new urban parks in the Santa Monica Mountains and at the Presidio of San Francisco. He was just as innovative in resolving resource problems in traditional parks where he served at Olympic, the Everglades, in the Grand Canyon., and other sites listed.

He enjoyed these challenges. He had an uncanny ability to get things done while engaging with constituents, community groups, and with his staff. All of us will miss him.

Please address your comments to Bob's family and friends. Add your memories, the lessons you learned from him, and photos or memorabilia to share with all of us. Thanks to all of you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Along the Colorado River: A trip back in time

NPS Photo                                   Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park

One of  the memorable events of my career involving Bob Chandler was in the summer of 1991.  Bob was Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park.   I was the Grand Canyon Lee’s Ferry Ranger below Glen Canyon Dam.   One summer day I received a phone call from the Superintendent’s secretary. She said that Superintendent Chandler wanted to visit  Lee’s Ferry,  that Bob did not want anyone to know he was coming to Lee’s Ferry and wanted to visit a secluded part of the Colorado River.  Basically he wanted to have quality time away with his daughter Donna.

Obviously  I responded, “Sure,  no problem.”   We made arrangements,  and Bob called later to confirm the date and time. On the morning that Bob and  Donna were traveling to Lee’s Ferry, I received a phone call from his secretary frantically wanting to talk with Bob because she had received a call from National Park Service Director Ridenour.  She said the Director needed to talk with him immediately and she gave me the number. Evidently the Director was nearby in Glen Canyon.   I told her Bob had not arrived yet,  but I would give him the message.

When Bob and Donna  arrived later that morning, I relayed the message and phone number. Bob  mumbled a few words of disappointment.   He looked at me said “Tom,  you know, I never received that message!”   I looked at Bob and spontaneously  responded,  “You’re  right, I forgot what the message was!”   

The story does not end here.   As we were getting the boat ready, I received a radio call that I needed to call Glen Canyon Superintendent John Lancaster.   I quickly scurried up to the office to call Superintendent Lancaster.   He was searching for Bob and needed to talk with  him regarding the visit of Director Ridenour. I told Superintendent Lancaster that I had no idea where Bob Chandler was or his time frames for the trip.

Superintendent Lancaster asked that Bob be told that Director Ridenour wanted to talk with him.  Also, if Bob showed up at Lee’s Ferry, tell him to wait there as Director Ridenour was on the One Day float trip from Glen Canyon Dam to Lee’s Ferry.

When I got back to the boat and told Bob of the whereabouts of Director Ridenour and Superintendent Lancaster’s message, he was completely frustrated. He had promised his daughter this trip and was going to keep that promise.  He mumbled a few more words indicating that he had no plans to meet with Director Ridenour.   Bob then asked me if there was any possibility of encountering  the  Director.   I told him there was no way their entourage would encounter us.   I knew where the one day trips stopped and their routine schedule.   Bob exclaimed, “This is good news."

We went up river to Glen Canyon Dam and back, a total of 30 miles.     We had a great time on our trip back in time.  And most importantly,   Bob and his daughter had quality time together.   

For me this incident speaks of Bob’s character, his love and respect of family, and his care for the people who were fortunate enough to work with him. 

Tom Workman
Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, CA

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