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Mary Theresa Chapman (nee Lanahan) passed away peacefully with family at her side, at ninety years old at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Jaffrey, NH on October 27, 2017. She was a 52-year resident of Peterborough, former co-owner of Our Town Realty, beloved wife of Francis Chapman and mother of six.
Mary lived a full, purposeful life built on hard work and integrity. She was born in 1927 in Washington D.C. After her father died when she was two, her mother and grandparents Corrigan raised her and her brother. She graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Washington D.C. with high honors, and then completed a one-year business program at the Notre Dame Academy Business School. Throughout her life, Mary stressed the importance of higher education.
In high school, a dear friend of Mary’s (and future sister-in-law) introduced her to her future husband, Francis Chapman. They were high school sweethearts who married in 1950 right after Fran graduated from college. Four days later they moved to a large dairy farm in Port Deposit, Maryland. While Fran worked as the farm manager, Mary worked as an assistant to a military officer at the Bainbridge Naval Base until her son Dennis was born. Mary and Fran had five more children while living in Maryland. Mary also started and maintained an enormous organic garden there, freezing and preserving vegetables for her large family. The family later moved to Perrysburg, Ohio and lived there for four years before moving to Peterborough in 1965.
Mary Chapman worked as a licensed Real Estate Broker for over 25 years at Our Town Realty in Peterborough. She also served as chairwoman of multiple committees on the Contoocook Valley Board of Realtors and in 2000 worked for the US Census Bureau.
Mary was a devoted mother and her family gave her great joy. Mary’s kindness and generosity touched many hearts. For 20 years, Mary was a member of the Peterborough Women’s Club, helping to raise money for community projects. During that time, she served as treasurer, secretary, vice-president and president. She was also a candy striper at Monadnock Community Hospital, a board member of the Monadnock Community Day Care Center, and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She and Fran were members of St. Peter’s Church, where she sang in the choir.
Mary held a special place in the hearts of those who knew her, including the many people she helped to buy or sell houses. She was known for her diplomatic and generous nature, curiosity to learn new things, and ready smile. Mary and Fran loved travelling internationally with the Lions Clubs, visiting their daughters in Norway, Texas, Idaho, and Washington, and riding on boats big and small in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Mary is predeceased by her son, Dennis J. Chapman (2003) and brother, Ignatius Loyola Lanahan (1993). She is survived by her husband, Francis Xavier; her children Kathleen, Kevin, Louise, Mark and Elizabeth, eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, daughter-in-law, Kathy Mathewson, sons-in-law Kanet Kongsaiya and David Klumpp and her half-sister, Mary Cecilia Bonner of Florida.
She will be forever remembered in our hearts.
Our thanks to all who have provided love and care for our mother. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Joseph Community Services Meals on Wheels at PO Box 910, Merrimack, NH 03054, 603-424-9967.
Monday, October 29, 2018
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)
Divine Mercy Church
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