Samuel G. Chapman (1929 - 2013)

Obituary
  • "sam was instrumental in my football coaching career, for..."
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    - Lynn Chapman
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  • "Carolyn, I am so sadddened to hear of Sam's passing. My..."
    - Susan Buckley

Samuel G. Chapman

September 29, 1929

October 20, 2013

Samuel G. Chapman died October 20, 2013 at his home in Reno of Parkinson's Disease and related complications. He had lived with Parkinson's Disease, well controlled by medication, for more than seven years, but the symptoms escalated during the past six months. In his final days he was cared for at home by his wife, Carolyn; his daughter, Deborah; and his son, Lynn, with assistance from Infinity Hospice.

Samuel Greeley Chapman was born September 29, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Calvin Chadioc Chapman and Halletta Jane Chapman and the youngest of their four children. His family moved to Berkeley, California, when he was a very young child. Sam grew up in Berkeley where he was active in athletics and other school activities. He was president of the Berkeley High School student body during his senior year. His collegiate education began at the University of California at Davis, but he transferred to the University of California at Berkeley at the end of his freshman year, where he earned both his bachelor's and his master's degrees in Criminology.

Chapman served in uniform, working as a Berkeley police officer from 1951 until 1956 when he became a police consultant with the Public Administration Service based in Chicago. From 1959 until 1963 he was an Assistant Professor in the School of Police Administration at Michigan State University.

In 1963, Sam was named the County Police Chief of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Police Department, headquartered in Portland, Oregon. He was chief of that 250-member force until December, 1965 when he moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as Assistant Director of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, established by President Lyndon Johnson. After the Commission's report was presented in the spring of 1967, Chapman was named a Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. In 1971, Chapman was elected to the Norman City Council. He served for eleven years, the last six being as the city's mayor pro-tem.

Sam Chapman retired from the University of Oklahoma in 1991 and, with his wife, Carolyn, moved to Nevada, where he served as an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Nevada, Reno where Carolyn was an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership.

For over 25 years, Chapman served as a litigation consultant to law firms on matters related to civil rights litigation. He gave expert testimony and opinions in more than 100 cases in both federal and state courts across the nation. He wrote or co-authored eight books and dozens of articles related to criminal justice administration. He was one of the nation's leading authorities on the police use of deadly force and on the use of trained handler-service dog teams by police. Chapman's final books were Police Dogs in North America (1990) and Murdered on Duty: The Killing of Police Officers in America (1997), published by Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois.

In Nevada, Sam found great pleasure in playing senior softball. As a docent with the Nevada Historical Society, he served more than 3000 hours. In 2006 he received the Marjorie Fordham Award as Docent of the year. For more than 50 years Sam was a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Reno. In leisure time, he enjoyed playing bridge, fishing, hiking, and spending time with eleven grandchildren.

Samuel Greeley Chapman was the father of Lynn Randall Chapman (Priscilla Ford) and Deborah Jane Chapman Cross (Jerry). Their mother, Patricia Ann Hepfer Chapman, died December 13, 1978. Sam married Carolyn Sue Houghton Hughes, June 1, 1991. Sam is survived by his wife and his children, his brother, Dr. Calvin Chapman; two grandsons, Travis Adrian Chapman (Julie) and Austin Patrick Chapman (Kristin), five great grandchildren, two step-daughters, Laura Wynia (Scott) and Lisa Kouta (Ehab) and nine step-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, October 24 at the First Congregational Church, 627 Sunnyside Dr., Reno, Nevada. A reception will follow at the church.

Remains will be inurned at the Chapel of Memories in Oakland, California, and in Mountjoy Cemetery, Eminence Township, Logan County, Illinois.

Those who may wish to make a memorial contribution honoring Sam are invited to donate to the Nevada Historical Society, 1650 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89503 or KUNR Public Radio, 1664 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89503.



Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from Oct. 22 to Oct. 24, 2013
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