Ronald L. Chapman, born October 19, 1939, in Ripley, WV, died peacefully in his sleep at his home on June 27, 2018. He is the son of the late William Ervin Chapman and the late Mabel Starcher Chapman.
After graduating from Ripley High School in 1957, Ron enlisted in the United States Army, serving six months active duty as a Small Arms Repairman. After completing his active duty with the Army, he enrolled in college, earning a B.A. in History from Morris Harvey College, continuing his military service through Army Reserves in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Immediately following his college graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force, and was sent to Lackland Air Force base in Texas to complete basic training. Unfortunately, his vision was poor and he was Honorably Discharged from the Air Force. This didn’t stop Ron from moving forward with his dreams. He then enrolled in the West Virginia University College of Law, graduating with his Juris Doctor in 1970. He was admitted to the practice of law in 1970; and from 1970-1973, he served as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Jackson County. In early 1973, he completed Judge Advocate General School in Charlottesville, VA, and was deployed to Germany for active duty with the JAG Corps in Bad Kreuznach, West Germany. He served for three years as a Captain with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps as Chief Defense Counsel, Chief Prosecutor, and Chief of Legal Assistance and Claims with the office of the SJA, 8th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Europe, during which time he earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Once returning from Germany, he continued serving in the Army Reserves in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. Following his military career, he was Senior Counsel with the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Fund, was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of West Virginia, and served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Hearings and Appeals, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Charleston, WV. He retired from that position in 2009.
Ron was an extremely intelligent man with a great many interests and hobbies. He was an animal lover, stating on many occasions that he liked animals more than he liked most people. He could often be found at local flea markets, searching for the next great treasure. He was also a photographer, a painter, and a writer. He loved to tell stories and could spend hours talking about history, Germany, his family, and politics. He was also a great fan of music – especially blues music – with Eric Clapton and B.B. King being his absolute favorites. He would tell anyone willing to listen about how important blues music, not only to him but to music as a whole.
He is survived by his daughter Jennifer, his son Robert, and a brother, Bill. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, along with his wife, Joyce.
Funeral services will be 3:00 pm Sunday, July 1, 2018 at the Wayright Funeral Home, Ripley with Rev. Charles Hicks officiating. Military Rites, provided by The Jackson County Honor Guard, will follow the service at the funeral home. Friends may call on the family from 1:00 to 3:00 pm Sunday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Ripley American Legion Post 107, Po Box 13, Ripley, WV 25271.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.waybrightfuneralhome.com