When reflecting on the life of Richard Chapman, words such as hard working, quiet, and gentle come to mind, yet the word that is most fitting to describe him would be selfless. Richard had a generous heart and loved to give back to the community he loved. There simply wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for a friend or family member in need. A lover of the outdoors, he spent a lifetime of fishing, boating, and relaxing with family and friends around Bear Lake and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Never one to hold a grudge or share a bad word about anyone, Richard was an exceptionally accepting and caring man. He leaves behind a wonderful collection of fond memories shared over the years for his many close friends and family to treasure for generations.
Not much could be said about the 1940’s without some reference to WWII. In fact, June 6th of 1944 was the war’s most notorious day, D-Day, which occurred on the beaches of Normandy, marking the end of the war in Europe. During that same year, Richard was born to Charles Edward and Thelma May (Armstrong) Chapman on December 3rd in Marion, Indiana. Born a youngest son after Charles and Donald, he lived a happy childhood full of adventure and boyhood wonder.
Growing up with a set of hardworking parents, Richard respected a hard day’s work from an early age. His father was a truck driver and his mother worked long hours at a machine factory. Raising all boys, there is no doubt that they each stirred up their fair share of trouble! As a young child, Richard showed interest in building model airplanes and playing with miniature plastic Army men, which kept him busy. Richard was especially close with his older brother, Don who joined him in playing countless hours of swimming during their summers together. They also did some rabbit hunting, fishing, and played baseball to fill those long summer days. During the winter months, the boys all enjoyed spending time out on the ice skating or playing a competitive game of hockey. Although they had their typical dose of sibling rivalry, those formative years established a close bond that lasted well into their adult years. As a teen, Richard kept his teachers on their toes and it was often said that Wolf Lake High School let him graduate because they didn’t want him back! So it was no surprise that one of his proudest moments for him and his family was when he graduated with the Class of 1962!
Before then the family had relocated to Bear Lake to be closer to Richard’s Aunt Clesta and Uncle Verly. They owned a cabin and a house on nearby Dollar Lake. Richard’s family moved into their cabin before settling into a house of their own. Richard loved living on the lake and shared so many wonderful memories there with his brothers and extended family. However, Bear Lake would prove to be even more important as it was the setting for meeting his bride-to-be, Sharon Grabner. Hanging out with mutual friends around the area, they were introduced and the rest is history! Joining in marriage on March 29,1969, they couldn’t wait to start their lives together. He and Sharon lived a modest life raising their four wonderful children; Susan, Sarah, Richard, and Daniel. Close-knit and content in one another’s company, they taught them the simple values in life; to be kind, to be caring, and to live life to the fullest! Family meant everything to Richard, and he was proud of each and every one of them.
He and Sharon spent many wonderful years together until sadly she passed away in January of 2011. Richard continued on after and leaned on his special interests to keep himself busy. He loved the solitude of fishing and gardening and in the long winter months, he enjoyed watching old Western movies or PBS. Although he loved his role as a father, Richard was delighted to have grandchildren. Charles, Robert, William, and Lucie brought him great joy and he loved spending time with each of them. He looked forward to visiting with them and sharing in their many accomplishments. Sadly, Richard passed away and his warm personality, as well as his unconditional love for his special friends and close family, will be greatly missed.
Richard Allen Chapman, 72 of Payne passed away July 22, 2017, at Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Indiana. He worked at Tuthill Corp in New Haven. Richard will be sadly missed by his children, Susan (Charles) Tebbe of Holland, Michigan, Sarah (Chad) Thornell of Convoy, Ohio, Richard II (Wendy) of Niles, Michigan & Daniel of Onondaga, Michigan; his 98 year old mother, Thelma (nee Armstrong) of Columbia City, Indiana; brother, Donald of Wolf Lake, Indiana & grandchildren, Charles Tebbe & Robert, William & Lucie Chapman. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon (Grabner), father, Charles & brother, Charles. Service is Saturday, 11 am with viewing one hour prior at Dooley Funeral Home, 5761 SR 500, Payne. Viewing is also Friday, 4 – 7 pm at Dooley Funeral Home. He will be laid to rest at Lehman Cemetery. Memorials are to be made to Memorial Regional Cancer Center, 615 N. Michigan St, South Bend, Indiana 46601. Fond memories may be shared at www.dooleyfuneralhome.com
Richard Allen Chapman, 72 of Payne passed away July 22, 2017 at Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Indiana
Richard was born in Marion, Indiana of Dec. 3, 1944.
He worked at Tuthill Corp., New Haven. Richard will be remembered by his family and friends as a quiet, gentle man.
Richard will be sadly missed by his children, Susan (Charles) Tebbe of Holland, Michigan, Sarah (Chad) Thornell of Convoy, Ohio, Richard II (Wendy) of Niles, Michigan & Daniel of Onondaga, Michigan; mother, Thelma (nee Armstrong) of Columbia City, Indiana; brother, Donald of Wolf Lake, Indiana & grandchildren, Charles Tebbe & Robert, William & Lucie Chapman
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon (Grabner), father, Charles & brother, Charles.
Service is Saturday, 11 am with viewing one hour prior at Dooley Funeral Home, 5761 SR 500, Payne.
Viewing is also Friday, 4 – 7 pm at Dooley Funeral Home.
He will be laid to rest at Lehman Cemetery.
Memorials are to Memorial Regional Cancer Center, 615 N. Michigan St, South Bend, Indiana 46601
Fond memories may be shared at www.dooleyfuneralhome.com