Legal 04

Robert Moye Chandler, Jr.

January 26, 1933 ~ July 18, 2022 (age 89)

Obituary

Rocky Mount -

Robert Moye Chandler, Jr. died July 18, 2022.  He descended from John Chandler who immigrated to the United States from England with Captain John Smith and Lord De La Warr in 1610 on the ship Hercules.  He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Robert Moye Chandler and Thelma Carter Chandler, and his brother James Fillmore Chandler.

Mr. Chandler graduated from law school in 1965, was a practicing lawyer since 1968 and was a founding partner in the law firm of Early & Chandler, P.A.  The firm, from its inception in 1965, was committed to the goal of helping disabled people who otherwise had no means of support.  They also, for many years, represented Peoples Bank & Trust Company and later Centura Bank and RBC Centura in collecting accounts but always tried to assist debtors who found themselves unable to pay their debts to work out a satisfactory payment arrangement.

Mr. Chandler was a partner with Walter J. Early until Mr. Early’s death in 1999.  He also practiced with John S. Williford, Elizabeth H. Fairman, Sharon H. Sprinkle and David C. Braswell.  He was a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and American Bar Association. 

Mr. Chandler was born January 26, 1933 in Moultrie, Georgia and moved to Rocky Mount with his parents and brother in 1938.  His parents, Robert Moye Chandler and Thelma Carter Chandler, died in 1992 and 1991, respectively.  His father moved to Rocky Mount to manage McClellan’s 5 & 10 and later in 1941 founded Chandler’s 5 & 10, a company which he expanded to 7 stores in North and South Carolina until he sold them in 1965.  His mother worked in Day Care at First Baptist Church and Church of the Good Shepherd for many years.

Mr. Chandler graduated from Rocky Mount High School in 1951 where he was a member of the National Honor Society and Honor Graduate and Duke University in 1955 with an A.B. in Business Administration.  While at Duke he was a three-year letterman in track and cross country and was on the last Duke track team to win a conference championship, running the ½ mile, ¼ mile and one mile relay.  He was president of the Varsity D. Club in 1954 and also a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and Men’s Glee Club.

He served three years in the U. S. Air Force and attained the rank of Captain and was discharged in 1959.  While in the Air Force he was stationed in Alaska and set a World Record for walking on snow shoes from Tatalina to McGrath.  After his discharge he worked three years in management and as a systems analyst with Burlington Industries

In 1963 he graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with an MBA degree and in 1965 from UNC Chapel Hill with a J.D. Degree.  He was President of his MBA class and Secretary-Treasurer of the Student Bar Association.

He worked three years in the Tax Section of the Trust Department of North Carolina National Bank (now Bank of America) in Charlotte where he met and married his wife, Betty Morton Chandler of Jacksonville, NC in 1967.  Betty taught elementary school for three years in Charlotte and two years in Rocky Mount.

During his years in Rocky Mount, he served as Director of the Sunday School at First Baptist Church where he also served as Deacon for twenty years, taught Sunday School for fifteen years and was a Department Director.  His leadership team was Ann Robbins, Shelby Sewell, Haywood Watford, Don Biggerstaff and Maude Farmer.

He was a member of the Breakfast Optimist Club, the Friend of Youth, for more than forty years, serving as President for two years.  He also served as Lieutenant Governor of the N. C. East District of Optimist International.  At the same time, he was involved for fifty years with the Boy Scouts of America becoming an Eagle Scout and earning the God and Country Award and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow.  He attended the 1950 National Jamboree at Valley Forge; and later became the Chairman of the Macombta District and East Carolina Council Camporee Chief and Green Area Chief.  He was also awarded the Silver Beaver Award by the Council.

He served on the Board of the Childrens’ Museum for many years and as Treasurer of the Red Cross.  He served as Trustee and Chairman of the Trustees for the North Roanoke Baptist Association for ten years and was on the committee to build a new office building for the Association.  He was also, for many years, a member of the Board of the Christian Fellowship Home for recovering alcoholics.

In 1987 he and Bruce Whitehead formed a low power television station in Rocky Mount known as Family Broadcasting, WRMY-TV, Channel 47, which later converted to a full power station.  The station was managed by Bob Pelletier, who later bought Whitehead’s interest and employed Butch Pindell, Jean Almond (who produced a cooking show), and Phillip Williams (who later became weather man for WNCT Channel 9 in Greenville), Herb Greenberg and Ray Livesay (who later built their own TV stations).  The station was sold in 1996 and can still be viewed on Suddenlink.  He also invested in a partnership with Earl Owensby of Shelby to produce three movies.

In later years he became interested in downtown revitalization and served on the Downtown Revitalization Panel since 2002 culminating in approval of the Downtown landscape plan and the Douglas Block.  He also worked to develop a Rocky Mount Museum.

Mr. Chandler is survived by his wife of 54 years, Betty M. Chandler, daughter Susan C. Young and son, Robert M. Chandler, III and wife, Jennifer; three granddaughters, Chandler Carolann Young, Madelyn (Mattie) Elizabeth Young and Savannah Grace Chandler; one step granddaughter, Brittney Cannon; his sister, Anne Chandler Murdoch and husband, Leon, of Pittsboro, NC, and sister-in-law, Debra H. Chandler of Greenville, NC.  He is also survived by nephews, James Fillmore Chandler, Jr. and wife, Jennifer, John Harris Chandler, Michael James Chandler and wife, Kayla, of Greenville, NC, Carter Tolson Murdoch of Wilmington, NC, and niece, Julianne Murdoch O’Daniel and husband, Brandon, of Chapel Hill, NC, eight great nephews, Tyler Andrew Chandler, Bennett Harris Chandler, John Harris Chandler, Jr., Turner Matthew Chandler, Judah Wyatt Chandler, Eli Benjamin Chandler, Finn Alfred O’Daniel and Tolson Gray O’Daniel and three great nieces, Katherine Elizabeth Chandler, Emma Rose Chandler and Phoebe Lamb O’Daniel.

Flowers are welcome or memorials in his memory may be directed to First Baptist Church, 200 S. Church Street, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

A gathering to celebrate his life will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at First Baptist Church officiated by Rev. William V. Grisham, Rev. Michael J. Chandler, nephew, and Rev. Luke Lunceford, pastor, with visitation following the service.

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Services

Memorial Service
Saturday
July 23, 2022

11:00 AM
First Baptist Church of Rocky Mount
200 S. Church St.
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

Please note
The family will receive friends immediately following the service.
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