Mr. Leland Foston Chandler Jr., 92, of Onancock, went to be with the Lord on Aug. 15, 2020. His final days were spent at home surrounded by family, friends, and caregivers.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, at 2 p.m., at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Onancock with his friend, the Rev. Al Crockett, officiating.
Foston (like Boston but with an “F” as he would tell new acquaintances) was born at home in Onancock on Oct. 23, 1927, to Thelma N. Chandler and Leland Foston Chandler Sr. He attended the former Onancock High School and graduated after the 11th grade (customary in that era) in 1945. He then attended Fork Union Military Academy for a year. Two weeks after reaching age 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. His three-month training was spent at Fort Lee in Virginia followed by a 15-month assignment in Tokyo, Japan, where he was stationed with Gen. MacArthur. After returning from Tokyo, he joined his mother and father working in the family business, Chandler’s Furniture, spending over 50 years working in retail, including a number of years working for Fair’s Furniture.
Foston married Ida Jane Duer, of Painter, on Aug. 13, 1961. They raised two sons and one daughter at their Mt. Prospect home in Onancock. They enjoyed spending time playing cards and traveling with their many friends. Foston was a lifelong member of Market Street United Methodist Church and was a certified lay leader. He preached at over 100 multi-denominational churches throughout the Eastern Shore of Virginia in his lifetime. He was also an active community participant who was a member of the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, and Central Masonic Lodge #300. In addition, he served on the Onancock town council. Foston was a founding member of the Onancock Liar’s Bench Club, where he spent many hours greeting tourists as they moored telling all that would listen that they had just arrived at the second oldest town in the United States. He enjoyed “visiting” the YMCA, the library in Accomac, Wendy’s, Bojangles, Hardees, and Scott’s Barbershop. His recently favored stop was Walmart in Onley, where he could be seen sporting his plaid hat, bolo, and suspenders while telling stories, riddles, or jokes to anyone who may venture by.
Foston was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Jane, of 30 years; and son, Leland Foston Chandler III. He is survived by son, John D. Chandler (Clara), of Melfa; daughter, Ruth Chandler Somers (John), of Onancock; daughter-in-law, Teresa Chandler; his grandchildren, Leland Foston Chandler IV (Sharon), Kaylyn (KK) and Daniel Chandler, Evan and Seth Dize, Tyler and Taylor Chandler; and great-grandchildren, Graciela and Millie Chandler.
Special appreciation is given to the many friends, community members, Riverside Shore Hospice, and Intrepid Health Care Services who provided comfort, fellowship, and time to hear a story, joke, or Foston’s words of wisdom, which were usually cumulated with a prayer and a smile. Foston requested that the poem that he wrote below be included in his obituary.
I look at life as being a bridge that connects
this world with the life hereafter,
And wise is the person that builds his bridge on
Faith, Love and Laughter.
I want to be known as a painter, not with a
Brush, but with words that will draw someone
Closer to their lord and savior.
The painter has walked over the bridge.
~ Leland Foston Chandler, Jr.
Memorial donations may be made to Market Street United Methodist Church, 75 Market St., Onancock, VA 23417 or Riverside Shore Hospice, P.O. Box 616, Onley, VA 23418.
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com