Charles Ray "Poppy" Chapman

Charles Ray "Poppy" Chapman, 93, of Arlington died peacefully on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Kennedale. Service: Friday, Oct. 25, in DFW National Cemetery. Time to be determined. Born in Bixby, Okla., to Guy and Hettie Chapman, he was a Dust Bowl Depression-era Okie and traveled to Arizona in the late 1920s. He once raised a hundred chickens in a cave, and knew the value of a dollar. He had a thousand stories to tell, and tell them he did, often over and over. Some of them were mostly true! He won the AAU Southeast Championship high hurdles event in 1945. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II serving as an aviation machinist's mate, later converting to air traffic controller. After the war, he worked for the FAA as a controller for 29 years, working in Honolulu, Guam, Wichita, Kan., and Minneapolis, Minn. After retiring from the FAA, he worked as an electrician for UT Arlington, and volunteered for Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County. Throughout his life, he volunteered regularly for his church, serving as elder, deacon or handyman. The last survivor of two older brothers and eight older sisters, he was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; granddaughter, Penny Chapman; and great-granddaughter, Hailey. Survivors: Daughters, Carolyn Fikes and Ellen Chapman of Arlington; sons, Bruce Chapman of Topeka, Kan., and Thomas Chapman of Kennedale; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He never failed to say thank you, or "I'm deaf you know!"

Published in Star-Telegram on Oct. 16, 2013