GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE                                                                      Thursday, May 23, 2002

=============================================================

 Melvin Oris Chapman

 

  CHINOOK -- Melvin Oris Chapman, 89, a retired farmer and mechanic, died of natural causes Sunday at his home in Chinook.

  Graveside services are 10 a.m. Saturday in Kuper Memorial Cemetery. Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook is in charge of arrangements.

  Survivors include his wife, Lona Chapman of Chinook; daughters Margaret Chapman of Mountain View, Calif., Marlene Young of Sunny Vale, Calif., and Debra Olsen of Helena; a son, Derryl Chapman of Billings; sisters Frieda Miller, Marietta Mosser and Dorothy Obie, all of Chinook, and Frances Richardson of Boise, Idaho; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren

                             -end-

...........................................................................................................................................

HAVRE DAILY NEWS                                                                          Thursday, May 23, 2002

=============================================================

MELVIN CHAPMAN         

           

   CHINOOK - Melvin Oris Chapman, 89, died Thursday, May 16, 2002, in a Wolf Point hospital.    Graveside services will be Saturday at 10 a.m. in Kuper Memorial Cemetery.

   Melvin was born in Oblong, Ill., to Mabel Ikemire and Oris Chapman on Dec. 29, 1912. His family moved to Montana in 1913 to homestead with several other Oblong families.

 This area in northern Blaine County soon became known as the Oblong community. He spent a lot of time with his brother, Harold, raising and breaking horses. Many of the stories he told his children were memories of his childhood adventures on the backs of those horses. 

  Melvin attended school through his freshman year of high school. He then worked for Miller Brother’s Ranch where he stayed until he was in his early twenties. He enjoyed the hard work on the ranch and always spoke highly of it. 

  Melvin married his life long partner, Lona Brinkman

  In early 1937, Melvin worked for Young’s Chevrolet of Chinook and began his career as a mechanic. The friendships he made while working there lasted for the rest of his life. Melvin moved his family to Whitefish in 1941 where he continued to work for Young’s Chevrolet, repairing the logging trucks that were so vital to the war effort. 

  Melvin’s family returned to Chinook and in 1946 purchased the Curtis Christianson garage, which would be known for several years as Chat’s Super Service. While he was still running the garage, he started farming. Melvin and Lona enjoyed operating her father’s farm south of Chinook for several years. Many a picture was taken of him standing in a field with the wheat as high as his chest and a big smile on his face. He loved the land and the rewards that came with it. He was an extremely talented mechanic, welder and fabricator. He retired from the Farmers Union and farming in the early 1980s. 

  Melvin was a lifelong member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a serious bowler, an avid hunter, a member of the Chinook Rod & Gun Club in his younger years, and spent considerable time stocking fishponds and creating wildlife habitat throughout the area. He loved to fly fish. His grace and finesse with his old bamboo fly rod was a joy to watch. He cherished the time he spent outdoors and throughout his life not only shared his time hunting and fishing with his children but also with his nieces, nephews and grandchildren. He enjoyed hunting in the places he remembered from his youth, the Miller Ranch and the North Chinook country. His brother Art and close friend, Les Mellet, were two of his favorite hunting buddies. Often their hunting trips were spent talking about the old homesteads and the families they once knew as they traveled around. Their wives sent the hunters off with great German chocolate cakes and fresh baked apple pies. Getting invited on one of their outings was truly an event. 

  Melvin and Lona spent several years involved with the Chinook Saddle Club and traveled to other towns to show off their horses in local parades and horse shows. His favorite horse was Colonel, a Tennessee Walker. Later in life when his memory was fading, his most prized possession was a painting by his daughter, Marilee, of these special animals. 

  Melvin had many close friends and family throughout his life. His most precious memories seemed always to be centered on them. Their friendship and care was most evident in the last few years of his life as he lost himself to the affects of Alzheimer’s disease. The comfort and care provided by Bill Finch, Bill Harbolt, Dale Wass and family, and many others meant so much during the difficult times.    He was an unselfish man who was always willing to share his time, knowledge or talent. He was born in an era where nothing came easy. He worked hard for what he got and complained little of what he could not have. He was a good father and was always there for his children. He often admitted that the light of his life was his wife, Lona, and their 66 years of marriage was a blessing he would not trade for any other. He was a man who did not express his love by words, but his heart was big and there was not any doubt by his family that he loved them greatly and they did. 

  Melvin was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Art and Harold; daughter, Marilee; and brothers-in-law and good friends, Edgar Obie and Les Miller. 

  Survivors include his wife, Lona; daughters, Margaret Chapman of Mountain View, Calif.; Marlene Young of Sunny Vale, Calif.; Debra Olsen of Helena; son, Derryl (Judy) Chapman of Billings; son-in-law, Ron Johnson of Wolf Point; siblings, Frieda Miller, Marietta (Norman) Mosser, Frances (Royal) Richardson and Dorothy Obie; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. 

  Memorials may be sent to the Harada House of Wolf Point, Chinook Senior Citizens Center, or the Alzheimer’s Research Center, 640 Jackson St., St. Paul, MN 55101-2595.

   Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.           

                                -end-

...........................................................................................................................................

THE BLAINE COUNRY JOURNAL, NEWS-OPINION                           Wednesday, May 22, 2002

=============================================================

MELVIN CHAPMAN

  Melvin Oris Chapman 89, passed away in the Wolf Point hospital Ofl Thursday, May 16, 2002. Graveside services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 25, in the Kupei­Memorial Cemetery. Arrange­ments are by Edwar~ Funeral Home of Chinook. Memorials may be sent to the Harada House in Wolf Point, the Chinook Sen­ior Citizens Center, or the Amencan Lutheran Church.

  Melvin was born on Decem­ber 29, 1912, to Mabel Ikemire and Oris Chapman in Oblong, IL. When he came into this world a man was judged by how hard he worked. A good firm handshake and a man’s work were all that was needed to seal an agreement. Dedication, hard work and living up to your word were the principals he learned at a young age and lived by his entire life.

  The family moved to Mon­tana in 1913 to homestead, along with several other families from Oblong. This area in northern Blame County soon became known as the Oblong Community. Melvin lived on the family homestead with his siblings, Frieda, Art, Harold. Frances, Dorothy and Marietta. As a homesteaders child he grew up around livestock. He spent a lot of time with his younger brother Harold raising and breaking horses. Many of the stories he told his children were memo­ries of his childhood adventures on the backs of these horses.

  He attended school into his freshman year of high school, then he went to work for the Miller Brothers Ranch, where he stayed until her was in his early 20s. There was a lot of hard work on the ranch, but it was a lifestyle that he enjoyed and always spoke highly of. It was while working for the Miller Brothers that he married his life­long partner, Lona Brinkman. Melvin and Lona were blessed with five children: Merilee, Margaret, Marlene, Derryl and Debbie.

  In early 1937 Mel went to work for Young’s Chevrolet of Chinook, and thus began his career as a mechanic. The friend­ships he made while working there lasted for the rest of his life. Mel moved his family to Whitefish in 1941 where he con­tinued to work for Young’s Chevrolet, repairing the logging trucks that were so vital to the war effort. They returned to Chi­nook and in 1946 he purchased the Curtis Christianson garage on 4th St. and Indiana, which would be known for several years as Chat’s Super Service. It was while he was still running the garage that he started farming.

  Mel enjoyed farming and with his wife Lona they operated her father’s farm south of Chi­nook for several years. Many a picture was taken of him stand­ing in a field with the wheat as high as his chest and a big smile on his face. He loved the land and the rewards that came with it. He continued using his mechanic skills on the farm machinery and was an extremely talented me­chanic, welder and fabricator. He retired from the Farmers Union and farming in the early 1980s.

  A life-long member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Mel was also a serious bowler and an avid hunter. He was a member of the Chinook Rod & Gun Club in his younger days and spent a considerable amount of time stocking fishponds and creating wildlife habitat throughout the area. He loved to fly fish and his grace and finesse with his old bamboo fly rod was a joy to watch. He cherished the time he spent outdoors throughout his life, and he shared his time hunt­ing and fishing with his chil­dren, his nieces and nephews, and his grandchildren.

  He enjoyed hunting in the places he remembered from his youth, the Miller Ranch and the North Chinook country. His brother Art and his close friend Les Mellet, were two of his fa­vorite hunting buddies. Often their hunting trips were spent talking about the old homesteads and the families they once knew. Their wives spent many hours making sure the hunting trips were a success and sent the hunt­ers off with great German choco­late cakes and fresh baked apple pies. Getting invited on one of their outings was truly an event.

  Melvin and Lona spent sev­eral years involved with the Chinook Saddle Club and trav­eled to other towns to show off their horses in local parades and horse shows. His favorite horse was Colonel, a Tennessee Walker. Later in life, when his memory was fading, his most prized possession was a painting by his daughter Marilee of these special animals.

  He had many close friends and family throughout his life. His most precious memories seemed always to be centered on them. Their friendship and care was most evident in the last few years of his life, as he lost him­self to the affects of Alzheimer’s The comfort and care provided by Bill Finch, Bill Harbolt, Dale Wass and family and many others meant so much during the difficult times.

  He was an unselfish man who was always willing to share his time, knowledge or talent. He was born is an era where nothing came easy and he worked hard for what he got, and complained little of what he could not have. He was a good father and was always there for his children. He often admitted that the light of his life was his wife Lona, and their 66 years of marriage was a blessing he would not trade for any other. He was a man who did not express his love by words, but his heart was big and there was no doubt by his family that he loved them greatly and they loved him.

  Survivors include his wife Lona; daughters Margaret Chap­man of Mountain View, CA, Marlene Young of Sunny Vale, CA, Debra Olsen of Helena; son, Derryl (Judy) Chapman of Bill­ings; son-in-law Ron Johnson of Wolf Point; sisters, Frieda Miller, Marietta (Norman) Mosser, Frances (Royal) Richardson, and Dorothy Obie; 8 grandchildren; 9 great grandchil­dren; plus many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Art and Harold; daughter Marilee; and brothers-in-law (and good friends) Edgar Obie and Les Miller.

                                                                                                          A00013B2002MY22

                               -end-

..................................................................................................................................…