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Richard Frank Chandler

August 28, 1933 January 24, 2019
Richard Frank Chandler
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Obituary for Richard Frank Chandler

Richard F. (Dick) Chandler was born on August 28, 1933 in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Carl C. and Camille (Morelli) Chandler. He passed away in Norman, Oklahoma on January 24, 2019.

Dick graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1955 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the Air Force the same year and was assigned to Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

On February 11, 1956 he married Margaret Doherty at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Albuquerque.

At Holloman AFB Dick began his career in the field of vehicle safety, focusing primarily on seats and seatbelts for automobiles and aircraft. He worked with the legendary John Paul Stapp, studying the effects of rapid deceleration using a rocket sled track. This led to the early development of lap and shoulder belts.

In 1968 he continued his career at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington DC, where he worked on the design of the seats for the lunar module, amongst other projects.

In 1970 Dick came to the FAA where he became the manager of the Protection and Survival Research Laboratory at the Civil Aeromedical Branch in Oklahoma City. After retiring from the FAA in 1988, he worked as an independent consultant until 2002.

Dick had many accomplishments during his long career, but one he was most proud of was leading the effort for legislation that required commercial airline seats to conform to a set of crash worthiness safety standards. The regulations were finally upgraded in 1988, some 62 years after the last rule changes. This resulted in changes in the Federal Aviation Regulations for seating systems to include demonstration of performance of seat and restraint systems under impact to protect the occupant from injury.

The Chandler family is proud of the work Dick and his colleagues accomplished, resulting in more people surviving both automobile and aircraft accidents. Dick was blessed with a career that he truly enjoyed and that helped save many lives.

Survivors include; his wife Margaret Chandler of the home, son James Chandler and wife Madeline of Galveston, Texas; daughter Jane Campbell and husband Steve of Humble, Texas; granddaughters Cherish (Brian) Loog and Olivia Campbell; great-grandchildren Mary (Joshua) Torres, Hailey Loog, and Joseph Loog, all of Houston, Texas; and close family friends Kristie Van Hoozer, Clark Everett, and Blake Everett.

The Chandler family would like to express their deep appreciation and gratitude to the staff of Rivermont Gardens for their loving care of Dick over the last few years and for all the support they provided his family.

Contributions in Dick’s memory may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, care of St. Thomas More University Parish.

A Vigil Prayer Service will be held at St. Thomas More University Parish (100 Stinson St, Norman) on Monday, January 28th at 7:00 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:30 am on Tuesday, January 29th at St. Thomas More with burial following at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery (Norman).

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Previous Events





7:00 PM 1/28/2019 7:00:00 PM
St. Thomas More University Parish

100 Stinson Street
Norman, OK 73072

Flowers may be delivered to the Church

St. Thomas More University Parish
100 Stinson Street Norman 73072 OK
United States

Mass of Christian Burial




10:30 AM 1/29/2019 10:30:00 AM
St. Thomas More University Parish

100 Stinson Street
Norman, OK 73072

St. Thomas More University Parish
100 Stinson Street Norman 73072 OK
United States

Cemetery Details


St Joseph Catholic Cemetery Final Resting Place

1913 N. Porter Ave
Norman, OK

1913 N. Porter Ave Norman OK
United States

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