George Peel Chandler, Jr

Photo added by Ryan D. Curtis

George Peel Chandler, Jr

  • Birth 6 Sep 1935 Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, USA
  • Death 6 Mar 2009 La Jolla, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Burial San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Plot Grave number is 169 - but there is no stone or grave marker.
  • Memorial ID 34768437

George was born in Knoxville, TN, a gentleman in the truest Southern tradition.

He attended the University of Tennessee where he earned his BS in Electrical Engineering, graduating with honors. He followed by serving in Europe as a U.S. Air Force officer, responsible for a Nike missile site.

Remaining in Europe after discharge, he accepted a position as engineering executive with International Telephone & Telegraph Company. After working abroad, George returned to school where he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, earning a M.S. degree in Management.

George then commenced a career lasting 21 years with the National Aeronautics & Space Agency (NASA). While working at NASA, George undertook increasingly important tasks, including serving as the NASA Headquarters Mission Engineer for Apollo 4, 10, 11 (first manned lunar landing) and 13.

From 1976 to 1981, he was the Director of NASA's Scientific and Technical Information Program, Washington, DC, where his accomplishments included establishing one of the world's largest, most sophisticated data bases with two million titles, 60,000 acquisitions and world-wide on-line search capability. At one time, he worked directly with the renowned rocketry genius Dr. Werner Von Braun.

In 1981, George decided to return to his roots as a small business entrepreneur following on the footsteps of his father who owned the largest printing company in East Tennessee. His extensive federal career, however, led him to believe that he could best champion the ideals of small business ownership by becoming Director of the San Diego District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

From 1981 through 2005, George served SBA as its local Director, and through his leadership the office increased annual financing obtained by small businesses from $20 million to $400 million, total loan portfolio from $200 million to $3 billion, and government contracts awarded to small businesses from $10 million to $110 million.

Several years running, the San Diego District Office was named the best performing SBA office in the entire country. Much of George's success was the result of his ability to think "outside the box" and motivate other influential citizens to share his vision for a thriving small business environment.

During his tenure with SBA, he also took time to help found the MIT Enterprise Forum, a very successful business analysis forum as well as a unique Small Business Advisory Board to the San Diego Mayor & City Council.

George Chamberlin, a well known business columnist, recently stated that, "In a group of 1000 individuals, George Chandler was the one person that (Chamberlin) would cross the room to greet." Ruben Garcia, George's successor as SBA Director, described George as being "a mentor, an inspiration, and a friend."

George is survived by his wife, Irene Chandler of La Jolla, brother, John Chandler of Ocala, FL, and sister, Carol Evans Chandler of South Carolina.

George left us all too quickly, but he will be remembered by us all as a superior example of one man's commitment to the public good. He will be sorely missed.

A Memorial Service is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 10:00 a.m., followed by Interment at El Camino Memorial Park Cemetery, 5600 Carroll Canyon Road, San Diego, CA.
A "Celebration of Life" tribute to George Chandler is scheduled following the interment at 12:30 p.m. at the San Diego Air & Space Museum located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA.
Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on 3/13/2009.





  • Created by: Ryan D. Curtis
  • Added: 13 Mar 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 34768437
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Peel Chandler, Jr (6 Sep 1935–6 Mar 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 34768437, citing El Camino Memorial Park, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA ; Maintained by Ryan D. Curtis (contributor 46858513) .