Franklin Countys First News

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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13 Responses »

  1. George was a long time friend of mine and my whole family. He was well known in Farmington and surrounding areas.George will be missed by many and I send my prayers and thoughts to his children and all family members. RIP George and you served the military and all you did with great job well done.See you someday again GeorgeMarjorie Andrews Grover

  2. Deepest sympathies to the family. George was a great man with a smile for everyone.

  3. Sue & John
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I will always remember him as "Coach" of the Farmington Braves baseball Little League team in the 1950s.

  4. Sue & Family
    My condolences to all of you. Loved George (and your Mom) and used to enjoy visits with them as a teenager, young adult, and later when I came back to Maine for time during the summer - on the golf course! RIP.

  5. George was a wonderful man, The Brownrigg's always enjoyed his participation and friendship. RIP George.

  6. I was lucky to be part of the Old Crow Band for several years (including the New York World Fair trip) and enjoyed his musical tutelage immensely. Great memories. My condolences to his family.

  7. Wow unbelievable loss... We all remember George here... it's sad to here of his passing he was a kind man... condolences to his family and friends...

  8. My deepest sympathy to George's family. Fond memories of George & The Old Crow Indian Band and all the parades we took part in. RIP George, will miss seeing you at Church in Farmington when we visit.

  9. Sue and Family - Very sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. I'll bet he is playing golf with my dad and my dad is dancing to his tunes

  10. Eleven yrs ago I was asked by our pastor to bring the Eucharist to George and Loretta at their home. What a privilege to get to know them. Our visits continued after Loretta passed and I loved to listen to George's stories. He will be missed by many.

  11. Sue, John and all of George's family. So sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. He was always a very friendly
    person. I always enjoyed chatting with him when he worked at the post office and anytime I ran into him, we always chatted for a while.

  12. My deepest sympathy to your family. Always enjoyed both George and Loretta. May you know you are all in our thoughts and prayers, RIP! Ann & Alden

  13. Sue and John, There are SO many wonderful memories with our two families---so much laughter 'back in the day'. Nobody could NOT LOVE your Mom and Dad! In my memory, 99% of the time involved smiling and 'making fun' for all of us! I LOVED being at your house on Fridays when you did not eat meat! Crab cakes!!! YES!!!! What a treat for this heathen protestant!! ;-) The lake time will always be special.
    George was such a mover/shaker in our time with his enthusiasm and joy in The Old Crow Band and for everything he did!! Knowing that things change as our parents age, I am rather certain the laughter ebbed. Having said that, I am so very sorry you have lost your dad, but you have wonderful memories to fall back on as well as a long list of people behind you who will always remember this special man!! XO

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