Friends and former colleagues are remembering Lanel R. Chambers this weekend as a loving individual who was passionate about life and people.
Chambers died at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL April 13, four days after he was involved in a tragic accident on I-65 near exit 258 in Gary. He was 64. His funeral was held on Thursday, April 21 at First Baptist Church.
Chamber’s death stunned friends and former co-workers who knew him as a man who loved blues music, sports, volunteering for foster dads. He also loved to play cards and read. He attended Horace Mann High School, but Roosevelt High School (now Roosevelt College and Career Academy) was dear to his heart.
Chambers was a member of the First Baptist Church of Gary. Lanel is preceded in death by his parents Herman and YJean Staples Chambers. He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelors degree in Communications and served as a columnist for the Gary Crusader newspaper for many years. He was an educator at the Gary Career Center, where he was also radio personality at station WGVE/105 FM.
At the radio station, Chambers relished his role as sports announcer for special tournaments and major games. He also launched gospel morning programming on the airwaves every Saturday from 6 a.m. to noon. Active in the community, Chambers organized debates, roundtable discussions and produced the weeklong Miss Gary Scholarship Pageant with Crusader newspaper columnist Vernon Williams.
“I brought Lanel on board when I was station manager at WGVE,” said Williams. “It wasn’t because we were lifelong friends, it was because he was talented and competent; with work ethics beyond reproach. His easy-going personality was engaging for friends and strangers. And even though Lanel’s temperament was cool as the other side of the pillow, he had deep passion for people, places and things in which he believed. He will be missed.”
Lanel is survived by his beloved Fiancée Valerie Deloney, uncle Columbus (Ado) Chambers; aunts Martha Aikens and Annie (Larry) Carmichael and Selma Smoots and cousin Grace Ann Blakey.