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Van  Bain  Chapman

Obituary for Van Bain Chapman

January 23, 1922 - July 12, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 95


Van Bain Chapman, Jr. was born on January 23, 1922 in San Antonio, TX to Van Bain Chapman, Sr. and Ella Norwood Chapman. He was the oldest of four that included his sisters Francis, Margaret, and Mildred. Van and his siblings had an ideal childhood playing outside, riding horses, climbing trees, and roller skating. He was curious, well read, and always excelled in school. He graduated from Edison High School in 1938. Van attended the University of Texas in Austin and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering and a Masters degree in chemistry. He was a proud member of the marching band playing the clarinet and cherished being a Longhorn.

Van met Terry Carson in a singles class at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in San Antonio and they were married in 1948 after finishing his college education. They raised 3 children and were married for 52 years until her death in 2001. Van's engineering training led him to Gates Rubber in Denver to design tires for military aircraft during World War II. After this, he worked for Gulf Oil in Port Arthur, TX as an environmental engineer. He later joined a 3 man team at Folgers Coffee in Houston, TX to work on a process to create instant coffee in the early 1950's. Getting the bitterness out of the coffee crystals was very difficult. After this challenge was met, his father wanted to expand the family business and open a second lumber yard in San Antonio.

Van and Terry decided to accept the offer and move back home and open Somerset Road Lumber Co. in 1955. He sold the family business in 1970 and started a new career teaching math at John Jay High School in San Antonio. There he began coaching the advanced math students and they participated in TMSCA Number Sense meets against high schools from across the state for many years until his retirement. His 1984 team won state in the 5-A class.

Van was preceded in death by his wife Terry Carson Chapman, his parents, his sisters Margaret and Francis, and niece Susan Gail Goodenough. He will be missed by his sister Mildred, his children and their spouses, Bill (Amy), Diane (Tom), and Carol (Jim), his grandchildren Christian (Alicia), Will, Robert, John, Kendall, and 3 great grandchildren, Bain, Lundon, and Zalena, as well as many relatives and friends.

The family would like to thank Carl Lee (Carly) Columbus, Sylvia Castillo, and the Jurovschi family for their kind care.

Van had a contagious laugh, a heart of gold, and a life well lived for 95 years.

We will miss him!

A graveside service will be on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 10:00 am at Mission Burial Park South, 1700 SE Military Dr., San Antonio.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Animal Defense League, 11300 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217.

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  • In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Animal Defense League, 11300 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217.

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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