Joan E. Chandler, 74: Pilgrim descendant, prolific photographer, donated her work to others

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BATH — Joan E. Chandler, 74, of Drummond Street, died at the home of her sister, Norma Presby-Barter, on March 9.

She was born on July 13, 1940, in Bath, a daughter of Ellsworth and Elthea J. (Warner) Chandler.

Joan graduated in 1959 from Morse High School in Bath, where she excelled in sports including basketball, softball and volleyball. She then enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps, and attended photography school at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.

Chandler went on to serve the Army in Frankfurt, Germany, and in several states. Following her service, she moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts, and was employed as an office manager for a commercial photography studio in Boston for 15 years.

In 1979, she went to work for Varian Corp. in Gloucester, where she held several positions, including electrical assembler, company photographer and process lab technician. She retired from Varian in 2004.

During her 35 years as a professional photographer, Chandler amassed a collection of 25,000 negatives of women’s sporting events. She donated the collection to the Women’s Sports Foundation in 2003.

In her free time, Chandler loved travel and photographing family and friends. She also spent several years documenting her family genealogy, including information about Edmund Chandler, a Pilgrim who was one of the first elected representatives of the Plymouth Colony.

She was predeceased by a sister, Sue E. Chandler, and a brother, Roger M. Chandler.

She is survived by two brothers, Robert Chandler, of Bath, and Paul Chandler and wife, Evelyn, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania; two sisters, Norma Presby-Barter and Ethel Orr, both of Bath; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Santa Fund, P.O. Box 278, Brunswick, ME 04011.

A graveside service will be held at Oak Grove Cemetery in the spring.

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