Ruth Chandler juggles raising daughters with public relations work
Ruth Chandler, an off-and-on resident of La Jolla, earned her bachelor’s degree in communications. The media coordinator for the La Jolla Historical Society, and past media consultant for the San Diego Air & Space Museum, she has done PR work for Scripps Oceanography’s annual Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest, and she volunteers with the La Jolla Christmas Parade.
Beginning in 1983, Chandler was an international flight attendant for Continental Airlines, and later chief flight attendant for Al Neuharth, founder and chairman of USA Today. She’s traveled to 23 countries, including Vietnam, Moscow and Egypt.
In between her flying careers, she was introduced to the exuberant world of Washington, D.C. social society when she worked for former White House Social Secretary, the late Gretchen Poston, and on Ronald Reagan’s second Inaugural committee.
Currently, Chandler is a member of the National Charity League with her daughters, and she also volunteers at The Gillispie School, All Hallows Academy, and Stella Maris Academy.
What brought you to La Jolla?When my naval test pilot dad retired, after serving as commanding officer of NAS Miramar, my parents bought their house in La Jolla overlooking the Pacific Ocean. After attending 11 schools due to dad’s career, I knew I was finally home.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
As with most locals, I’d give my eyeteeth to see Torrey Pines less impacted when I’m running late for hair or client appointments!
Who or what inspires you?I am surrounded by blessings and inspiration — my sister, Connie, for her incredible selflessness; my brother-in-law, Jerry Englert, for his business acumen; and my other brother-in-law, Eric Figi, for his faith.
But no one tops my dad, Hap Chandler, who at 88-years-young, is the epitome of character, integrity, honor and awe-inspiring self discipline. Of course, I also draw inspiration from my two enchanting daughters, Chandler and Madison.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?I’d include business dynamos and great moms: Sharman Dye; Moreen Fielden; Nancy Warwick; Wendy Segal; Erma Bombeck; Annie McBee; my “baby”sister, Alison Figi; and my mother, Marjorie Chandler. Since I’m only as good as the directions on the box, let’s hope Sharman takes command and caters!
What are you reading?I’m a voracious, but eclectic, reader across the genre spectrum. I love anything by Vince Flynn, Nelson Demille, and Brad Thor, but I also love re-reading the classics required in my daughters’ English classes.
What is your most-prized possession?My sister Alison has always said I have an Erma Bombeckian sense of humor, taking the banal and twisting it into the absurdly funny. Without that sense of humor, life would be too grim.
What do you do for fun?Raising two teenage daughters as a single mom doesn’t allow time for a lot of “fun” per se, but I think I derive entertainment from my daughters and their friends. I love to watch all these wonderful, engaging and riotously funny girls interact. Witnessing my children thrive gives me great joy.
What is your most-marked characteristic?I had to call my dad on this one! After thinking a few moments, he said my vivaciousness and sense of curiosity. Since he knows me best, I’ll stick with those. My daughters said it was my strength they most admire.
What would be your dream vacation?After my youngest daughter graduated from eighth-grade, my dad piloted my second mom, Nancy Ann, my sisters and I along with my daughters, back to Washington, D.C. on his Cessna Citation to visit our extended family. It was the first time my children saw my old stomping grounds and caught lightning bugs. We visited old haunts of my dad’s and toured his childhood home on the grounds of the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
The Library of Congress scheduled a special tour and private showing of Wright Brothers’ memorabilia to honor my dad. So, in a way, I’ve already been on that dream vacation since it included every person I love most!
What is your motto or philosophy of life?“To thine own self be true,” and my philosophy mirrors that of the great Auntie Mame who pronounced, “Live! That’s the message! Life is a banquet and most [people] out there are starving to death!”