Stillwater News Press


March 26, 2013

Arlene Elizabeth Chapman

Arlene Elizabeth Chapman, 97, died in Stillwater on Sunday, March 24, 2013.  Her funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Strode Funeral Home chapel in Stillwater. The Rev. Owen Cayton will preside. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Stillwater. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Arlene was born on April 30, 1915, to Ledrue and Minnie (Hill) Chapman in Clinton. She grew up on her grandparent’s farm and attended Clinton schools. She met her husband, Theodore Pete Chapman, while both were attending Southwestern State College in Weatherford. She graduated with degrees in home economics, English and history in 1936. Her first teaching job was in Loveland where she taught high school home economics and English classes.

Arlene and Pete were married in Cordell, Dec. 26, 1936. Their first home was in Custer City where Pete was with the public schools, serving as teacher, coach and later principal and superintendent of schools. Their first four children were born while living there, and in 1946 they moved to Okmulgee where Pete was an administrator at the new Oklahoma A&M School of Technical Training for veterans returning from World War II. Another son was born in Okmulgee, and Arlene served many years as a Cub Scout den mother, homeroom mother and PTA president. She was also active in the A&M Tech Lahoma Club while in Okmulgee.

The family moved to Stillwater in 1957 when Pete was hired as a professor at OSU. Arlene worked at the Stillwater Public Library for several years and was head librarian at Stillwater High School for 14 years. She was chosen Teacher of the Year in 1975. All five children graduated from OSU during this time. Arlene and Pete retired in 1978 and Pete died Sept.  27, 1979 in Stillwater.

Arlene traveled all over the world, including all of the United States. She visited the British Isles, many of the European countries and other parts of the world. She was an artist, specializing in China painting and water colors. She enjoyed reading and doing genealogical research.

She was a member of the First Christian Church, Christian Women’s Fellowship, and the Martha Group. Other organizations were Oklahoma Education Association, Payne County Retired Educators Group, Oklahoma Library Association, American Library Association, Oklahoma School Libraries Association, AAUW, Delta Kappa Gamma, Lahoma Club, Stillwater Women’s Club, Town and Gown Association, Friends of the Library, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of American Colonists, First Families of the Twin Territories, First Families of Texas, and the Chapman Family Association.

Arlene is survived by her five children, Elizabeth and Charles Codding of Edmond, David and Carolyn Chapman of Salt Lake City, Utah, John and Sherrie Chapman of Austin, Texas, Bob Chapman of Stillwater, and Phil Chapman of Tucson, Ariz. She has nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter.

Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church of Stillwater, 411 W. Mathews Ave., Stillwater, OK 74075. Condolences may be sent to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting

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