Cover photo for Walretta "Jerri" Chandler's Obituary
Walretta "Jerri" Chandler Profile Photo

Walretta "Jerri" Chandler

August 14, 1953 — August 5, 2023

Walretta “Jerri” Harlan Chandler was born on August 14, 1953, to Walter Carl and Annie (Reynolds) Harlan, in Nashville, Tennessee. She transitioned from labor to eternal reward nine days shy of her 70th birthday on August 5, 2023, at Franklin Wellness Rehabilitation Center. Both parents and her grandson, Duke K. W. Booker, Jr., preceded her in death.

“Walretta,” as she was known by family, was educated in Nashville. She began her education as the third class of children in public schools post-desegregation. She attended Haynes Elementary, now Haynes Middle Health/Medical Science Design Center and graduated from Cumberland High School, now Creswell Middle Prep School of the Arts in Bordeaux. Following in the footsteps of family members, she pursued a life of nursing by enrolling in the University of Tennessee at Nashville in the Nursing Program. She received her credentials as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) from Joliet Junior College. She later took classes toward a degree from Volunteer State College.

“Jerri,” a nickname since childhood, met and grew up with her future husband, Lonnie Chandler, at a young age. They were both were members of St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church (SJN), where both their mothers held prominent roles. They were married on July 6, 1974, at their home church, where she instantly gained a bonus daughter, Trevecca L. Moore. Two children were born from this union, Nicole Donielle and her “crown prince,” Walter Samuel.

Jerri and Lonnie relocated to Joliet, Illinois, in 19799. During the 20 years there, worked as an LPN at Sunnyhill Nursing Home and Burgess Square Healthcare & Rehabilitation before the family moved back to Nashville in 1998. Upon her return, she worked in the private practice office of Roger Wallace, MD. From 2002 until her retirement in 2020, Jerri was a proud “Tiger,” working as the head nurse for Tennessee State University in Student Health Services in Student Health Services.

Having professed a saving faith in Christ at an early age, Jerri always devoted her life to the church. While in Joliet, she was a member of Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and attended St. Mark Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Back in Nashville, she reunited with SJN, where she served as a stewardess and member of the organized Lay Organization. She also was a delegate to numerous Connectional Lay Organization Biennials. Continuing service to the Connectional AME Church, she worked registration at many general conferences for the Connectional Church’s Finance Department.

Jerri loved old school music from old school, R&B, and hymns to gospel. She sang alto in New Spirit! and Friends, an ecumenical vocal ensemble that celebrates Easter and Christmas with annual cantatas. She also participated in choral and service mission trips with the Mission Choir, serving and raising funds for communities impacted by natural disasters including southern Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Jerri leaves to cherish her memories and continue a rich legacy of love and service, husband, Lonnie S. Chandler; daughter, Nicole D. Chandler; son, Walter (Erica) Chandler, Hendersonville, TN; bonus daughter, Trevecca L. Moore; grandchildren, Anjelica (Timothy) James, Walter S. Chandler, II, and Randolph L. Chandler, Hendersonville, TN; great-grandchildren, Ava Marie James and Naomi D. James; loving sister, Nancy (Othe) Kendrick; brothers, Maurice (Prince) White, Jeffrey (Fran) White, Robert (Brenetta) Hambrick, Champaign, IL, and James (Doris) Hambrick, Fountain Run, KY; nieces, Rev. Lisa Hammonds and Joi (David) Shaw, Dania Beach, FL; and other relatives and friends, especially, Joyce Neal, Joliet, IL, Dorethea Thompson, Joliet, IL, Bonita (Bernard) Collins, Lois Berry, Kathy Pillow, and Paula Holmes. Please keep the Chandler family in your thoughts and prayers.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Walretta "Jerri" Chandler, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services