On a sunny Saturday afternoon (Sept. 26, 2020), just the kind of day he would have liked, Lawrence passed through the veil leaving this earthly life.
Lawrence Gorden Chapman entered this world on Oct. 6, 1946. He was the third child in the Clyde and Goldie Chapman family; eventually they would have 13 children. It appears that Lawrence was both independent and resourceful as a child. He liked to tell how he’d go to school early, as young as in the third grade, to light the fire for the one-room schoolhouse he attended. He may have had other chores there too, as he referred to himself as the school janitor. It was fun for him to get a rise out of people when he’d tell how he shot squirrels on the way home from school for dinner.
The family didn’t have much of anything, including food. Sometimes he would eat popcorn with milk on it for breakfast. What they may have lacked in earthly possessions, they made up for in faith. They attended a small church nearby, but felt as though something was missing. When he was a teenager, a senior couple representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to their home. The family listened to the missionary lessons and several of them decided to join the church. Lawrence was baptized at 17 years of age. He was always so grateful for senior missionary couples. The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ was precious to him.
Lawrence graduated from high school in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Being the first in his family to do this, he was proud of his accomplishment. After high school, he joined the military. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. While stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, he met and courted his future wife, Shannon Fairchild.
Lawrence and Shannon were married in the Logan, Utah temple on Oct. 9, 1968. The newlyweds moved to West Virginia. There they welcomed four children, Vaun Raymond, Misty Michelle, Chelle Cae and Coy Edward, into their lives. Shannon’s family lived mostly in Idaho. After 10 years in West Virginia, they moved to Boise, Idaho. Two more children, Camie LaRae and Ashton Lee, were welcomed. They originally intended to move to Missouri after another 10 years. That plan was foiled by the constant growth of the children who now had strong roots in Idaho.
Lawrence was very service-minded. If there was someone stranded on the side of the road, he would stop to offer assistance. If someone he knew needed help, he couldn’t rest until he helped. It’s true that you reap what you sow. At times when he needed help, strangers and friends alike were there to aid him.
His family relied on him for so many things. He was a good listening ear to his siblings, especially his sister Mary, with whom he had a special connection. His help was often sought for home projects ranging from replacing light fixtures to building an enormous garage. He was a jack of all trades.
Lawrence truly enjoyed the great outdoors. He loved to explore, especially if it involved a back road. Remarkably, he had been to all 50 states!! He loved camping and fishing. On one fishing trip in Alaska, he caught a 145 lb. halibut. Being too expensive to send home, he donated it to a family living there.
Much of Lawrence and Shannon’s recreational time during the kids’ growing years was spent square dancing. They developed lasting friendships with the folks with which they danced. Lawrence lent his voice to square dance calling for a period of time as well. Lawrence and Shannon were often found in matching outfits, holding hands and promenading. A few of their children learned to square dance also. He hated nicknames, but people often attempted to call him Larry. At dances, he would wear a name tag that said, “I’m NOT Larry.”
Family was the most important part of his life. He really struggled with having to choose between an Idaho family and a West Virginia family. When he was here, he wanted to be there and vice versa. He loved his mother. He loved his siblings. He loved his children and grandchildren. He never met a stranger. If you met Lawrence, you had met a friend. He believed that families can be together forever. He was often worried that he wasn’t doing enough to make that possible.
Lawrence, Dad, Daddy, Grandpa, Papa, Brother and Friend - we know that you don’t want us to miss you or mourn for you, but we do and we will. You are important to us. You’ve made a difference in our lives. You leave a void that will never be filled. So until we can meet again, may God be with us to give us peace and comfort through his son, Jesus Christ, because we know that you are well and standing tall.
All our love,
Shannon; Vaun and Shelley, Amanda; Misty and Dean, Jesse, Kyle, Emmalee, Aleesha; Chelle and Toby, Trystan, Rachel and Josh, Jasmine; Coy, Connor, Chase; Camie, Aeden, Izeck; Ashton and Amanda, baby; and numerous other family and friends. Kiss our loved ones on your side of the veil, especially our grandparents and our babies, Sebastian and Mara.
NOTE: After the service at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, there will be a Celebration of Life gathering at the Boise West Stake starting at 2:30 p.m. (Address below) The gathering will be outside at the Pavilion, and you are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.
To send flowers to Lawrence's family, please visit our floral store.