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James W. Chaplin


1935 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
James W. Chaplin Obituary
James W. Chaplin 1935—2018
James W. Chaplin, 83, of Baileyville passed away peacefully on Monday, October 22, 2018. He was born June 21, 1935, in Tuscola, IL, to the late John and Florence (Denny) Chaplin. He was a 1953 graduate of Tuscola High School. He received his Bachelors' Degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University and his Master's in Administration from Northern Illinois University. He served in the Illinois National Guard. He was a member of the Bethel United Methodist Church in Shannon, IL. Jim Chaplin moved his young family to Freeport, IL in 1965, where he began a 32-year career with the Freeport School District. He impacted thousands of young students teaching at Douglas Elementary School, Carl Sandburg Middle School and the Junior High School, and serving as principal at Henney, Ridott and Taylor Park Elementary Schools. Over the years, he taught general education, physical education, special education P.E. and coached baseball, football, boys and girls basketball, and track and field. Outside the classroom, he was an avid camper, snow skier, water skier, golfer and horseback rider. He brought his love of outdoor sports back into the classroom by taking countless numbers of school kids to camp and on snow skiing trips each year, designing programs to increase their abilities, confidence and self-esteem. He was a long-time ski instructor at area ski resorts and a ski coach for the Special Olympics. He retired from the Freeport School District in 1997, and enjoyed many years pursuing his outdoor passions. Jim Chaplin's proudest accomplishment was his family. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Diana (Dauphin Mellor) of Baileyville; his four children, Angela (Michael) Chaplin Gorman of Western Springs, IL, Tracy Lynn Chaplin of Duluth, MN, Leslie Ann Chaplin (Harvey Vincent) of Duluth, MN and James Michael (Corie) Chaplin of Indianapolis, IN; his two grandsons, Nathan and Jacob Chaplin of Indianapolis, IN; and three step-grandchildren, Aaron (Jamie) Maronde of Janesville, WI, Candace Harbers of Belvidere, IL, and John Gorman of Evergreen Park, IL.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, October 26th, at Walker Mortuary, 321 West Main Street in Freeport. There will be a 1 p.m. graveside service Saturday, October 27th, at the Tuscola Township Cemetery in Tuscola, IL. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for the Special Olympics of Illinois. The family invites all whose lives were touched by Jim Chaplin to a Celebration of Life in his honor on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at the Eagles Club, 1200 West Galena Avenue in Freeport. Sharing of stories and memories will begin at 4 p.m., with dinner to follow.
Published in The Journal-Standard from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26, 2018
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