To RJR Class of 1958
Larry Chapman passed away on December 9, 2013. His wife Kathleen Lord was with
him when he died. No Obituary has been located at this time.
If you would like to send thoughts or memories to his wife, please write her
Kathleen Lord, 2715 Cody Circle, Unit 101, Bellingham, WA 98225
Larry Pinkney Chapman born July 1, 1940 in Greensboro, Guilford, North Carolina
Died December 8, 2013 in Bellingham, Washington
Eulogy by Gabriel Chapman
My father, Larry Chapman, was a loving man and a great source of
inspiration to everyone he touched. Whenever I hear the Shakespeare quote
“To thine own self be true” I think of him. Anyone who met him would be
quickly struck by his authenticity. My dad did not subscribe to social
mores, nor did he get caught up in the cultural phenomena of “keeping up
with the Joneses”.
One area of his life where this really manifested itself was in his
unusual level of generosity. For example, before he moved to Bellingham he
needed to sell his old house in New York. He received an offer on his
house, but he felt it was too high. He started a reverse haggling war
where he insisted the buyer offer less and the buyer was in the awkward
position of trying to convince my dad he should accept more money. They
eventually reached an equitable agreement. Can you imagine if all business
were done this way?
For much of his life, my dad had a great sense of adventure. He loved to
see new places, especially when nature was involved. As a child we would
traipse through the woods, climb mountains, sail various waters and visit
all sorts of beautifully inspiring places. We hiked in the mountains from
the Blue Ridge to the Catskills. We enjoyed beaches all over the East
Coast. He adventured across the country to Yosemite and Yellowstone with
family. Over the years we enjoyed extraordinary sunsets, horseback rides,
picnics, scenic drives, waterfalls and god’s creatures, both large and
Sometimes we would get into trouble by blazing our own path and ending up
in a sea of prickly things. One time in a pond in upstate New York, our
boat capsized just after my dad assured me of its steadiness, leaving us
in cold water for hours as we worked to push the boat and ourselves to
shore. These experiences taught me a valuable life lesson: To have
rewarding and beautiful experiences requires risk. If you aren’t willing
to suffer a little from time to time, you will miss out on some
My father was driven to be of service to others. He loved making a
difference in people’s lives. Whether it was helping people with their
chores, transporting people to church, cooking for his wife, and other
random acts of service, dad loved to help people.
He was always inclusive of others, and had a grand sense of family. Dad
treated children from previous and following marriages as his own. We were
raised to treat our half-siblings and step-siblings no differently. We are
all family. He even put Katie, a grandchild with no blood relation to him,
through private school and created an opportunity for her education she
would not have otherwise had.
As this community certainly knows, my father was a spiritual man. He spent
many of his years as a seeker, looking for a truth that resonated with
him. He developed a true love of God and embodied the best qualities of a
man of faith, humbly living with a great love in his heart and expressing
his faith in all areas of his life.
He always saw the best in people. A simple yet poignant example: If
someone cut him off on the highway, unlike many in our culture, he would
skip the obscene gesture and say something like, “They are racing to see
their mom in the hospital, It’s OK”. His calm and patience with people
were truly uplifting.
He literally never spoke ill of others. If he heard someone say something
unflattering about another he would find a positive point, say something
to encourage empathy, or simply say something like “God loves them”. It
was a gentle and kind reminder not to get too caught up in our negative
One of my father’s greatest traits was his integrity. He is the most
honest man I have ever known. He endeavored to keep his word and follow
through on his commitments. He was an upstanding and shining example of
what it means to be honorable.
The world was a better place with Larry Chapman in it, and he will be
missed. We love you dad.