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Esther June Chapman


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Esther June Chapman Obituary
Esther June Chapman February 1, 1923 - July 6, 2012 Esther June Stormont was born in Bakersfield on February 1, 1923 to Walter and Elsie Stormont, one of twelve children. She graduated from Kern County Union High School (now BHS), the only high school in town at the time. She went on to graduate Cum Laude from San Jose State College. She married David Duane Chapman in 1948. Esther's teaching career began at Horace Mann School in 1945 as a Fifth Grade teacher, where she worked for three years until moving to Seattle, Washington. She taught at Stevens Elementary School, and had three children between 1949 and 1955, Ann, John, and Jim. In 1960 she returned to Bakersfield, working as a teacher at first, and commuting back and forth to the University of Fresno and UCLA to obtain first her Masters, then her Doctorate in Education. She moved to a management role at the City School District in 1965 as a Supervisor of Instruction for Grades 5 and 6. In 1977 she became Director of Specially Funded Programs, administering lab-sized educational trial programs on particular subjects or for particular groups of students. During this time she put all three of her own children through college, and passed on to them her belief in lifelong education and the arts. After attempting to retire twice, but being asked to stay on by the District, Dr. Chapman finally retired from the Bakersfield City School District in 1987. Even after her official retirement she continued work for two more years as a private educational consultant. Esther was a devoted volunteer, with active memberships in the Zonta Club (travelling the world to at least a dozen conventions, including in Australia, Sri Lanka, Germany, Hong Kong, and many more) as well as California Reading Association, Association of California School Administrators, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, Native Daughters of the Golden West, Delta Kappa Gamma, Phi Delta Kappa, and the 60-Plus Club at Cal State. She was a vocalist with the Goldenaires, and a choir director and bell choir director at both Westminster Presbyterian and Trinity Methodist Churches; she also served as an elder at Westminster. She had an innate love of education and of mentoring,, and a beautiful patience and kindness that nobody who knew her will ever forget. She is survived by her three children, Ann, John, and Jim, and sisters and in-laws Lydia Belle Carl, Barbara Jane Lewis, Jean Stormont, Joy and Ray Bircher, Jean and Don Towne, and many nieces and nephews. A graveside internment service for family members at Greenlawn Cemetery at 9 am July 24 will be followed by a memorial service at Trinity Methodist Church at 10 am, where a reception venue will be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Zonta Club of Bakersfield, P.O. Box 6304, Bakersfield, CA 93386-6304. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 20, 2012
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