SEBAGO LAKE – Professor Emeritus Ben Roberts Chapman, 85, passed away March 12, 2013. Born Sept. 1, 1927, in Portland, he was the son of the late Abram Hill Chapman and Louise Andrews Roberts Chapman of Portland.
Ben was a graduate of Deering High School in 1945, New Hampton Prep School in 1948, and the University of Maine College of Engineering, where he received Bachelor of Science degree in 1952 and master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1963. He also attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore, for postgraduate studies and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute doctoral program. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Pi honor societies at the University of Maine. Professor Chapman started his career as a project engineer with the National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C. That was followed by an appointment as assistant to the supervisor of production planning, U.S. Army, Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Denver, Colo. In 1956 he accepted an appointment to the faculty of Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Maine, a position he held for 38 years, retiring in 1994. He was a professional engineer of the state of Maine, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and for many years was the faculty advisor to the student branch of American Society of Mechanical Engineers at the university. Ben served in the U.S Army Signal Corps in World War II and again in the Engineer Corps during the Korean War. Ben’s enjoyment of music began as a member of the Lincoln Junior High School band continuing at Deering High School and the University of Maine. He was an avid marksman, a founding member of Forest City Rifle Club, a letterman for the University of Maine Rifle Team, a member of the Washington D.C. Pistol Club and a life member of the National Rifle Association. Ben returned from Washington, D.C., to the state of Maine after the passing of his father to assist his mother with the family business, The Pines and A. H. Chapman, Inc., Portland. Ben was always on the water at his beloved Sebago Lake, where he spent every summer from the age of 10 other than his years of service to his country. He was on the board of directors of the Friends of Sebago Lake, a member of Sokokis Water Ski Club and a life member of the American Water Ski Association. Ben spent many hours crafting woodworking projects and was known for his beautiful clocks. Ben and his wife, Dottie, were residents of Orono for close to 40 years, where he was a member of the United Methodist Church, Orono, and Mechanics Lodge of Masons No. 66 A.F. & A.M.
Ben is survived by his wife and best friend of 51 years, Dorothy Nancy McKenney Chapman; son, Ralph Abram Chapman; beloved daughter, Nancy Louise Chapman; and only grandson, Chapman “Chappy” McKenney Hall. He will be missed by a dear friend. Col. Nelson L. Thompson.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to United Methodist Church Camp Mechuwana Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 277, Winthrop, ME 04364 or Friends of Sebago Lake, FOSL, 385 Menotomy Road, Fryeburg, ME 04037. For online condolences, please go to www.blaisandhayfuneralhome.com