July 21, 1926 - September 8, 2016
Newark, Delaware | Age 90
T. Elbert Chance died on 8 September 2016 at Millcroft Senior Living in Newark, Delaware at the age of 90.
Born on 21 July 1926 in Wilmington, Elbert was the son of Louise Marshall and Albertus "Pete" Chance. He was educated in the Wilmington public schools, graduating from Conrad High School in 1944. He studied vocal performance at the Delaware Music Academy and Curtis Institute of Music. Following military service in 1945-46, he completed a BA in theater and MA in history at the University of Delaware.
Chance spent his working life at the University of Delaware as the school's Director of Alumni Relations. For 50 years, he was the U of D's stadium announcer, earning him the nickname, "the voice of the Fighting Blue Hens." He also announced the marching band shows, and was made an honorary member of the band in the 1970s. Chance was inducted into the University of Delaware Alumni Wall of Fame in 2003.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, Chance was the "go-to" baritone in New Castle County, performing with The Brandywiners, The Arden Singers, The Wilmington Chorale, The Breck's Mill Cronies, The Wilmington Opera Society, the choir of Christ Episcopal Church in Greenville, and numerous other church, musical, and theatrical organizations. He received OperaDelaware's W. W. Laird Award in 1991 for his contribution to the vocal arts in Delaware.
Chance was an avid golfer and served in many capacities on the board of Newark Country Club. He also served on the board of the Newark Senior Center.
He was the author of two books, "One Hundred Years of Delaware Football" and "The Blue Rocks: Past and Present." Chance was known to many Newark residents as the author of the "Per Chance" and "Newark as it was" columns in the Newark Post.
Elbert Chance was married twice, first in 1954 to Janet Bardo, and second in 1982 to Prudence Wyatt Leahy; both survive him.
Chance is survived by two daughters from his first marriage, Susan Chance-Rainwater and Karen L. Chance; and by two step-daughters from his second marriage, Margaret Leahy and Christine Leahy. A third step-daughter, Patricia Leahy McAllister, died in 2004.
Services will be held at 11AM on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church of Newark, 292 West Main Street, Newark, DE 19711 with a visitation beginning at 10AM. Burial will follow at Head of Christiana cemetery in Newark. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Newark Senior Center.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
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