RALPH LLOYD CHAPMAN,
92, of Cass City, died Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in Tuscola County Medical Care Facility, Caro. He was born March 23, 1924 in Petoskey the seventh of nine children born to Ervin and Caroline (Weaver) Chapman. He married Carolyn Mae Johnson November 7, 1946 in Muskegon. She died November 29, 2013.
Ralph graduated from Petoskey High School in 1943. He served a limited term of service at the end of World War II in the Army Specialized Training Program. Ralph was a talented musician playing saxophone and clarinet. During his time in the Army he played in the Army band. Ralph played six nights a week in the Ralph Chapman Quartet/Combo. After he met Carolyn, he needed to make a living, so he began a job with Auto Pulse Corporation in Ludington. Auto Pulse was bought by Walbro and moved to Cass City. Ralph managed the pump plant in Cass City and then Caro after it was moved there in 1978. He retired in 1989.
Ralph's musical career began in High School. He and a friend played four nights a week in Harbor Springs. He later continued to play on weekends. Ralph played at many venues in the Thumb and Cass City area. He played with the Dick Stevenson Trio. He played at the Sepia Cafe in Muskegon, Sherwood on the Hill since it opened in the 60's, and Friday night parties at Harbor Beach Resort. One of the highlights of Ralph's career was playing for the Miss America pageant the year it was held at the Flint IMA. Ralph loved and raised horses for many years. He also enjoyed going to sulky races, bringing home any winnings to Carolyn. He was a wonderful husband, father and brother. A very generous, loving man. Ralph and Carolyn willingly raised their granddaughter, Jamie after their daughter and son-in-law's death.
Ralph is survived by his daughter, Marlene (Gene) Hopper of Cass City; step-daughter, Lynda Guinther of Tucson, AZ; grandchildren: Jamie (Scott) Nordman, Matthew Hopper, Rachelle Hopper; great grandchildren: Allyson, Hannah, Alex, Caitlyn, Kendra; Leah; step great granddaughters: Emily and Grace; sisters: Leone Dewing of Larchmont, CO, Carol Hinkley of Petoskey; sister-in-law, Lorell Chapman of San Diego, CA; many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and James Crane; step son-in-law, Charles Guinther; grandson, Trent Guinther; brothers: Dale Chapman, LeRoy Chapman, Doral Chapman; sisters: Arlene Bagnall, Elaine Chapman and Roberta Bricker.
Funeral service held 11 a.m. Saturday, April 16, 2016 in Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City with Brad Speirs of Novesta Church of Christ officiating. Interment will be in Elkland Township Cemetery. Active pallbearers for Mr. Chapman: Randy Kelly, Jamie Guc, Gene Hopper, Scott Nordman, Jack Generous, Ed Paladi; honorary pallbearers: Matt Hopper, Alex Hopper. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association Greater Michigan Chapter or Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. Family and friends may share memories, prayers and stories with the family at www.kranzfuneralhome.com.
Visitation: 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 15, 2016 in Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City
Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City, Michigan
Debra L. Kranz, 989-872-2195