On June 22, 2015, Professor Emeritus John Chapman’s family, friends, and colleagues gathered at Cecil Green Park House for his Celebration of Life event. There were so many people in attendance that the Yorkeen Room where the service was held could not hold everyone and more chairs were brought out to the adjoining Langara Room. The Langara Room had poster boards detailing chapters of his life, The Early Years, The UBC Years, The Retirement Years, and a beautiful table of memorabilia, including books, photos, ties, medals, even a field hockey stick (John Chapman was President of the Canadian Field Hockey Association from 1972-1974) depicting his rich and full life.
Speeches were given by family members and colleagues (including Geography’s Emeritus Professor Tim Oke and Professor David Ley) to show the different sides of the John they knew, but everyone seemed to agree that he had the kind of wit and charm that gave conversations with him a memorable glow. He was a lifelong learner who had kept up to date with the world around him through conversations, reading, and attending scholarly lectures. Craig Chapman, one of his grandsons, described him as a true thinker and that there was no small talk with John, only big talk. As the program notes, his was “an intentional life well-lived.”
Mimi Yu, Editor