Chapman, Richard Gower "Dick" , 75, of Payson, Arizona, loving husband, father, and grandfather, died much too soon surrounded by his family on September 27, 2016 after a brief and courageous struggle with cancer. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, John Gower Chapman and Lucie (Lehman) Chapman. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, the love of his life, Rhoda Mae (Perkins) Chapman, daughter Laura Friesen (Phil), son Paul Chapman (Michelle McFee), his 7 grandchildren, Alexandra and Jacob Guyer, Kyle, Ryan, and Trey Chapman, and Jennifer and Joseph McFee, his two sisters Roberta Maki (Roland) and Joan Bryant (Blair), and many nieces and nephews. Dick was born in Lansing Michigan on November 27, 1940. He grew up in Holt, Michigan, attended Albion College and received his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration at Michigan State University. He was an avid sportsman his entire life. In high school he played baseball, basketball, and football and continued his passion for sports into adulthood playing ice hockey and participating in bowling and volleyball leagues. He was a lifelong fan of the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers. Dick began his Marketing career working for the Chrysler Corporation and then Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. His love of the West, sparked on a family trip as a young man in 1956, brought Dick and Rhoda to Arizona in 1977. There he opened the Crafty Fox, a retail craft store on Whiskey Row in Prescott and then opened his own real estate business. During retirement Dick and Rhoda eventually settled in Payson. Dick had many hobbies. He loved reading nonfiction books about US history, including the Western expansion, Native Americans, and seafaring exploits. He loved challenging crossword puzzles – the harder the better. The Sunday New York Times was his favorite. Other hobbies include acrylic painting, gardening, and writing, publishing two books, Chapman Legacy and Work Break, the latter which chronicled his and Rhoda's 13-month cross country RV trip. Dick spent years researching his own genealogy dating back to the 1700's. This interest led him to volunteer doing data entry for LDS Family Search, logging nearly 1 million entries! Due to his proficiency and accuracy, LDS Family Search asked him to be an arbitrator, resolving discrepancies. Dick had a deep and resonant voice and volunteered his time recording audio textbooks at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. Dick was well known for his sense of humor and generosity throughout his life. A celebration of his life will be held Sunday, October 23, at 11 am at Messinger Funeral Home, Payson, AZ. Online condolences may be sent through Messingermortuary.com . In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Humane Society of Central Arizona, P O Box 242, Payson, AZ 85547, or Rim Country Hospice Foundation, 511 S. Mud Springs, Rd, Payson, AZ 85541 or the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, 516 N. Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301 This obituary was originally published in the Payson Roundup.
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