Military veteran

Thomas Frank Chapman, 83, son of Horace Frank and Violet Alexandria (Elliott) Chapman, was born Dec. 11, 1928, in Chicago, Ill., the second of five children.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Patricia Mauriello; and his wife, Gay.

He is survived by two brothers, Edward and David Chapman; one sister, Eleanor Wokosin; four children, Eileen Reed and Russell Chapman of southern California, Kathy Visnaw of Las Vegas, Nev., and Marlene Young of Woodbury, Tenn; 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.

Tom was a long standing member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Church in Willow Springs, Mo.

Tom enlisted in the U. S. Navy in January 1949 and served his country with distinction through two wars, Korea and Vietnam, before retiring with the rank of Chief Petty Officer in May 1973.

He returned to school and graduated with a B.A. Degree in History from the California State University in Long Beach, Calf., in January 1975.

Tom was a passionate advocate of Veteran’s rights and was active in several Veterans’ organizations, including the American Legion, the Fleet Reserve Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Korean War Veterans Association and the Retired Enlisted Association among others.

Tom was also a Master Mason and a member in good standing at the Masonic Lodge #177 in Houston, Mo.

Tom loved to travel visiting Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and most, if not all, of the 50 United States. Tom loved music and dancing. He was also an avid bowler until later in life when his pace was slowed by health issues.

Tom and his wife, Gay, spent many years volunteering with the Red Cross, the local school board, The Houston Department of Parks & Recreation, the Houston Senior Center and various charitable organizations.

Tom, along with his wife, Gay, loved animals and always had a pet dog (or two) as a member of their family.

He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

A graveside inurnment with full military honors was 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, at Ft. Leonard Wood Veterans Cemetery with Pastor John Helmers officiating. Services were under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.

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