George Winfred Chapman (1919-2017)
FARMINGTON - George Winfred Chapman, 97, of Farmington passed away Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at Sandy River Center.
He was born in Farmington on July 29, 1919 the son of Winfred A. and Ruth (Cook) Chapman.
He attended grammar school at The Farmington Normal School, now University of Maine Farmington, and was the first class to graduate from the Mallett School. He graduated from Farmington High School in 1937 and attended Farmington State Teachers College.
George came from a very musical family and started playing cornet while in the third grade. The family had its own little orchestra as his brother Charles played piano, his sister Gwendolyn the violin, and his father "Chippie" on the drums. They played at many local functions and could be heard Saturday nights playing for the dances at the Temple Grange Hall.
In February 1942 George was called to serve his country. After basic training at Camp Croft, S.C., he was assigned to The Fourth Division. Because of his musical ability he became a member of The Division Band. He was assigned overseas in Jan. 1944 and was one of the first divisions to land on the Normandy coast on D-Day. He was selected to play taps at the funeral of Brig. General Theodore Roosevelt who had died of a heart attack in France; his father was the famous "Rough Rider" Teddy Roosevelt.
While stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey he met Loretta Nowotarski of Reading, PA. They were married Sept. 13, 1943. He and his bride returned to Farmington following his discharge in Oct. 1945. In 1948 he went to work for the Farmington Post Office where he eventually became the Assistant Postmaster.
He continued with his cornet playing with Al Brackley's Dixie Land Band, The Mainonians, Rip George Big Band, and many more local combos. The Post Office also had a small band in October 1952 that George formed and named "The Old Crow Indian Band" and he directed it for more than 20 years. Most memorable formations being at Fenway Park for State of Maine Day twice and The New York World's Fair in New York 1964.
George became involved in youth baseball, coaching from the Farm League thru to the Senior League, a period of 10 years.
In 1970 he and his wife became caretakers at the Nordica Homestead. In 1973 he and his wife returned to Reading, PA. He also continued with his music playing in the Wyomissing Concert and Marching Band, directed by one of his old Army buddies. In 1983 they returned to Maine.
George was a lover of golf and was a past member of Wilson Lake, Maple Lanes, and Sandy River Country Clubs. During his years of playing golf he had three aces (hole in ones). He also bowled and became very active in the Senior League. He became Secretary in 1987 and was one of the key factors in building this league into its present 80+ members. He was also a member of the Franklin County Bowling Association for many years. He was awarded Director of the Year, Bowler of the Year, The Merit Award, and elected into the FCBA Hall of Fame.
He was a member of St. Joseph Parish, Knights of Columbus, The Church Choir, and served two terms on the Parish Council.
George is survived by his daughter Susan and husband Charles Spear; his son John; two grandsons Sean Spear and Scott Chapman; his granddaughter Meika Carter; four great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Honoring George's request there will be a private Memorial Service. Arrangements under the care of Adams-McFarlane Funeral & Cremation Services, 108 Court St., Farmington.
Condolences may be sent for the family at www.adamsmcfarlane.com
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