Donald (Don) Brooks Chapin


CHAPIN—Donald (Don) Brooks Chapin passed away Jan. 13, 2021. “Uncle” Don was preceded in death by his par-ents Paul and Florence Chapin; his sister and brother-in-law Virginia and Bill Butt.

He is survived by his niece Kathryne Herring (Keith) and his great nieces Lisa Fishback (great-great-nephew Eric Matthew Suarez) of Los Angeles, Calif., and Lorrie Lynne Russell (Andy) of Boise, Idaho.

Don received his Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., which he attended from 1948-1952.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1952-54.

Coming back from his service, he then went on to receive his master’s degree from Indiana University. He taught English and Journalism for two years in north Muskegon, Mich., and one year in Joilet, Ill.

His next adventure was with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and World as a textbook salesman in Kentucky, Southern Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Southern California and Hawaii.

He was promoted to Sales Manager of 10 Western States and Senior Sales Consultant.

Don the salesman never met a stranger. He was a natural listener and always a gentleman. He had a successful career traveling as he provided textbooks to children. He was constantly curious. You could talk about books with Don, as he kept his library fresh.

He was always interested in other people and had the ability of taking the spotlight off of himself and putting it back on the other person.

After coming to Florence in the early 200s, he immersed himself quickly into the community. For 15 years, every Tuesday you could see Don’s wonderful smile greet those coming to the FEC to purchase tickets. His love of theater led him to serve on the SEACoast Board.

His faith led him to become active in the Baptist Church, where he was also member of the Men’s Group. He also served on the board for Siuslaw Outreach Services (SOS) and told others his reason for doing so was because of the chocolates and snacks they served before each meeting.

He also served on the LCC Advisory Board. His quick wit and sharp sense of humor made those around him love him instinctively.

He gathered a few friends and taught them the card game Shanghai. They met monthly with food and drink and celebration of birthdays. He would often have to remind the others of the rules with sternness. This was followed — when picking up his next hand — by a wicked laugh, which meant he had drawn a joker (the most helpful extraordinaire card of the game.)

He was a lover of travel and went to his alma mater, Ball State every year, for its big football game. He cruised sever-al times and was eager to share his experience of being evacuated from a sinking ship in Greece.

He had great stories of the cruise to Alaska, where his highlight was seeing Denali.

Don — he lit up the room. His charming personality was apparent immediately. His curiosity was never invasive; you always knew he was interested — a rare quality. He was always the best-dressed man in the room and would brag that he could still wear his U.S. Army uniform.

The sparkle in his eyes and his quick wit were winning to everyone. He will be missed by all who knew him.

A celebration of his life will be held as soon as we all can come together.

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