BAKERFSFIELD, Calif. Jack Chapman, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend of many died on Feb. 8, in Bakersfield, Calif.
He was born in Wallowa on Feb. 21, 1930 to Sanford Chapman and Gladys Magill Chapman. He spent his first years of life in Lostine in Wallowa County. It was on the Lostine River that he cast his first line at the age of 8. Fly fishing became a pastime that lasted a lifetime, later to be enjoyed with his sons, cousin Joe and many friends. In 1943, at age 13, he moved with his parents to Hermiston and attended Hermiston High School where he was active in sports and school plays. After he graduated from HHS in 1947 he attended Pacific University for one year. He returned to Hermiston and spent a year working as a surveyor on the construction of McNary Dam. During this year he took up bowling another life long enjoyment. In the fall of 1949 he entered Eastern Oregon College of Education (now Eastern Oregon University) where he earned his bachelor's degree in Education. In college he played football, ran in track, bowled on the city league team and enjoyed performing in plays, especially as the lead in "Our Town."
In 1953 he was drafted into the Army and assigned to the 925th Engineer Aviation Group at Elmendorf Air Force base in Anchorage, Alaska as an NCO surveyor. This was a very memorable time in his life. He was discharged in 1955 and returned to EOU where he completed his master's in education. The fall of 1956 started the 36 year teaching career he dearly loved. He taught one year in Athena and seven years in Stanfield, where he helped coach a state championship football team. The year of 1964 was pivotal. He accepted a junior high teaching position in Hermiston where he continued to coach and he married Billie Chapman Loomis on Dec. 26, becoming father to her four children. The following year he accepted a teaching position at HHS where over the years, he taught, developed curriculum, was a counselor and coach. He was also known for 25 years as the "Voice of the Hermiston Bulldogs," announcing at athletic events and graduations. He retired in 1992 and continued to teach as a substitute teacher and administrator. He was an avid supporter and member of the Hermiston Elks Lodge #1845 (1966 Exalted Ruler) and board member of the Umatilla County United Way, American Red Cross Regional Board, and Agape House. In 2000, he became a director on the Board of Umatilla Electric Cooperative, where he served to date. Representing his community in this way was such an honor to him because he loved his hometown, Hermiston. He fought a good fight and in his own words said, "It was a great ride."
He leaves behind his wife of 43 years, Billie; children, Bill Loomis (Trudy) of Eugene, Greg Loomis of Las Vegas, Nev., Susan D'Avanzo (Dave) of Eugene, Kevin Loomis (Alice) of Kennewick, Wash., Jill Craw (Andy) of Bakersfield, Calif.; 14 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday, Feb. 15, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Burns Mortuary in Hermiston. A service to celebrate his life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church (665 E. Gladys Ave.) in Hermiston where he was a member. Burial with military honors will follow at the Hermiston Cemetery followed by refreshments back at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Agape House or to the charity of your choice or to donate blood to the American Red Cross - which would make Jack proud.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of the arrangements.