Nancy Chandler, retired real estate company founder, dies at 95 – The Virginian-Pilot

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“A force of nature,” “mold breaker,” and “one of the last of the Greatest Generation.”
These are just a few of the sentiments on Nancy Outland Chandler’s memorial page.
The matriarch of the Chandler family, known for the real estate company that bore her name, died on March 27 at the age of 95.
Chandler, a thirteenth generation Virginian with roots that go back to the early 17th century in Isle of Wight County, was born in South Norfolk.
She was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Webster Monroe Chandler Jr., and is survived by their children, Nancy Deal Chandler, Webster Monroe Chandler III and John Maddox Chandler, five granddaughters, a great granddaughter and a great grandson on the way.
A 1942 graduate of Maury High School, Chandler earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the College of William & Mary in 1945.
A three-year stint as a math teacher at Blair Junior High School followed, but as a doting mother and community member Chandler stayed busy for more than two decades devoting her time as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout troop leader and as a member of numerous organizations including the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Friends of the Library, the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, and the Chrysler Museum of Art.
“She enjoyed helping others,” Web Chandler III, managing broker of Chandler Realty, said. “And when she got into the real estate business, she just blossomed in that field of helping others.”
It was 1969 when Chandler earned her real estate license and began to work as a part-time agent, and she truly found her calling in what was then a male-dominated business.
With discrimination and block-busting tactics going on in Colonial Place and Riverview during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Chandler resisted, showed properties and sold houses.
“She just thought it was the right thing to do and she wanted to help people,” Web Chandler III said of his mother. As a real estate professional, he said, she was a local pioneer in embracing the neighborhoods as a place for all races.
In 1974, she launched Nancy Chandler & Associates, which maintained the motto “We Get People and Places Together.” When she started out, the associates were all women ranging in age from 25 to their middle 50s.
Nancy Deal Chandler said her mother made a lasting impact on the lives of many young women.
“She really was a mentor and role model for them at time when there really weren’t many,” she said. The company, which she grew to be the No. 1 agency in Norfolk in the 1980s, merged with Rose & Womble Realty Company in 2019.
Guiding and mentoring new agents was another way Chandler helped others throughout the years.
“She treated everybody in here as family,” Web Chandler III said of the family business that is now on its third generation. “Mom was a great family person. She made a point to make sure she was a great friend to every new addition to the family.”
Former Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim lived several doors down from the Chandlers for 35 years.
“I had a great affinity for Nancy; she was a wonderful person,” said Fraim who knew her on various levels. “She was bigger than life. She raised a beautiful family and supported almost every good cause she could think of.”
Her legacy, Fraim said, was the wide and prosperous path she carved through the business community in the city at a time when it was difficult for women to succeed.
“And she did,” he said. “When there were meetings to discuss important civic issues, Nancy’s opinion was always valued.”
Chandler also served as the first woman member of The Norfolk Rotary Club and had her hand and heart in many organizations, including Heritage Bank, Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay and The Ballentine, where she lived in her later years.
She also served on the vestry of the Church of the Good Shepherd and was a member of the Suffolk Chapter, Virginia Society Colonial Dames of the XVII Century and the Tidewater Regents Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.
As the family mourns, they also are faced with the reality that a celebration of life — where hundreds are anticipated — will be postponed until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Nancy Deal Chandler said they have been overwhelmed by people — from every walk of life — who were somehow touched by her mother.
With lessons learned from his mother, Web Chandler III equated it to how she used to say in the real estate business that sometimes things don’t work out, deals don’t go through and things just happen.
“She said ‘When times get tough you dust yourself off, pick yourself up and keep on going,’” he said.
Sandra J. Pennecke, 757-222-5356,
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