Rocky was born on December 17, 1925 in Brockton, Massachusetts to Ruth Covert Chandler and Erville Freeman Chandler. He attended Carson Long Military Academy in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania for his high school years.
Rocky served in World War II and the Korean War during his 20-year career in the United States Army. An avid hunter, his two favorite duty stations were Germany and Alaska. In 1965, Rocky retired as a Master Sergeant and moved to Perry County, Pennsylvania and taught at Carson Long Military Academy and then at Newport High School. He finished his teaching career in Fairbanks, Alaska where he was principal of Birch School.
Rocky was an adventurous man’s man, owning and flying four airplanes, hunting big game, boxing (he was 1949 Middleweight Champion of the Army in Europe), and sailing monohulls and catamarans. He hand-built three boats and three homes. Although he started around the world in 1972 in a 43-foot motor sailer, the boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico off Longboat Key, Florida during the approach of Hurricane Agnes. Rocky settled in Nokomis, Florida, where he sailed and wrote and in 1976 married Katherine Holman Reynolds.
Moving to St. Mary’s City in 1994, Rocky continued his writing career and rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle (“Old Dog”) until shortly before his death. He was a charter member of the Blue Knights motorcycle club for active and retired police.
Rocky’s 64 books include a series on the history of Perry County, Pennsylvania, books on Pennsylvania long rifles and gun makers and on hunting in Alaska, and the Marine Corps sniping series, Death from Afar. He appeared in The History Channel’s shows on snipers and was a consultant on the movie “Shooter.”
He is survived by his wife Katherine (Kate) Chandler, his sister Barbara Bates (Spokane, WA), and two brothers, Henry (Fork Union, VA) and Norman (Jacksonville, NC).
New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania is where Rocky will be buried and, at his request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. Anyone wishing to honor Rocky’s memory is asked by the family to make a donation in his name to the Hospice House of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
Condolences may be made to www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.
Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown, MD.