HOLDEN – Major U.S. Army Ret. Harold L. “Chappy” Chapman, 87, died Nov. 20, 2012 at a Bangor hospital. He was born Jan. 16, 1925, in Brewer, the first of four sons of George S. and Dorothy (Gerow) Chapman.
Throughout his early years he lived in Bangor winters to attend school and in summers at the Chapman apple farm in Newburgh. Harold graduated from Bangor High School in 1943, and upon graduation was inducted into the U.S. Army and became a member of the Army Specialized Training Program at Purdue University. He served in World War II on the Rhineland, Holland and European Theater of Operations, in the 102nd Infantry Ozarks Division as a squad leader receiving two purple hearts, an Oak Leaf Cluster, a Bronze Star and the Victory Medal. He played in the regimental band, playing reveille every morning. He was separated from the Army as a staff sergeant, Jan. 19, 1946. He remained active in the Ozark Reserve which met in many U.S. cities, Europe and Alaska until it disbanded. Chappy started his college studies on the G.I. Bill at Farmington State College, transferring to the University of Maine, Orono, where he completed a BS in Science in 1950 and an MS in Science Education in 1954. While at U of M, he participated in ROTC and received the distinguished Military Cadet Award. He earned the rank of major and was a company commander in the 181st Yankee Division of Massachusetts from 1968 to 1985. His company saw duty in Worcester, Mass. during the tornado of 1953. His military service was a total of 39 years and 26 days. Harold taught science at Westborough, Mass., High School where he lived for 38 years. He received a National Science Foundation grant to study at Syracuse University earning an MS in Science with and Astronomy major. He earned his Ph.D in Science Education Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Storrs in 1970. He was chairperson of the Natural Science Department at Worcester State College (now University of Massachusetts at Worcester) for 29 years. He was an active leader of many scientific education groups including president of Mass Association of Science Supervisor and received the Distinguished Service Educator Award in 1981. Twenty of his retirement years were spent between Belize, Central America winters and summers in Beech Hill Pond, Otis. He and his wife sailed the Belize Reef from Mexico to Honduras. At Consejo Shores Belize, in addition to sailing, he enjoyed playing bridge and reading. He enjoyed hammock time both winter and summer. He was affiliated with Possum Point Marine Biological Station on Sittee River and Wee Wee Caye in the Caribbean. In Maine summers, he enjoyed the Bangor Band concerts and finally settled back in Holden, in 1988.
Harold is survived by his wife of 61 years, Priscilla (Roberts) Chapman of Holden; three sons, Stephen of Grafton, Mass., Jonathan and his wife, Theresa, of Dedham and Christopher of Holden; one granddaughter, Ashley Chapman of Douglas, Mass.; a niece, Cynthia Chapman of Bangor; and several cousins. He was predeceased by his third son, Jeffrey; and three brothers, Clifton, Frank and Carleton.
A memorial service with military honors will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25 at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor with the Rev. Grace Bartlett, minister of the First Congregational Church of Brewer, officiating. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor, immediately after the services Sunday. Interment will be at Chapman Cemetery, Newburgh in the spring of 2013. Those who wish to remember Chappy in a special way may make gifts in his memory to an educational institution, a civic organization of a charity of one’s choice. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.