James Fredrick Chapman

Published 8:29 pm Monday, April 1, 2019

James Fredrick Chapman, 72, passed on March 21, 2019 following a six-week battle with double pneumonia, flu and strokes.  An honor graduate of Cocke County High School, he achieved many honors such as Eagle Scout and Beta Club, preparing him for many subsequent degrees and jobs.  An honor graduate of Emory and Henry College, he went on to earn a master’s degree in field biology at Mountain Lake Field Station from the University of Virginia, an engineering degree at Thomas Nelson Community College and graduating from Old Dominion University with a bachelor of science degree.  During this time, he met Jenette Blackwell at Honaker High School where he was the new science-chemistry teacher following a summer of working for the Tennessee Game and Wildlife Fisheries.  They married the following summer and have one son, Robert Blackwell Chapman.  He leaves a brother, John Chapman of Lexington, N.C., head of the Asolare Foundation.

Always an avid reader and writer, he was influenced so much with southern Louisiana’s life and cuisine that he based many of his stories in that locale.  Not only was writing a passion but in earlier life so was sailing his boat, ham radio WA4LNM, World War II history and the Bible.  Following nine years of teaching, five years at Michael Baker Engineering and 10 years at VDOT, he found himself at ground zero for Katrina and Rita, he helped to design and build the levee and avert additional flooding.  Earlier, he spent many years enjoying his biker’s club and in training for the annual bike trips 50 to 100 miles, through such places at Blue Ridge Parkway and Harper’s Ferry.  He was also instrumental in building Lord Fairfax College in Middleton, and his work in Shockoe Bottoms= in Richmond as well as in Lorton, supervising drainage with the U.S. Marines for which he achieved a security clearance so he could work in the Capital area.  Finally returning after work on Amtrak construction of handicapped ramps all over the United States, he retired.  

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 7, at Windsor Castle Park, 301 Jericho Road, Smithfield.  Following the service there will be a genuine Louisiana feast at 3 Widgeon Court, Smithfield, compliments of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Morse.  The family has entrusted Chapman-JT Fisher Funeral Services, 658 W Main Street, Smithfield to handle the final care arrangements. 

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In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Carrollton or Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department or Rescue Squad.