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Anderson Woods Chandler

Anderson ChandlerBanker, Airman, Philanthropist. Born: January 21, 1926, Wichita, Kansas. Married: Patricia Hinshaw, 1948; Edith Lessenden, 2000. Died: October 29, 2019, Topeka, Kansas.

Anderson Woods Chandler was born Wichita, Kansas, on January 21, 1926, to Charles Q. and Laura Alice (Throckmorton) Chandler. Anderson was inspired by his father’s leadership in banking. He was also active in the Boy Scouts. He attended Wichita High School East where he was a national honor society member.

Chandler served during World War II in the U.S. Army, enlisting in the air force at age 17. He hoped to be a pilot but was assigned as a flight engineer on a B-17 heavy bomber. After completing his service in the war he enrolled at the University of Kansas (KU) in January 1946 and received the Summerfield merit scholarship. There he was a member of Delta Tau Delta National Social Fraternity. He graduated with honors from KU in 1948 with a degree in business. He served as chairman of KU’s Greater University Fund and as student union president. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force ROTC, having served as a cadet captain.

In 1948 Chandler married Patricia Hinshaw, his childhood sweetheart. He received a master’s degree in banking from the University of Wisconsin in 1953. He also attended two summer sessions as a senior bank officer seminar graduate at Harvard University. He pursued a career in banking, purchasing Fidelity State Bank and Trust Company in 1958. He served as both president and chairman of the board until 2009; he continues his role as chairman of the board.

After the family moved to Topeka in 1958 he became involved with the Jayhawk Area Council Boy Scouts and Boy Scouts of Santa Fe Trails, serving as a board member and council president. He received the three highest scouting volunteer awards, the Silver Beaver Award in 1979 from the Jayhawk Council, Silver Antelope Award in 1987 from North Central Region, and Silver Buffalo Award in 1995 from National Council Boy Scouts. He was the first Kansan to receive all three awards.

Chandler served as president of North Central Region Boy Scouts, a member of National Boy Scouts board, and chairman of the properties committee for 16 years. He received the scout God and Service Award and the Catholic St. George Emblem. He gave Camp Jayhawk $250,000 for the Cub Scout Pavilion.

Anderson ChandlerIn 1958 Anderson joined the Orient Lodge of Topeka and became a 32nd degree Mason. In 1959 he became a member of York Rite in Topeka, and a member of the Arab Shrine in Topeka. He was named Shriner of the Year in 1974 and is a member of Greeters and Legion of Honor.

The Chandlers were members of First Presbyterian Church in Topeka where he served as elder. His wife, Patricia, died on April 24, 1999. In her memory he contributed an entrance to the sanctuary, gave funds to rebuild the Patricia Chandler troop house at Girl Scout Camp Daisy Hindman in Shawnee County, and presented the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library with the Chandler Boutique and Chandler Library Pavilion.

Anderson served as president of Downtown Topeka, Inc.; Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce; Knife & Fork Club of Topeka; Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas; and United Way of Greater Topeka. He gave KU more than $1,000,000 for the Anderson Chandler Business School Lecture Series in 1996. He established the Anderson Chandler distinguished professor. He has established a scholarship fund with the Kansas University Endowment Foundation. In 1998 the KU School of Business named him a distinguished alumnus. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Service Citation from the Kansas University Alumni Association. He is a life member of the KU Foundation Board of Trustees. As a community leader, Anderson has financially supported redevelopment projects in Downtown Topeka personally and behalf of the bank totaling $200,000.

Chandler married Edith Lessenden in 2000. They Chandlers continued to support local charities and were active in community events. Edith died on June 14, 2013.

In 2001 the national guard association honored him with the Patrick Henry Award. In 2006 Junior Achievement named him to the Topeka Business Hall of Fame. In 2008 Washburn University awarded him an honorary doctorate of commerce. In 2010 he received the Outstanding Philanthropy Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Topeka Chapter. Anderson was the first Alexis De Tocqueville contributor of $10,000 to the United Way of Greater Topeka. He died in Topeka on October 29, 2019.

Entry: Chandler, Anderson Woods

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: May 2017

Date Modified: October 2019

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.