Laura Ann Chandler, 42, of South Elgin, passed away suddenly at home on November 10th. She was born in Morris in 1978. She was an adored teacher at Glenbrook Elementary School in Streamwood.
Laura was the beloved wife of Douglas Roth, cherished daughter of Andrew and Pamela Chandler and daughter-in-law of Marian and John Roth; loving sister of Jennifer (Kenneth) Cox and Jeffery (Courtney) Chandler and sister in law of Steven Roth, David (Patricia) Roth, Jacqueline (John) Bushie, Elizabeth (Michael) Baietteo, and Samantha (Kyle) Mohn; devoted aunt to Nicholas and Nathaniel Cox, Henry and James Chandler, Christopher (Lindsday) Michael and great-aunt to their daughter Gwen, Rebecca Roth, and Joseph, Danielle, Nicholas and Teresa Baietteo; treasured niece of Clyde (Barbara) Chandler, Douglas (Donna) Lines, Mark (Christine) Lines, and Gregory (Joan) Lines. Laura was preceded in death by her grandparents, Larry (Ruth) Lines and Ralph (Emily) Chandler, and her cousin Paul Lines. Also survived by many cousins, and countless friends, co-workers and students.
“She could light up any room in an instant.” The tributes to Laura that are pouring in universally mention her luminosity- her laugh, her smile, and her way to connect with everyone she encountered. She was beyond bubbly to effervescent and loved everyone in her life with her whole heart. In her 42 years, she managed to have more impact than most and touched countless lives. From her childhood, she lived a life in service to others, and if you had a cause Laura was your champion. She exemplified ‘extrovert,’ and as a social butterfly used her passion for being around others for the greater good such as serving as student body president of Morris Community High School. She made lifelong friends through pursuit of her passions from dance to cheerleading. From her undergraduate training in social work at Illinois State University, she had an innate ability to see where people were hurting or broken, and did all she could to heal, help and give hope. Her desire to make a difference and love of working with children led her to pursue a Master’s degree in education at the University of St. Francis.
In all aspects of her life, she devoted herself 100% and with a fervent passion-from smaller things like staying up late Christmas Eve to make sure presents were not just wrapped, but taped to where unwrapping a gift from Laura became an event in itself, to her life’s work as a teacher. She treated her students like her own children, and always went above and beyond for them, making sure she connected on a deep, personal level with each child to ensure their success. When COVID changed the landscape for her classroom teaching, she made herself available individually to each child, spending hours working with students to make sure that they were getting what they needed and there was no disruption to their education. She took on starting clubs and organizations reflective of student interests to promote further engagement. Just one example, after a student was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, she started a Community Service Club, working with the student to design t-shirts which were then used as a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She was a fierce fighter for social justice, serving as a speaker for “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes”, an organization devoted to women who have been victims of violence. She spoke with prominent Illinois politicians about education and the needs of students. There was no obstacle to achieving her goals that she could not find a way to overcome.
Laura’s light shone especially bright on the day she married the love of her life, Doug, in 2012. Doug’s love for Laura is extraordinary. Fate introduced them at a Cubs game in 2009, where Laura was actually on a blind date with someone else. Once their paths had crossed, they were inseparable. No matter what they did together, from vacations to relaxing at home, they had fun and brought out the very best in each other and built each other up. She was looking forward to growing old together with him. Laura’s nieces, nephews, cousins, and family friends were all recipients of her gift of knowing just how to interact with kids. If the kids went for a visit to Aunt Laura and Uncle Doug’s, they were all too eager to go as they knew they were in for crafts, field trips, and treats- always something to do and fun to be had.
The loss of Laura is profound and will be felt for the rest of our lives. We cannot fill the emptiness she leaves in our hearts. All we can strive for is to be like her in our everyday interactions, bringing that same sense of sunshine to all whom we encounter in her honor.
Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to the family with the goal of establishing an educational memorial in her name to benefit children in the community.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, November 15, 2020 from 12:00pm to 3:00 pm at the U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home in Morris. A celebration of Laura’s life will follow at 3:00 pm, officiated by George Kresse from the Life Church of Morris. Aqua cremation rites will be accorded.
Due to COVID-19 requirements, safe social distancing will be required and we are asking for visitors to wear their masks while visiting the family.
An online guestbook has been made for the family, where you may sign the guestbook, share memories and photographs. You can access this by visiting the website www.ucdaviscallahan.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted with U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home, 301 W. Washington Street, Morris, IL.