AMITE, La. (BRPROUD) – Tangipahoa Parish Communications Operator 918 was killed in a two-vehicle accident on Saturday, April 16.
45-year-old Grace Chandler was so much more than that title to her co-workers and friends.
On Facebook alone, these tributes came in since the deadly accident took place.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office posted this message on their Facebook page:
Today we mourn the loss of a great friend and devoted servant, who’s life was taken this morning as the result of a crash. Gracie was a beautiful soul who, to many coworkers, became like a second mom. We share the pain of her loss as many of our communications deputies have worked alongside her. Our hearts go out to the Rohner and Chandler families, the Tangipahoa Parish 911 staff, and all who knew Gracie.
Tangipahoa Parish 911 said this about the loss of one of their own:
“It is with an extremely heavy heart to say that we have lost one of our own, Tangipahoa Parish Communications Operator 918, Grace Chandler, gained her angel wings this morning April 16, 2022.
We are asking for everyone’s thoughts and prayers for our work family as well as Grace’s family and friends during this time. Gracie devoted her life to helping protect the people of Tangipahoa & St Helena Parish. She was the glue that held us all together when times were tough. She had a heart as pure as gold and many felt the effects from it. Gracie was not just a dispatcher she was our family. Please keep Gracie’s family, our 9-1-1 family and our surrounding agencies in your prayers. We will forever have Grace in our hearts. We love you Gracie Lou! End of Watch 4/16/22″
The Husser Volunteer Fire Department changed their profile picture in honor of their “dear friend.”
HVFD accompanied that change with this message:
In honor of our dear friend, Grace Rohner Chandler, we turn our profile gold. Dispatchers are the true FIRST responders. They are the “voice in the air” who guide us day and night, and we so are so very thankful for them. Please keep her family and coworkers at 911 in your thoughts and prayers.
On Saturday afternoon, the Natalbany Volunteer Fire Department posted this message on their Facebook page:
“Please keep the Family of Grace Rohner Chandler in your prayers. We lost a great 9-1-1 dispatcher this morning. Grace you will be missed Heroes don’t always wear capes, some wear headsets.”
The Tangipahoa Parish Fire District #1 also changed their profile picture in honor of Grace Chandler and posted these thoughts on Facebook:
We are shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic passing of Grace Chandler. Gracie devoted her life to helping protect the people of Tangipahoa Parish and the surrounding areas. The Thin Gold Line is beautifully placed between the Thin Red Line and the Thin Blue Line, because the dispatcher is the calming voice in the dark and the golden glue that holds it all together. Gracie was that glue. To many she was a dispatcher, to us she was a friend. She was never afraid to call us and chat about anything work related or not. Her calming voice will be greatly missed. We love you Gracie.
Please join us in praying for Gracie’s family and friends.
One of Grace Chandler’s best friends, Vanessa Grace Corbin had this to say about the loss of someone she considered a sister.
Everyone dreads and fears “that phone call,”…well Saturday morning on April 16th I got “that phone call.” My best friend of 45 yrs had been in a horrible accident and it took her life. I just remember handing the phone over , feeling numb, and screaming. At the time tears wouldn’t come because I still didn’t want to believe it. A few minutes later I started getting myself together to head to her family. On the car ride there things started seeming more real after seeing Facebook posts and getting calls and lots of texts. It even became more real when we happened to pass her car that was still on the wrecker with the other vehicle as well, (a sight I will never unsee). As we approached her family I just lost it because I could see them hurting so bad along with what I had stored up. As I was there the state trooper came by to talk and did confirm she was hit head on with a driver that had been drinking.
I hope out of this tragedy it will touch many lives and get it through to someone that drinking and driving is so dangerous and it takes innocent lives. Now my best friend is gone, had to leave her husband, 4 girls, 2 grand babies and many many family members and friends behind because of this senseless act.
My heart will forever be broken and NEVER be the same.