Hugh Storer Chandler, a long-time highly regarded associate professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, died peacefully on January 1, 2022 at Carle Foundation Hospital. He was 91.
Professor Chandler earned his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and a Master of Divinity from Bangor Theological Seminary. He then received his PhD in philosophy from Cornell University, studying under Prof. Norman Malcolm, a lifelong associate and friend of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.
He started his teaching career in 1962 at the University of Illinois, where he continued regularly teaching classes well into his retirement years as a professor emeritus. He taught classes in metaphysics, ethics, the philosophy of religion, and philosophy in literature. As one former student posted about Chandler’s teaching on an online faculty rating site, “Had him for a Wittgenstein Seminar thirty years ago. My friends and I still discuss his approaches three decades later. If you pay attention, you will get stuff that lasts the rest of your life.”
He authored one book, Platonistic and Disenchanting Theories of Ethics, (Peter Lang Publishing, 2007) and dozens of published papers on philosophy, including topics such as “Divine intervention and the origin of life,” “Hedonism”, and “The Problem of Good.”.
Chandler was born on January 17, 1930, in England, to Rev. Edgar H.S. Chandler and Ruth Doggett Chandler. The family later lived in Boston, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Geneva, Switzerland. He was married to Yoline Wou, of Geneva, in 1953, at the family home in Raymond, N.H. Together they lived in Oberlin, Bangor, Ithaca and Champaign-Urbana. They had two children, Michael Lee Chandler and Leslie Roberts Chandler (now Brodie).
When he wasn’t working, Chandler was a skillful artist who enjoyed sketching people and nature with paper and pencil. He also enjoyed photography, music, and long walks, especially in quiet natural surroundings. He was well known for walking the 2-3 miles to campus every day even through the harshest of Illinois winters.
Chandler was predeceased by both parents, by his son, Michael, by his sister, Connie Chandler-Ward, of Tenants Harbor Maine, and his brother Christopher N. Chandler, of Chicago. He is survived by sister Marjorie Chandler, of Oxford, England, and brother David L. Chandler, of Massachusetts, and by his daughter Leslie, her husband Angus, and his two grandchildren, Elise and Owen.
A small family memorial will take place at a yet to be determined date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire.