Deacon Chapman’s ministry had big impact

Deacon Bob Chapman spent his 40 years as a deacon bringing the love of God to the people of St. Patrick Parish in Fremont, the many sick people he visited, his fellow deacons and the priests he worked with, those familiar with his ministry said.

Deacon Chapman died at home Feb. 10. He was 92.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Feb. 14 at St. Patrick, with burial at Calvary Cemetery in Fremont with military honors.

“My life as a priest was really affected by his generosity and example and friendship and love,” said Father David Belt, pastor of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Omaha, who served at St. Patrick as an associate pastor from 1991-92 and pastor from 2010-17.

“Bob and his wife (Terry) together were so generous, so willing to sacrifice for the parish,” Father Belt said.

Deacon Chapman was ordained in 1979, during the early years of the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Omaha, and assisted at many funerals, weddings and baptisms, including the weddings of his six children and the baptisms of eight grandchildren.

Deacon Chapman was tireless in visiting the sick who were homebound and in hospitals and nursing homes, said Deacon Vic Henry, also of St. Patrick Parish. He said he was one of several men Deacon Chapman encouraged to become a deacon.

“He’s very inspirational to me,” Deacon Henry said. “He had a quiet confidence and strength. … He brought the love of Jesus into the hearts of everybody he met.”

Deacon Chapman served on a Low-Income Ministry Board in Fremont. He was also involved with the Knights of Columbus at St. Patrick, the Christian Family Movement, the Fremont Veterans of Foreign Wars and Marriage Encounter. He donated blood as often as possible.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Elsie (Faist) Chapman; daughter-in-law Kelleen (Amell) Chapman; brothers Bill, Ken and Dick Chapman; and sister, Joyce Kreikemeier.

Survivors include his wife; children, Joe (Terri) Chapman of Hagerman, Idaho, Jerry Chapman of Lenore, Idaho, Mike (Connie) Chapman of Stilwell, Kansas, Greg (Sue) Chapman of Lincoln, Maureen (Mike) Melonis of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and Betty (Greg) Counts of Madison, Wisconsin; nine grandchildren; three great grandchildren; and brothers Don (Beverly) Chapman of Omaha and Larry (Judy) Chapman of Signal Mountain, Tennessee; nieces, nephews, godchildren and in-laws.

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