Norman “Wendell” Chalmers |

Norman “Wendell” Chalmers

Norman Chalmers

Wendell Chalmers of Grass Valley lost his battle with bladder cancer and peacefully passed to paradise at home Dec. 28, 2013, just days before his 90th birthday.

Wendell was born Feb. 3, 1924, in Somerville, Mass. He grew up in the Boston area and spent many unforgettable summer vacations with family in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, Maine.

Drawn to the sea and a lifetime passion for engineering, Wendell spent from 1941 to 1955 as a Merchant Marine, sailing mostly on the Tidewater Assoc. He sailed all over the world and loved to recall each trip, a true "salty dog."

In 1953, Wendell packed up his wife, Lillian, and young daughter Barbara and drove to California, landing in Concord. In 1955, Wendell chose to give up his love for the sea to strengthen his role as a dad to his daughter. It did not take long for the University of Berkeley and later Stanford University to recognize his genius in the Research and Development Department, a brilliant mind that could fabricate anything!

In 1968, the family moved to Fremont/Milpitas, bought his dream retirement property in Grass Valley in 1972 and retired here in 1986 until his passing.

A very social person and one who developed deep and close relationships, Wendell and family joined the Concord Clutchbuster's square-dancing club from 1963 to 1974. So many lifelong relationships developed here.

Wendell loved to give life to old junk cars/trucks — each had a story — and he developed relationships with each and everyone. He also had a thirst to build things like add-ons to his house, cabins, garages, sheds, etc. — his brain always relished a challenge. He would always say "when I rest I rust."

Survived by his daughter, Barbara, and son-in-law DeWain Callaway of Grass Valley; cousins Bob and Lee Sang of Riverbank and their family; Jeff Sang, Stephanie and Ron Giddings and family; sister-in-law Nony Chalmers of Florida; Steve and Dawn Chalmers and family of Florida and New Hampshire; Val and Emily Whitcomb and family of Tennessee and Diane and Kevin Russell of Colorado.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Caro Chalmers; father Wallace Chalmers; younger brother Duncan Chalmers; wife of 58 years Lillian Chalmers; and his grandson, Michael Callaway.

Arrangements are being made for Wendell's ashes to be laid to rest in the Veterans National Cemetery in Dixon, Calif., later this spring. You will always be remembered with love and honor! Special thanks to the Grass Valley Hospice for your care and kindness.

In loving memory, God bless you!

Go back to article