Cover photo for Dr. Daniel R. Chamberlain's Obituary
1932 Dr. Daniel 2024

Dr. Daniel R. Chamberlain

August 22, 1932 — May 31, 2024

Ocean Springs

Dr. Daniel Robert Chamberlain, affectionately known as Dan, passed away on May 31, 2024, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He was born on August 22, 1932, in Mexico, Missouri, grew up in California and Jamaica, and spent his professional life in California, Pennsylvania and New York. He was a man of family and faith who dedicated his life serving in Christian higher education, utilizing his intellect and passion to make a difference in the lives of countless individuals and numerous academic institutions. 

Dan is survived by his beloved wife of 72 years, Joyce Fay Books Chamberlain. Together they raised a large family and were devoted parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Even though the clan was scattered across the country they made a point to attend performances and special events of their children and grandchildren, including most high school, college and doctoral graduations. The family gathers every other year for a reunion (with over 50 attending), enjoying as Dan & Joyce did, volleyball, beach time, board games, food, story-telling, piñatas and the hilarious musical "follies." The couple traveled the world and were gracious hosts in their home. They entertained and inspired many, singing duets of both sacred and secular music throughout their lives. 

They started their family early and added to it often. From 1953 - 1963 they had seven children and 18 years later “adopted” a visiting student from Taiwan. Dan was the proud father of D. Rodney (Anne Findlay), Mark (Beth Fry), Anthony (Ruthanne Lee), Priscilla (Daniel Hollander), Aletha (Philip Huffman), Cynthia (Farel Becker), Marianne (Jonathan Pinter) and Denna Ho (Michael Fan). His children and grandchildren span the country and the globe, most following his academic pursuits and many earning post graduate degrees. Each of his children is married, growing the family to over 25 grandchildren and as many great-grandchildren (and counting!). Dan is survived by siblings Ruth Price, Ray W. Chamberlain Jr. and Charles Dow Chamberlain. He was preceded in death by sister, Betty Jean Rosentrater and brother, Francis Bruce Chamberlain, as well as his parents, Ray Willis Chamberlain and Marianne Elizabeth Horine Chamberlain. 

Dr. Chamberlain's educational journey began by completing high school via correspondence courses while living in Jamaica, where his parents served as missionaries. There he attended a Pilgrim Holiness Bible School. He traveled to California at age 16 where he earned a bachelor's degree from Upland College. He completed a Doctorate of Education at University of Southern California. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Chamberlain held various leadership positions in the field of education. Even before completing his doctorate, he was a high school principal and later the college president of his Alma Mater, Upland College. From 1965 to 1967, he served as the Assistant University Dean for the SUNY system. Following that, he worked eight years as the Academic Dean of Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA. His most notable and longest held role was as the President of Houghton College in western New York, where he served from 1976 to 2006. At his retirement at age 74, he was one of the longest serving college presidents in the country. Dr. Chamberlain's commitment to improving educational organizations, his dedication to excellence and the philosophy of developing "servant leaders" has left a lasting impact on the institutions and the thousands of faculties, staff and students he served. 

In addition to his professional achievements, Dan was an ardent sports enthusiast, playing basketball, volleyball and racquetball well into his 70s. Even if not participating, Dan enjoyed watching high school and college sports, especially cheering on his own children and later, the student athletes where he worked. He had a curious mind and was an avid reader, teaching a speed-reading course when possible. He had a knack for mechanics and took pleasure in being thrifty by completing auto and household repairs himself. 

Dan's faith was an integral part of his life, and he found solace and community in various churches over the years. He worshiped at Pilgrim Holiness, Brethren in Christ, and Wesleyan Churches. He regularly taught adult Sunday School, leading class members to new and deeper insights from the Bible. He was also an ordained minister and often filled in for pastors, giving sermons and chapel homilies that were thought provoking and inspirational. 

Dr. Daniel Robert Chamberlain will be remembered as a man who lived a dedicated life of purpose and service. His passion for education, love for his family, and commitment to his faith will forever resonate with those who had the privilege of knowing him. He leaves behind a united, loving family and a professional legacy of distinction that will continue to inspire future generations. 

Memorial donations can be made in Dan's name to Brooksville Wesleyan Church building fund, Brooksville, Florida or to a charity of one's choice. 

A funeral service will be held Thursday, June 6, 2024 at 11 AM, with viewing and visitation at 10AM at the Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. A live stream of the funeral services will be viewable below.

Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Homes is honored to serve the family of Dr. Daniel Chamberlain.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Daniel R. Chamberlain, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, June 6, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home - Ocean Springs

911 Porter Avenue, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, June 6, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home - Ocean Springs

911 Porter Avenue, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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