NORWAY – Chandler Adams Briggs of South Paris, died Sunday, May 24, at Stephens Memorial Hospital, after a six-month decline in health, just five days short of his 90th birthday.

Born in Bethel on May 29, 1919, he was the only child of Evelyn Chandler Briggs and Clarence Briggs. At ten years old, Chinny, as he was known to family and friends, lived and worked at Opportunity Farm for Boys in New Gloucester for three years while Evelyn attended nursing school in New York. After leaving Opportunity Farm, he was raised by his grandparents, Walter and Cybil Chandler of Pine Street and then Barrows Street, South Paris.

After graduating from Paris High School in 1937, Chandler attended the University of Maine for one year, worked in Maine and Florida, then entered the armed services in April 1941. As a lieutenant in the Army Medical Corp, he arrived in Bombay, India on Christmas Day 1943 and served as a purchasing agent in Calcutta under the Reverse Lending Lease Legislation, which was set up by the U.S. Government and Great Britain in 1944.

Later, he was sent to Kunming, Yunnan, China as a supply officer at the Army Medical Depot. In 1946, Captain Chandler Briggs was discharged from service, having earned the Bronze Star Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, the American Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

In early 1946, Chinny formed a partnership with life-long friend Ashley Bean and purchased Roy White’s Restaurant in Market Square. They flipped a coin and changed the name to Bean’s Restaurant, where they worked together for 29 years, until Chinny’s retirement in 1975 at the age of 55.

Chandler married the former Anna Crystal Dunn of Turner on Feb. 23, 1947. They were married for almost 54 years. After several years of declining health, Anna died on Jan. 29, 2001. Together they had raised a daughter and a son.

Always civic-minded, Chandler was very active in many civil and fraternal organizations, including the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, Paris Masonic Order No. 94, Paris Hill Country Club, Paris Historical Society, Paris Alumni Association, Paris Budget Committee, SCORE, Oxford County Building & Loan Association, Floyd A. Harlow Jr. VFW Post 9787 of South Paris, South Paris First Congregational Church, Maine Numismatic Association and 40-plus years as a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 130.

Along with two friends, Chandler founded the Maine Numismatic Club in South Paris – a coin collectors club that is now statewide.

He joined the First Congregational Church of South Paris in 1931 and was the longest active member at the time of his death. Chandler was formerly a junior deacon, then a senior deacon and attained the title of deacon emeritus in 1996. He and his wife, Anna, taught Sunday school for four years. He had also served the church in the capacities of sexton, treasurer and secretary.

A director of Oxford County Building & Loan Association for 15 years, one of Chinny’s proudest accomplishments was being part of the group which sold stock to community members of Norway and Paris, which in turn helped Maine Machine Products’ first building come to fruition. The stock was later purchased back by the founders of Maine Machine – Roland Sutton and Bill Detert – and all of the money was returned to the original stockholders. This was a great community effort by the citizens of Norway and Paris.

Chandler is survived by his daughter, Linda B. Eide of Seattle, Wash.; his son, Thomas C. Briggs and wife, Mary D. Briggs, of Waterford; four grandchildren, Julia M. Herrick and husband, Joshua A. Herrick, of Norway, Seth T. Briggs of Old Town and Waterford, and Eric C. Eide and Elliott L. Eide, both of Seattle, Wash.; two great-granddaughters, Anna Elisabeth Herrick and Madelyn Alexis Herrick of Norway; his beloved companion of these last years, Frances T. Johnson of Paris; and cousins, Patricia D. Snow of South Paris, John G. Chandler of Cumberland Center, and Richard Chandler of West Hartford, Conn.

He was predeceased in 2001 by his loving wife, Anna; and his son-in-law, Craig D. Eide.

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