Joan Ward Chandler

Joan Ward Chandler, 85, a longtime resident of Hinsdale, died Dec. 5, 2020, following a brief illness at her home at King Bruwaert surrounded by family.

“Joanie” was born in 1935 to Maude Morrison Wood and Charles Jacob Wood. She and her sister Susan Wood Larsen (now deceased) grew up in Winnetka.

Joan raised her three daughters in Hinsdale. She was the embodiment of love for her family, community, church and many friendship circles. Full of affirmation for life and people, she always sought the good in others. Her positive energy and fun spirit were infectious. Joan’s light and energy poured into Sunday school classrooms, nursing homes, hospital wards and schools. She was widely known for leading lively sing-a-longs while strumming her guitar. Joan was active in philanthropy and volunteering throughout her life. Among the many organizations she supported were Opportunity International, Safer Foundation, Chicago Communities in Schools, Episcopal Charities, and Lawndale Community Church.

Joan was happiest in the beauty of nature on ski slopes, golf courses, the beaches of Hilton Head Island, trails in Fullersburg Woods and the mountains of Steamboat Springs, Colo. She was a devout Christian and active member of the Church of the Holy Nativity. Faith was central to her life and foundational for her every turn. Though she didn’t like to cook, she lavishly fed the souls of those around her.

Three ingredients nourished her own approach to daily life: gratitude, grace, and humility. Most profoundly, her devotion and love of family lifted and sustained every one fortunate enough to be related to her. Her generous love, wise counsel and genuine affection will be greatly missed.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Alfred Gilfry Ward.

She is survived by her husband of 15 years, Joseph John Chandler; her daughters, Susan Ward (Peter) Marty, Stacy Ward Ryan, Shelley (Van) Ward Yeutter; her grandchildren, Jacob B. (Rachel) Marty, Rachel (David) Marty Donner, Maggie (Anthony) Ryan Roti, C.J. (Dana) Ryan, Steven Ryan, Kayleigh (Patrick) Ryan Kelly, Madison (Jonathan) Yeutter Carkhuff, Cameron Yeutter and Lincoln Yeutter; and her four great-grandchildren, Louis Marty and Avery, Dominic and Mackenzie Roti.

A celebration of life service will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to DuPage Pads at or HCS Family Services at

Brian Powell Funeral Directors of Hinsdale handled the arrangements.