|Birth: ||Aug. 5, 1948|
|Death: ||Dec. 18, 2003|
Don Eugene Chapman, of Fancy Gap, died Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003, in McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond, VA from complications following a two year battle with leukemia.
The son of Mary Retha Stevenson Chapman and the late Robert M. Chapman, Don was born Aug. 5, 1948, and lived a life that although short, was full and generous.
As the founder of One Special Christmas, a charity that has raised over half a million dollars to provide Christmas gifts for thousands of children in the past 15 years, he was a real life Santa Claus, complete with beard, twinkly blue eyes, and a laugh that was contagious.
In addition to his mother, Don is survived by his beloved wife, Bonnie White Chapman, four children: Michael Brendon Chapman and wife, Shawn, William Robert "Will" Chapman and wife, Cyndie, Emily Noelle Chapman Valenti and husband Joseph, all of Mooresville, N.C., and John Chalmers Chapman of Fancy Gap. He also leaves six grandchildren; Kalyn, Aaron, and David Chapman, and Gabriel, John Joseph, and Eliana Valenti, as well as a host of friends and loved ones, including Brenda Clarke, his first wife and mother of his three oldest children.
A talented artist, Don served as combat artist with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam. He graduated from Memphis College of Art, and has works in private collections around the country, as well as a piece hanging in the Brooks Gallery in Memphis, and four pieces in the Smithsonian. His award-winning talent seems to have been inherited, particularly developing in daughter Emily and grandson Gabriel.
He taught art, sculpture, painting, furniture building and oversaw the woodshop at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte for a number of years. It was through classes there that much of the furniture was built and log cabins were crafted, then auctioned each year to raise money for One Special Christmas.
In recent years, Don and Bonnie ran Chapman Log Construction, offering classes in log home construction and building log homes. The family plans to continue the company.
A graveside service to celebrate Don's life was held at 1 p.m. on Monday, in Collins Cove Cemetery in Wythe County. Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Funeral Home in Hillsville, handled the arrangements.
After the service, the family greeted friends at the home of Alan Mayfield.
Further information and a guest register are available online at onespecialchristmas.org, and memorials may be sent to One Special Christmas, 3817 Smokerise Hill, Charlotte, N.C. 28277.
Collins Cove Cemetery
Created by: Sue Hale Sheppard
Record added: Feb 20, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65910018
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.