September 1, 1928 - May 21, 2020
Richard Wayne Chapman was born September 1, 1928, and passed from this life May 21, 2020 at St. Francis Hospital, Tulsa, OK, from complications due to COVID-19. He was born to Byron and Charlotte “Zoe” (Beal) Chapman in Jefferson, OK on the property homesteaded by his maternal grandfather, Oliver Beal, in the land run of 1889. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers: Merle and wife, Betty Jo; Eugene and wife, Dixie; Dale and wife, Mary; sister, Lois Wood, and husband, Weldon “Woody;” and wife, Louise. He is survived by his daughter, Joan Hatley; grandsons: Dylan Hatley; and Jonathan Hatley, and wife, Ellie; son, David Chapman, and wife Melissa; granddaughter, Crystal Chapman; great-granddaughters: Danica Sims and Sabrina Davis; grandson, Daxon Chapman, and wife Amanda; great-grandson, Reece Chapman; grandson, Timothy Chapman; step-granddaughters: Bronwyn Spain, husband, John, and their son, Jess; and Cecily Tawney; mother of his children, Dr. Marilyn Carver; and numerous nieces and nephews. Richard grew up in and around Pond Creek, OK, and graduated from Pond Creek High School in 1946. He attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College for one year. Richard and his best friend, Lloyd “Gus” Gates, worked the wheat harvest every June. He was loading hay bales the summer of 1948 when a friend drove up in a pickup, said they were headed to Panhandle A & M to play football on a scholarship, and asked if Richard would like to come and see if he could get in, too. He tried out and was awarded a scholarship for room and board, but he lacked the $30 necessary for tuition. A banker in Pond Creek loaned him the money and said to pay it back whenever he could, which Richard did. After earning a Bachelor of Science in History at Panhandle A & M, Richard enlisted in the Navy and served for two years. With an honorable discharge, he found employment teaching history and driver’s ed, and coaching football at Henryetta High School, where he met Marilyn, who was the vocal music teacher at the Jr. High school. They married in 1956 and had two children before moving to Tulsa in 1963, where Richard had been hired as head track coach and a history teacher at the year-old Memorial High School. In 1965, “Coach” as he became known, was hired as head football coach at Edison High School, where, in his second season, he led his team to win the District Championship title. Coach was named Tulsa Tribune Coach of the Year in 1966. He coached and taught at Edison for seven years before returning to Memorial High School as head tennis coach. He retired for a year in 1986, before being hired to coordinate the in-house program at Nathan Hale High School, a position he held for several years before retiring completely. In 1988, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame, and also was inducted into both the Edison High School and Memorial High School Coaches Halls of Fame, as well as the Oklahoma Track Coaches Hall of Fame. He was a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association, Oklahoma Officials Association, was an All-State Coach in 1963, and helped coach the Memorial Chargers to their State Championship title in 1980. During his teaching career, Coach Chapman took post-graduate courses at the University of Oklahoma, earned a certificate in Driver’s Education from Oklahoma State University, and earned a Master of Science in Education from Northeastern Oklahoma State University. Upon arriving in Tulsa in 1963, Richard was hired as a lifeguard at Southwood Country Club, and became pool manager a few years later. For two decades, he took impeccable care of the pool and its grounds, trained many lifeguards, and ran a tight ship. For his last few years at Southwood, he hired daughter, Joan, as assistant pool manager, and thus ensued many hilarious catastrophes while he was away at wheat harvest. Whether it was someone draining the pool or the health department shutting the pool down, Richard could count on being called in off his combine to take a phone call about this year’s disaster! No one could every figure out why those things only happened when he was away, harvesting wheat. Richard inherited his mother’s talents for cooking and gardening. He took pride in having the most beautiful yard on his block, and shared his bountiful crops of tomatoes, okra, and other vegetables, and canned thousands of jars of vegetables and sauces. He made a mean apple salad, and could always be counted on to bring at least one pie to the family gatherings. At Christmas, each child and grandchild received his or her own bag of peanut butter balls and Chex mix, and the adults were gifted jars of pickles and bags of pecans, which Richard had shelled himself. Richard’s son and daughter were truly his pride and joy, and he attended numerous games, concerts, recitals, graduations, and class presentations not only of theirs, but of his grandchildren’s as well. When arriving at a school for a program, he would head for the cafeteria, hoping for a cup of coffee. He would introduce himself to everyone in the office before heading off for the program. In his room at school, he had an entire bulletin board dedicated to his children where he posted pictures and programs for his students to see. He celebrated all his children’s accomplishments, and drove them and his grandchildren to countless music lessons and sports activities. Until his body betrayed him, he could be found on the floor with the kids at any family gathering. Coach never met a stranger, and in any situation would soon have introduced himself to each person in the room and asked what high school they had attended. He had a servant’s heart and was at his happiest when helping others. Most mornings of his retirement, he arose, walked several miles at Woodland Hills mall, baked or cooked something, and took it to one of the many people he knew who were homebound, recovering, or grieving. He mailed thousands of greeting cards to those he knew and loved, including a miniature Bible in most. He and his sister, Lois, would share cards they had received with each other by mail, always with the request to “return this, please!”. Richard Chapman was a unique and precious man who lived his life bringing beauty and kindness to this world. He read his Bible daily and filled it with hand-written comments, prayers, celebrations, and observations. He loved his family and put them first in everything he did. He loved hugging his mother, playing dominos with his father and brothers, dancing with his sister, and every minute he got to spend with his children. He taught his children and grandchildren how to follow Christ’s teachings, not with his words, but by his actions. He touched thousands of lives in his teaching and coaching, and many former students kept in touch with him over the decades because of the impact he had on their lives. The world is a much richer place because he was in it, and will be dimmer without him. We rejoice that he will spend eternity with his Savior, and look forward to the time we are reunited with him. Private service. Visitation: Thursday, May 28, 2020, 2:00-4:00, Floral Haven Funeral Home, 6420 S. 129th E. Ave, Tulsa, OK. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Richard Wayne Chapman was born September 1, 1928, and passed from this life May 21, 2020 at St. Francis Hospital, Tulsa, OK, from complications due to COVID-19. He was born to Byron and Charlotte “Zoe” (Beal) Chapman in Jefferson,... View Obituary & Service Information
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