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Jennifer Wilson Chapman, 55, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida passed peacefully on December 29, 2017, following a courageous battle with lymphoma.
Jennifer was a devoted wife, a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and widely-renown purveyor of laughter and joy. She was blessed with an irrepressible enthusiasm for life and shared that gift with all she met. Jennifer laughed easily and her laugh resonated with a musical quality; it was spontaneously cheerful, infectious, and could brighten the gloomiest day. It was unforgettable and so was she.
Jennifer was born on September 14, 1962 in St. Petersburg, Florida to proud parents G.B. 'Cap' and Holly Wilson. Jennifer lovingly referred to her parents and her sister Susie as the 'original four' because of their special and enduring bond. Jennifer attended Santa Fe High School in Alachua, Florida where she was a cheerleader, a member of Beta Club, the track and field team, and Future Farmers of America (FFA). Following graduation, from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting in 1984, where she was a member of ROTC and the Billy Mitchell Drill Team, she was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. While in the Air Force, she served as a squadron executive officer at RAF Alconbury, UK, a group section commander at Travis Air Force Base, California, and earned a master's degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 1986. Jennifer married the love of her life, Bob Chapman, on April 16, 1987 at the First United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Florida and they were later blessed with two daughters, Chelsea and Shelby.
Jennifer accompanied her husband, Bob around the globe while he served as a pilot in the Air Force, caring for their daughters and rescue dogs, and earning a collegiate professional certificate from Christopher Newport University in 1991. Jennifer loved literature and thrilled in sharing that love with others. Jennifer taught at each of their assignment locations, most recently as an Adjunct Professor of English at Northwest Florida State College.
Filled with a boundless exuberance, Jennifer attacked life and lived it to the fullest. She loved to water ski, snow ski, scuba dive, and travel. She was also a patriot who loved her country and felt a call to use her talents to serve others. For the past decade, Jennifer dedicated much of her time to Pet Welfare, a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter located on Eglin Air Force Base, where she served in a variety of positions including board chairman, vice chair, volunteer coordinator, and shift leader. For her many efforts, she was recognized as an Eglin Air Force Base volunteer excellence nominee in 2013. Jennifer also performed volunteer work for Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge and served as a Girl Scout Leader and adult volunteer at all levels, from Brownies to Ambassador.
Jennifer fought her nearly three-year battle against Lymphoma with grace, dignity, and ferocity. She was an inspiration to many and her light will continue to blaze brightly for her family, countless friends and admirers. Jennifer is predeceased by her grandparents, George and Videtta Saxton and Leonard and Genevieve Wilson. Jennifer is survived by her husband of 29 years, Bob Chapman, daughters, Chelsea and Shelby Chapman, her parents, G.B. 'Cap' and Holly Wilson, her sister, Susie Wilson Bullard, brother in law, Barry Bullard, nephews, Wil and Sam Bullard, nieces, Lauren and Allie Bullard along with aunts, uncles, cousins and wonderful caring and supportive friends.
A funeral service was held on Friday, January 5, 2018 at Shalimar Methodist Church. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at Noon at the Swick House in Alachua, Florida. Casual attire in Gator orange and blue or Santa Fe Raider colors is welcome. Interment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on February 7, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. with a reception following at the Army Navy Country Club. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jennifer's name to Pet Welfare, 683 Range Road, Eglin AFB, FL 32542 (850.678.5066).

Funeral Home
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
161 Racetrack Rd NW
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 864-3361
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Feb. 16 to Feb. 17, 2018
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Fort Walton Beach, FL   (850) 864-3361
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