Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
David Chapman Memorial
David Chapman Memorial

David Chapman

David Chapman

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

David Chapman, 66, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at Providence Hospital in Everett, WA. He was born down South in Marietta, Georgia, where they are known, nationwide, for their bible thumping ways.  He was not kidding when he said at his family reunions, everywhere you turned there was a Pastor or Reverend.   I imagine it’s pretty much the same, with most family’s from Georgia.

David was born hyper, so his mother put him into a Karate School, early on, to cool his jets. He loved it!

David loved his older brother Dale and looked up to him as a hero. They were really goofy together, and they did endless, crazy antics, always trying to one up, each other.

David’s family moved to Sunnyvale, CA. in the sixty’s and sadly too soon after the move, his young brother Dale passed away. Thank the Lord, David had the knack, for making friends, but it would take more than friends, to mend his broken heart. One day, after things had settled down a bit, one of the nicest things happened. His father, out of the blue, bought him a guitar, it was a miracle. Between karate lessons and self-taught guitar playing, David was able to heal and went on with his life, practicing and sharing these two blessed skills.

Once David was old enough, he worked with Lonnie (his father), moving furniture across country. This was to keep him busy, and out of trouble. When David was eighteen he was moving a truck load of furniture to Seattle, he took one look at the place, and decided, he was moving in.

It was 1970 when David found a room in a house to share, near the University of Washington. It was in Seattle where David would give it a go, on his own, fitting in with students, and post-Vietnam vets and hippy types, it was truly a fantastic time in history.

He eventually achieved his Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, it took a long time.  Their happens to be ten belts in Kenpo and each belt took at least a year, of practice to achieve.  Once David earned his last black belt, with the permission of Ed Parkers foundation, he was able to use and teach the Kenpo Karate techniques, at his schools.

David taught Karate in Washington State for decades, he taught all ages. I was just reminded yesterday, by a dear friend, how David had taught his lovely wife karate way back in the 1980’s. A lot of his students have stayed in touch. Those kids are adults now with grown kids and even grandchildren.

He was the best teacher that I had ever met. He was born to teach. He taught classes with great patience and lots of humor.

David passed on his environmental protection skills and self-defense for many generations. I can still see us, in the back yard, Dave and I, doing his beautiful techniques or Kata. God Bless Sensei.

David spent his lifetime teaching himself and taking lessons, on how to play guitar. David became one of the best guitar player’s, bass players and harmonica players ever. David’s singing abilities were added to his endless, beautiful talents.

David had formed many bands in his life time.  My favorite was Rock Bottom, but his one man show, Midnight Son show-cased his unique gift of being able to sound just like the person who sang those famous songs.  David’s music got people dancing, laughing and singing. Yes David brought the party and he was an extraordinary entertainer.

When David first moved to Seattle he didn’t have a car instead he bought a bicycle and for a couple of years rode it up and down the streets surrounding the University of Washington.

He found various types of jobs throughout his life. Ranging from being a waiter, chef, waterbed salesman, door to door pots and pans salesman, exercise instructor, and was hired often to play his wonderful music. What was really amazing, back then, was when David was out of a job, he loved to ride over to the U Dub and audit classes. The crazy thing was, he wasn’t a student there. But……. he just COULDN’T, stay away. He loved it there.

After living five long years in the city, David got a taste of Skagit county and knew, he had, to move there. David loved everything Skagit County had to offer mushrooming, hunting, fishing, singing, backyard barbeques, and just good old country living.

David opened up his own karate school, in Concrete, in the strip mall, next to Albert’s, Red Apple, grocery store. He also, made it his mission, to play music, every weekend for decades.

Concrete was jumping back then, loggers everywhere, dams being built and the bars were crowded on Main Street every day. The money was rolling in.

In the 80s David, drove logging trucks, straight up and down the mountains, on the most primitive roads ever!

On top of those mountains, the views were amazing. But navigating a big rig full of trees or cement blocks for the dams was mighty dangerous. Especially when, on those eighteen wheelers, he kept getting flat tires.

Far too often, he found himself struggling between staying on the road and going over the cliff.  Ironically, they fired him for getting all those flat tires.

In the early 1990s, David and Deborah met, when they were 39 years old. It was Valentine’s Day (David’s Birthday). Deborah had heard of this outstanding place, with live music, located just a few miles away from where she lived. This place was called Bobby Lee’s and the music was as good as it gets! Bobby Lee’s band was called The Edsel’s. David was the guitar player and singer. The dance music they played, was from all, eras. Deborah was in heaven and danced and made merry until closing time,” What a blast”. Next weekend she came back for more. And pretty much, the man she would marry in 2001 became her best friend and love, in a wink of an eye.

David continued to play music and was teaching karate at Joe’s gym in Sedro-Woolley, when Deborah and David started dating. David was always, at his best, when teaching his students. It was like magic watching him teach karate, so insightful, funny, not to mention he was so handsome. The students couldn’t get enough, even when he moved away those who could, traveled to him for private lessons.

David respected women and men and was that guy, who protected, the sanctity of women kind. He was so kind, he loved all animals and respected all forms of life. He quit hunting because of his love for animals.

For 12 years David worked as a casino dealer, at four different casinos, in the Pacific North West. He retired from dealing and became ‘Dave the Tow Guy’ for 11 more years. He loved this job, and put all his heart and soul into it.

David had a serious side. He was a perfectionist and studied until he knew his lessons by heart. He played to perfection. Music note for note, lyrics word for word, karate moves, chop by chop and he used spices that turned ordinary meals into platefuls of delight. What a magnificent chef.

David was generous to a fault, (if that’s possible), and every week for decades he would donate to four different charities. He threw or participated in benefits for all types of causes, David was all that and more. For all these reasons and more Deborah and his friends respected and loved him.  David loved getting away from work, spending time with his wife Deborah, at Baker Lake, in his Bayliner boat, fishing, swimming, and snorkeling. He also loved, hiking and fossil hunting. He ended up climbing up and hanging off of cliffs, just to check them out for fossils. David loved it all!

When Deborah and David got married in 2001 they spent their honeymoon at Ocean Shores for a couple of days and then headed to a place called Fossil, OR. They were going, fossil hunting on their honeymoon?  So they left Ocean Shores behind for Fossil, OR. It was so hot and they were heading far east and it was only getting hotter.

The honeymooners were driven because they had read that in the 1800s John Day discovered the first fossils in Oregon. His discovery of Dinosaur bones, made headline news, and record books and because of the Dinosaur bones discovery many museums opened up in the area.

It was quite the journey for David and Deborah. It took two full days, to get there but upon arrival, it was anti climatic, because, they were not allowed to dig anywhere. So instead they searched for the Fossil Museum. The Museum was located in a small town, in the middle of nowhere, and as it looked (at that moment), with not much to offer. David found the Fossil Museum, they parked stretched their legs and entered. The honeymoon couple, was expecting a big life sized skeleton of a dinosaur, or something, but NO! All they saw were small samples of minerals, ores and rocks. They had traveled three hundred and twenty nine miles and went through hundred degree temperatures, got pulled over by a mean police officer, had vehicle troubles “all for what”?  But, way in the back, in the museum, in middle of, a glass display case, was a couple of pieces of fossils. Attached to those fossils were description cards, with the name, of the fossils and who discovered them. The names on those cards were David Chapman and Deborah Scott. (Deborah Chapman’s last name just three days ago, was Scott). These were very old finds and very old description cards that had yellowed from age. And they stood there transfixed in that spiritual moment in time. As they stood there seeing this for the first time, a lot of things were going through their minds, how could their names be on these cards?  They had never been there before. Of course, reincarnation crossed their minds. Had they been there before? Had they hunted for fossils together in a life time before? Had they been together for a life time, of life times? Forever together in heart and soul?

David is survived by his wife, Deborah Chapman, of Concrete, WA; mother, Doris Chapman, of Panama City Beach, FL; sister, Leslie Chapman-Cruisan, of Panama City Beach, FL; and countless family and good friends. He is preceded in death by his father, Lonnie Chapman; and brother, Dale Chapman.

A Graveside Service will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 11:00AM at Forest Park Cemetery in Concrete, WA, followed immediately by a Celebration of his life at the Lonestar Restaurant, 45930 Main St, Concrete.

David lived a life he chose to live and it was a great life. A very great and wondrous life. God bless you David Chapman until we meet your sweet, heart, and soul again,

Love, love, love you,



  • Deborah Chapman

    I Love You David with all my heart and soul.
    I will miss you every single day untill we meet again sweety.

  • LJ

    No loss is simple. We may search for true comfort, but it is hard to find. There is hope, and comfort from God. John 5:28,29: “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out…” Those who have died are in Gods memory, they have the prospect of being brought back to life. Not only will God comfort us now, but he will provide a resolution in the near future that will reunite us with those we have lost. Please accept my sincere condolences at this difficult time.

  • Judith St Amand

    I had the honor of being one of Dave’s caregivers for a short time, even during his hardest times his humor and love for Deb beamed through he was a very good man RIP Dave you deserve a rest, his nickname for me was “long and strong” I’ll not forget it ever


    We love and miss you Dave. You were a great friend. Hope to see you on the other side some day. I will keep Deborah in my prayers for you! Until next time, RIP!

  • Michael Bates

    I love you brother…..all our adventures…..you were my brother from another mother…….i miss and cherish you. I will see you on the other side.
    Love you and your heart and soul
    Michael J. Bates