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Thomas Albert Chapman

July 6, 2017
Thomas Albert Chapman
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Obituary for Thomas Albert Chapman

“A United States Navy Seabee is born” read Tom’s birth announcement in a 1944 Rochester NY newspaper. On August 9 of that year, James Sherman and Esther Mae [Hannum] Chapman welcomed their firstborn son, Thomas Albert. As a retired Seabee himself, James foresaw his son entering the same military branch as he. In the early 60s, Tom, serving in Rota, Spain, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, went on to fulfill his father’s dream. He served enthusiastically in the Seabee Reserves for several years as well.

Adventurous is an accurate way to describe Tom. There was nothing he did not try except “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane”. He loved to rock climb and scuba dive, hike and drive Corvettes and motorcycles; ballroom dance and white-water canoe, but his favorite pastime was flying through the clouds like “a homesick angel”.

As Scoutmaster, he had many memorable trips with his Scouts. He was a proud member of the Free and Accepted Masons, Pultneyville lodge, where he was a past master. He took the opportunity to serve on the Penfield Ambulance Corps for several years, but was disappointed he never had the opportunity to deliver a baby. However, his first wife, Virginia [Brown] almost gave him that experience as he picked her up from Syracuse when she went into labor with their first child, Wendy, and flew her into Rochester to the hospital. Later came their second beautiful daughter, Dianna, and then a strapping son, Douglas.

Retiring from General Motors (aka Delco Products, ITT, and Valeo) in 2002 after 40 years gave Tom the opportunity to provide abundant volunteer work for his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He enjoyed many years helping out at the Canandaigua Bishops’ Storehouse and served as manager there with his present wife, Mary [Cosgrove] Keysa for almost 3 years. He especially appreciated all the fine people who served with him there. At the church’s recreational camp on Seneca Lake, Mary and he also served a 2-year mission as camp directors. He loved the people who came to camp as well as those who served alongside him.

After wrestling with Alzheimer’s disease for 5 years, Tom flew home on 7 July 2017 and will be sorely missed by his wife, Mary; his children and their spouses - Wendy and John Kuhn, Dianna and Matt Fletcher, and Doug and Jonalee Chapman; his step-children and their spouses, Jessica [Keysa] and Alexander Vance and Karen [Keysa] and Rick Bartlett; his half-sister and her husband, Debi [Osbon] and Bill Reese of Nebraska; and his grandchildren, Dominic, Kayla, Emma, and Bryce; Ian and Ethan; Arden; Elijah, Dylan, Nicholas, and Maddy; and Aria and Alina; by the “salt-of-the-earth” Cosgrove clan; and by his many dear friends.

Memorial service at the Palmyra chapel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in August. The date is yet to be determined. Condolences may be expressed at
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