Ann Judith Chandler: Served city with infectious smile

Ann Judith Chandler served on Berkeley City Council from 1984-1992

Update, Jan. 13, 2013: A celebration of the life of Ann Chandler will be held Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St, 1-3 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m., celebration, including songs, begins at 1:15 p.m. Refreshments will follow the program.

Original article: Ann Judith Chandler (Aug. 6, 1941 – Nov. 17, 2012) passed away peacefully at 9:24 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17. She is mourned by her children, Dr. David Eli Fish and Michael Paul Fish, her daughter-in-law Ami Fitch, her grandchildren Maalik and Noah Fish, her sisters Elaine Hoffman and Nada Chandler, her brother Dr. Joseph Chandler, as well as family members and friends from Rhode Island, Maine, Quebec, Massachusetts, Texas, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, Oregon, California, and Florida.

Ann was laid to rest on Wednesday, Nov. 21 in a family plot in Rhode Island.

Many Bay Area residents remember Ann as a compassionate public figure, dedicated to public health issues, particularly as concern the elderly and HIV/AIDS activism. She strove to see every side of an issue, both scientifically and emotionally, and to connect with and understand the people involved before choosing a course of action. Steadfast in her belief in civility and kindness, Ann determinedly maintained an open dialogue as she pursued what she saw as the best path.

Anyone who ever met her will remember her smile — open, loving, infectious, brilliant.

Ann was born in Bath, Maine to the late Irving and Marcia Libby (Petlock) Chandler. She graduated from Classical High School in 1959. She attended the University of Rhode Island, majoring in biology, and was a member of Sigma Delta Tau. She married Dr. Richard Fish in 1962 and transferred to the University of New Hampshire, graduating the following year.

The family relocated to Anaheim in 1965 and to Berkeley in 1969. Ann earned her Master of Science in Public Health from Cal-Hayward in the mid-1980s. She was the Director of the Public Health Laboratory of Alameda County for 25 years and retired in 2006. In her retirement, she worked for the California Department of Public Health as an Examiner for the Facility Licensing Division.

She served on Berkeley City Council from 1984-1992, sharing her compassion and communication skills to resolve local issues regarding economic and social justice. Additionally, she was an active member of many organizations during her 43 years in Berkeley, including: the Berkeley Public Library (Board Member); Berkeley Citizens’ Action (BCA—Board Member); National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) local and statewide; American Public Health Association (APHA); PD Active (Board Member); Community Conservation Centers-Berkeley Recycling (Board Member); Novartis Diagnostics (Board Member); and a Committee Member on Building a New Home for Health: LifeLong West Berkeley Capital Campaign.

She will also be remembered for her love of ginger cookies, red wine, music, theater, travel, gambling, Butter Brickle ice cream, and her benevolent mercilessness at games of Scrabble. She leaves a legacy for all those who knew her, including those multiple generations of family and friends who shared her home and her heart as they passed through Berkeley to find their place in the world. Ann Chandler changed for the better everyone she touched.

Ann requested that any donations in her honor be given to the PD Active Group (helping people impacted by Parkinson’s disease in the Oakland/Berkeley region), or the Berkeley Public Library. A celebration of Ann’s life is being organized for January 2013.

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