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After almost 94 years of a happy, healthy life, Adrienne Chandler passed away at Kansas City Hospice House on January 18, 2017, after suffering a stroke on December 26, 2016. She has donated her body to the Kansas University School of Medicine for use by anatomy students. A celebration of her life will be held at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, 12251 Antioch Road, Overland Park, Kansas, at 2:30 on Sunday, January 22. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to the Palmer Home for Children, P. O. Box 746, Columbus, Mississippi, palmerhome.org/donate, or your favorite charity.
Adrienne was born May 11, 1923, in Carnieres, Belgium, and never lost her French accent. She and her family rode their bikes from Belgium to France to escape the Nazis in World War II, and she kept a diary of their adventures. She met her husband, Jim, in Belgium during the war, when families who spoke English were asked to invite American soldiers to their houses for Christmas. In March of 1947, she took a boat to the United States and married Jim the day after she arrived in Boston. They spent the next 26 years raising four children and moving every three or four years while Jim was in the Air Force. Their moves included two assignments in Germany and one in Holland. While living conditions in those places werent always ideal, she enjoyed being able to visit her parents and other relatives in Belgium.
A stay-at-home mom while her children were growing up, Adrienne made life entertaining and always had time to talk, play games and laugh with her children. When her daughters were 4, 5 and 6, they started to drag a dead rabbit home because they knew their mom could fix it. Fortunately a neighbor lady stopped them before they made it to the house. She sewed clothes and knitted sweaters for her daughters. Adrienne went to work as a school secretary once the children grew up. She took such joy in talking to the students and shared many funny stories about them with her family.
After Jims death in 2009, Adrienne moved to Overland Park, Kansas, to be closer to one of her daughters. She continued to enjoy shopping, playing Scrabble, keeping up with the news, cooking and reading until she had her stroke.
Always a kind and positive person, Adrienne made the best of any bad situation and encouraged her children to do the same. She enjoyed visiting with friends and relatives in person and on the phone, and had a list of people from coast to coast and in Belgium who she called on a regular basis. She still wrote letters in French to her brother in Belgium.
Adrienne was predeceased by her husband of 62 years, James S. Chandler; two brothers in Belgium, Phillippe Guillery and Alain Guillery; and her grandson, Darrin Prestwood. Survivors include her children, Carol (Gary) Prestwood, Miami, Florida; Monique (James) Thompson, Columbia, South Carolina; Mary-Ann Gaston, Overland Park, Kansas, and Stephen (Karen), Placentia, California, as well as her grandchildren, Christine Prestwood, Ward Thompson, Emily Chandler and Amy (Mike) Scheuer, one great-grandchild, Joshua Prestwood, and a brother, Albert Guillery.
While she will be missed, Adrienne would prefer that we remember her as the woman with the funny and interesting stories to tell, who always had a positive attitude and was kind to everyone.
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