After 34 years of dedicated community service, former Redwood City Vice Mayor Gerald “Jerry” R. Chandler passed away on April 14. The graduate was 78.
While on the council in 1978-1982 and 1984-1986, his colleagues recall an “authentic man” who was the same in the public eye as he was in private discussions. He was incredibly devoted to his community and openly shared his opinions on what he thought was the best direction for the city.
“Redwood City was his life,” his son, Steve, said.
He also served on the Bay Area Water Agency, Water Conservation Committee, Port Commission, Woodside Terrace Kiwanis and the Peninsula Celebration Association.
“You were going to get a straight answer from him. That was his hallmark,” said Dick Claire, who served as mayor while Chandler was on the council. “He was always sticking to his guns.
Chandler chaired the committee that determined a location for a homeless shelter, despite a number of unhappy Redwood City residents. The Redwood Family House on Locust Street is still running today.
“On social issues that weren’t popular, he steered them in a positive direction,” Claire said.
He was also one of the members who redeveloped Sequoia Station, which is still bustling today, recalled Jack Greenalch, who also served with Chandler.
“This was definitely one of his biggest contributions,” Greenalch said.
And while on the council, Chandler staved off two cancers.
“Nurses called him a ‘miracle man,’” said acquaintance Barbara Britschgi.
Claire also survived cancer and said that “surviving those odds was very inspiring.”
“He was a very good person, in public and private,” Claire said. “And he was very much admired by many.”