Dick Chamberlain died peacefully at home April 28 at the age of 88. He was born on February 7, 1929 in Detroit, Michigan and grew up there, moving to Whittier, California with his brother and parents in 1949. During the Korean War he served as a Special Agent for the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps. He earned bachelors and masters degrees at Whittier College and a doctorate in Education at the University of Southern California. As a teacher of history and government his career spanned middle and high school, community college, and university extension.
In 1960 he married Judith Lasse. They were married for over 40 years. He lost his beloved Judy in 2003. Dick is survived by his children Mary Hanggi of Pierpoint, CA; Richard Chamberlain Jr. of Escalon, CA; Carole Stringer of Hayden Lake, ID; JulieBeth Lamb of Escalon, CA; and Daniel Chamberlain of Nipomo, CA; grandchildren Ryan Hanggi of Porterville, CA, Elizabeth Roth of Canyon Country, CA, Savannah McCormack, Amanda Beltrami, and Rachel Lamb of Oakdale, CA, Clayton Lamb of Fremont, CA, and Christine Lamb of Sacramento, CA, as well as nine great-grandchildren.
At Porterville, California he served as Director of Adult Education, raising Durham cattle as a sideline. Always interested in conservation he founded the Porterville Area Environmental Council and led its involvement in creating the Yaudanchi Ecological reserve, opposing excessive development of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as well as testifying in Congress on behalf of the present Golden Trout Wilderness.
Retiring from their respective positions in 1986 Dick and Judy moved to Flournoy, California where they had acquired the former Luce ranch. There they coauthored “Civil War Letters of an Ohio Soldier” based upon Dick’s grandfather’s letters home from that war, and “Two G.W. Coles: Pioneers in the West” about Judy’s family. In addition Dick’s books on antique cartridge reloading tools went through several editions. His interest in American firearms history led to assembling artifacts for the Tehama County Museum. Of Cornish descent Dick was active in Cornish organizations and publications. In 2011 Dick sold the ranch and moved to Escalon to live near JulieBeth and Rex. Richard also moved to Escalon to help him. Dick started a gun collectors club there, volunteered at the Escalon museum, continued to be active in California Cornish cousins, and attended the United Methodist church. In April 2017 he had a heart attack and came home with hospice.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 27 at 11:30 a.m. at the Escalon United Methodist Church, 2000 Jackson Ave., Escalon, CA 95320 with fellowship time to follow at his home. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his name to Alzheimer Dementia Support Group, 700 McHenry Ave., Suite B, Modesto, CA 95350 or Optimal Hospice, 1101 Sylvan Ave., Suite B-10, Modesto, CA 95350. Deegan Mortuary in Escalon is handling the arrangements.
A memorial gathering will be held Saturday, May 13 at 11 a.m. at Living Word Fellowship Church, 1150 W. Pioneer Ave., Porterville, CA 93257 in the fellowship hall.
The Escalon (Calif.) Times
May 10, 2017