Ware - Cleo Viola (Robbins) Chandler, 100, born May 20th, 1917 in Ware, died February 3rd, 2018, in Palmer.
She was pre-deceased by her husband, Edwin W. Chandler on March 27, 1971, and by her eldest son, David E. Chandler on November 11, 2012, her parents, Charles W. Robbins and Mary Lucy (Gokey) Robbins; her brothers, Francis, Edward and Granville Robbins; and her three sisters, Harriet Ballou, Florence Sloat and Marion Gelineau. She is survived by two daughters, Beverly Buie, of North Carolina and Barbara A. Labier and her husband, Ronald A. Labier, of Kentucky; and one son, Russell A. Chandler of Kentucky. Her legacy continued on for six generations and includes 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, 28 great-great grandchildren and 3 great-great-great grandchildren. She also leaves many loving nieces and nephews.
She was also pre-deceased by another very special person in her life, Fred Brunelle. They spent many years enjoying the retirement life, traveling in their motorhome to Florida to spend winters and enjoying summers in New England. He was a special part of the family for many years, as was his sister, Rita Hevey, who was her best friend for many, many years until her passing.
She graduated from Ware High School and lived most of her life in Ware. She also lived in Hardwick and Barre as a young wife and mother. She worked in the Ware Shoe Shop until the early 1970’s and would often meet her daughter, Barbara, and her children on her lunch breaks. She enjoyed dining and dancing to the big bands of the era with her husband nearly every weekend. She never lost her love of dancing, even teaching her 56 years old grandson how to do the Charleston when she was 99. Her grandchildren both near and far, were her pride and joy. Those who lived nearby had the good fortune of being able to spend many overnights at “Nana’s” on the weekends. She entertained them with tea-parties, baking cookies or simply wandering through her flower gardens. She would watch them climb the “mountain” in her back yard on West Warren Road or play in the frog pond, which she frowned upon, but was always forgiving, because, what little one could resist a frog pond? They would pick flowers for her off the hillside, which she proudly displayed in a little crystal bud vase on her windowsill. She especially looked forward to visits from her son Russell, and her daughter, Beverly, and her children from North Carolina, who would come for summer vacations. She loved the summer season, and especially enjoyed swimming at her son David’s house on Beaver Lake, with whom she lived after her husband passed. She could often be seen simply floating out on the lake with her eyes closed, soaking up the sun.
She lived a long, healthy and happy life and when she turned 100 last May there was a huge celebration. People came from near and far, and as she danced her way into the hall, all dressed in pink with a “Princess” tiara on her head, a huge smile spread on her face and her eyes sparkled as she took in all the old friends and family there to honor her.
She was a spunky lady and was always up for something fun to do. Now in heaven, she surely has them on their feet dancing. She will be sadly missed by all whose lives she touched with her kind gestures and warm smile. Cherish the memories you share with her and do a little two-step for “Nana” whenever you think of her.
A Graveside Service will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at 1:00PM in the Aspen Grove Cemetery, where her ashes will be buried next to her beloved husband, Edwin. It will be followed by a Celebration of Life in the hall at the United Church of Ware on Church Street. All are welcome to attend and share in the celebration.
Charbonneau Funeral Home, 30 Pleasant St., in Ware is assisting her family with arrangements.