On Sunday, January 18, 2015, John “French” Chapman of Fairfax, Virginia, peacefully passed away at the Fairfax Nursing Center following complications from Parkinson’s disease. French was born on May 4, 1935 in Shenandoah County, Virginia to the late Thomas P. and Helen (French) Chapman. The second of 4 children, French was raised and educated in Shenandoah County where he attended Massanutten Military Academy. He served two years in the U.S. Army and later went on to graduate from Virginia Tech.
French married the love of his life, Carolyn Chapman on June 24, 1961 and settled in Fairfax City where they lived for almost thirty years. In 1964 he opened Fairdale Furniture in Fairfax City, embarking on a career of owning other furniture stores in Warrenton and Culpeper. French always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and was involved in numerous ventures. Carolyn and French moved to Warrenton, Virginia, where they enjoyed their semi-retirement years, spending time with family and friends and traveling.
French was an avid sports fan who consistently cheered on the Washington Nationals, Virginia Tech, and the Washington Redskins, despite their recent challenges. He especially enjoyed attending and following his Grandkids’ many sports and activities.
French touched the lives of many through his sociable demeanor and charming personality. He thrived making connections and interacting with all kinds of people, throughout his life. French possessed an uncanny ability to remember details and always displayed a personal interest in others. His twinkling eyes and witty sense of humor will be deeply missed.
French is predeceased by his wife, Carloyn and brother, Thomas (Vicene).
He is survived by his son, John and daughter-in-law, Kathy, of Oak Hill, Virginia; his daughter Laura and son-in-law, Neil Dougherty, of Wilmington, Delaware. Additionally, he leaves his five adored grandchildren: Caroline, Jack, Bradley, Collin, and Tyler; his brother, Hunter (Ramona) and sister, Melissa (Wayland) and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A private interment is planned for Saturday, 1/24/2015 and a memorial service will be held in early March in Woodstock. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that contributions be made to The Woodstock Museum, 137 West Court Street, Woodstock, Virginia 22664; Capital Caring (Hospice) 2900 Telestar Court, Falls Church, Virginia 22042, CFC Charity Number #39664.