Obituary: Brett Lawrence Chambers

By : Staff Report
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BrettChambersBrett Lawrence Chambers, 46, of Orlando, Florida, left this life peacefully on his birthday, Sunday, November 8, with his last hours surrounded by the love of his immediate family and dear friends at his bedside.

Brett was born and raised in St. Augustine Florida, the youngest of four brothers, and graduated from St. Augustine High School. Brett then left home for Gainesville to attend the University of Florida, where he graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Parks and Recreation. After graduation, Brett moved to Orlando where he chose to settle permanently. Since 2004, Brett worked for Travelers Insurance Company as a senior adjustor in the Work Comp/Claims division. Brett loved the arts, travel, fashion, cooking, spending time with his friends and visits to St. Augustine to catch up with his mother, with whom he held an especially deep relationship.

Brett was known by friends and coworkers alike for his big heart and broad smile – and even bigger bear hugs – to all who needed one. All who knew Brett regarded him as a genuinely caring person who offered encouragement to others as well as his time to a number of local organizations and community interests.

These community achievements included: the founding Orlando charter for City of Hope and many related fundraising events; a long-time board membership on the Colonialtown Neighborhood Association where he lived; campaign fundraisers for City of Orlando District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan; and perhaps most passionately, his contributions the Orlando chapter of Human Rights Campaign (HRC). John Ruffier, Partner at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster Canton & Reed, and former HRC Orlando Executive Committee Chairman, says, “Brett was one of the founding members of HRC in Orlando as member of our initial Steering Committee. Brett helped build HRC from the ground up, and our success was in no small part to Brett’s friendly and welcoming nature. He made our volunteers and members, as well as his fellow steering committee members, feel special and welcome – and not just anyone can do that with such genuine warmth. It’s a huge loss to HRC, but even more so to his family and the Orlando community as a whole. He is really going to be missed.”

Equality Florida Director of Transgender Inclusion Gina Duncan echoes this and adds, “Soon after I had transitioned and was feeling very alone, I received a call from this guy named Brett with an organization I had not heard of. He invited me to join him for lunch with some friends. We talked about everything going on at HRC, and I was hooked. I finally felt included and a part of creating change. After that, Brett and I became dear friends. We always joked that if we never found our true love, we would get married so we wouldn’t be alone. He was so warm, giving, compassionate and kind. My heart is broken and I will miss him so.”

As a longtime friend, Sheehan offers this sentiment: “Brett Chambers was a great friend. He was the first person to volunteer to help, whether it was a campaign, HRC, or neighborhood event. He was a hard worker and did even the most mundane task with enthusiasm. He gave of himself to the extreme, and we are all richer for having known him. His friends and family will always carry a piece of his heart in ours forever.”

Brett is survived by his parents, David and Dianne Chambers, brothers Scott Chambers and Glenn Chambers, and much extended family all in the St. Augustine area, as well as in Charlotte NC – and by his beloved dog Xander, a ShibaInu.

Memorial services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Parish located at 215 St. George St., St. Augustine, FL 32084 in the downtown square of St. Augustine at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Reception will be held at the Church immediately following services.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that you consider a donation to the Florida Hospital Foundation, 550 Rollins Street, 6th Floor, Orlando, FL 32803, 407-303-2784. Make checks payable to Florida Hospital Foundation in memory of Brett Chambers in the memo box.

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