From Farm Boy to Global Ambassador

Written By: Chapters of Life - Feb• 05•18



I enjoyed working with Thomas Chandler Jr. of San Jose, California, in publishing his memoirs, From Fa rm Boy to Global Ambassador, in 2017. During our interviews, he shared a remarkable story of how a dyslexic pig farmer from Illinois become Southeast Asia director of a worldwide missions organization providing relief to victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, flooding, and other natural disasters. His ability to play basketball opened doors for educating a “dumb jock” and enabled him to spread the Good News to people in thirty-two nations. In this book, with humor and humility, Thomas Chandler Jr. explains how he came to know Jesus Christ and become a global ambassador by putting feet to His Word. God often uses the most unlikely people to spread His Good News. Here’s what Tom had to say about the experience:

“Because I’m acute dyslexic it is very difficult for me to read and write. When my granddaughter, Hannah, asked me a few years ago to write down my “missionary stories,” I was frustrated on how to do that. Then a colleague, Linda Jo Reed, that I worked with at Partners International, recommended Julie McDonald Zander.

“Julie and I clicked from the first moment we met. She is easygoing, listens well and is very perceptive. I would just talk … often on ‘rabbit trails,’ yet Julie was able to follow a theme and timeline. She is professional in following all the requirements of good authorship and publishing. We were the perfect match for each other. She understood this farm boy and patiently was able to community my life story in written form with excellence.”

Thomas Chandler Jr., San Jose, California

Parents’ Life Story Immortalized

Written By: Chapters of Life - Feb• 05•18

Two years ago, I was honored to help Dorothy “Dotty” Jean (Stump) Light published her book, Busy and Blessed: The Memoirs of Dotty Jean (Stump) Light. She passed away in April but first shared her life story with friends and family. During 2017, I helped her husband, Frank M. Light, publish his book, Glimpses of Life: The Memoirs of Frank M. Light. His story tells of growing up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he learned to ski shortly after he started walking. He served in the Army, earned a degree in music education, taught for five years, and opened a music store in Springfield, Oregon. He married the love of his life, and they raised eight beautiful children together. I worked with his daughter, Lise’, to publish both her parents’ books. Here’s what she had to say:

“Our family is tickled silly to have our Dad, Frank Light’s memoirs Glimpses of Life written and completed, and all before Christmas! We are indebted to Julie in making his dream a reality. Without Julie’s knowledge, experience, and dedication, the completion of his memoirs would never have happened. Because of Julie, Daddy’s stories are now permanent and in print for friends and family to enjoy – both for this present generation and the ones yet to come.

“Julie is gifted in her ability to get people to feel at ease, open up and tell their stories.   Her skill in editing and grammar is irreplaceable.

“Julie’s recommendation to use Gorham printing for the project was perfect.  They did an excellent job. Books look great!

“Prior to Christmas of 2016, Julie was also invaluable in helping Mother, Dotty Light, complete her memoirs, Busy and Blessed.  She passed June of 2016. The family and those who knew her are extremely grateful to have what she considered the important riches of her life, written, printed in our possession to cherish.

“Kudos to you, Julie, and thank you!”

Lise’ Buell, Brush Prairie, Washington

Her sister, Amy Light of Vancouver, Washington, said this:

“Thanks so much for all your invaluable help with both of my parents’ memoirs. Daddy loves his book and says he likes it even more as he reads it. He’s looking forward to sharing with his friends and family.”


Nurse’s Diary of Training During World War II

Written By: Chapters of Life - Feb• 05•18

Once again I had the privilege of working with Judith Litchfield of Portland, who wrote Providence White Caps: The Diary of Bernice Lorang, RN.  She based the story on the diary her aunt kept while training at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Vancouver, Washington. This is Judy’s third book Chapters of Life has published. The first two were One Historic Summer at a Seaside Resort and Grand Canyon Rafting Adventures.

Grand Canyon Rafting Adventure

Written By: Chapters of Life - Apr• 18•15

For a friend’s sixty-fifth birthday, Judith A. Litchfield joined four other women for a bucket list trip rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. This book features stories of the trip and nearly 260 color photos of one of the Seven Wonders of the World as viewed from the river. To order the book, contact the author at julitch [at]



Pioneer Musings

Written By: Chapters of Life - Jan• 13•15

Pioneer Musings

Kitty (Allen) Wright Blair lived most of her life in Lewis County, Washington, where her family settled as pioneers in the Salkum area. She and her husband, Grant, had thirteen children. Shortly before her death in 1962, she wrote these recollections for her family. Copies may be purchased at the Lewis County Historical Museum and Book ‘n’ Brush in Chehalis.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2015

Written By: Chapters of Life - Dec• 27•14

Merry Christmas from the Zanders-1

These Walls Talk

Written By: Chapters of Life - Nov• 12•14

these walls talk005

The Lewis County Courthouse is now on the National and Washington State Registers of Historic Places. This book tells the history of the building through the eyes of the people who worked there through the decades. It is available at the Lewis County Commissioners’ office for $10.

God and Grandpa

Written By: Chapters of Life - Sep• 28•14

Paperback God and Grandpa cover

Justin Farrell and his grandfather drove the Alaska-Canada Highway and shared stories, memories, and wisdom along the way. This book tells about the trip and the memories they made and the faith they shared while traveling the highway.

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“Julie was an essential piece to the puzzle that allowed me to fulfill my dream of publishing a book. Her timely feedback and efficiency made this process so smooth. I am forever grateful for her expertise and commitment to creating the highest quality work.”

~ Justin Farrell, author of God and Grandpa


The Miracle Museum

Written By: Chapters of Life - Aug• 04•14

Twenty years ago, Lee Grimes awoke in the middle of the night to hear God speak clearly in his mind, “No, don’t let them forget. Go out and get their stories.”Lee feathered

That’s the condensed version of how Lewis County became home to a renowned museum showcasing stories of men and women who have sacrificed in service to their nation.Heeding that still small voice, Grimes purchased a video recorder and began gathering the stories of military veterans. As he did, many gave him uniforms, photos and memorabilia, and the Veterans Memorial Museum was born.

Now a book called “The Miracle Museum” tells the longer version and how veterans who have visited the museum in the past 15 years have received a warm welcome and hope and healing of wounded hearts. All proceeds from sale of the book benefit the museum.

When I met Grimes a decade ago and he told me how the museum started, the story lifted my heart and resonated in my spirit. How many of us hear that still small voice and fail to heed it? I need a sledgehammer from God to know what he wants me to do.

Then, in early 2010, while organizing a Northwest meeting of the Association of Personal Historians, I wanted people to see the museum so I emailed Grimes about renting the upstairs room. During our back-and-forth email correspondence, I wrote that someday I’d love to help him share the story of how the museum began. But then I erased that line, feeling that I was being rather presumptuous to suggest such a thing. Grimes responded by email and again thanked me for my efforts to promote the museum … and then said he hoped I would help him tell the story of “The Miracle Museum.” The sledgehammer!

I met with Grimes eight times that year, tapping furiously on my laptop as he shared fabulous stories about the people who helped start the museum and veterans who gave generously of time and talent to remodel the rental building in Centralia and construct the existing building in Chehalis. I often found myself swiping tears from my eyes as he told how God has worked in the lives of so many people, healing decades-old wounds and bringing peace to war-ravaged hearts.

Now, four years later, the book is at the printer’s and should be ready to sell in time for the July 31 through Aug. 3 visit by the Vietnam Traveling Wall, which will be open for public viewing 24 hours a day. The Brothers in Arms Motorcycle Club will escort the wall through Centralia and Chehalis to the museum July 30.


Why Me, Lord?

Written By: Chapters of Life - Aug• 04•14



Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Peter Slempa, Slempa, a member of the first Navy SEAL teams, signed copies of Why Me, Lord? last weekend at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis.

Pete served aboard the USS Worcester CL-144 before qualifying for an underwater demolition team. He became the first master chief of SEAL Team One, served six tours in Vietnam as a provincial recon unit advisor, and achieved the rank of master chief petty officer.

In his book, Slempa shares harrowing stories of life in the elite Sea, Air, Land squad formed January 1, 1962—plunging two stories from a cruiser during a typhoon, hurtling four yards after being hit by a semi traveling seventy miles an hour, and rupturing both eardrums when his two-man open cockpit submarine lost control and dove to 200 feet.

Reading his stories, I am amazed this man is alive today. His book can be purchased through the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis.