George Joseph Chapman

George Joseph Chapman
October 3, 1936-April 15, 2021
Born in Olympia to Dorothy and Melvin Chapman who later moved to Seattle, George entered the first grade at Ravenna Public School and was there until his father joined the Navy and took the family to Virginia to attend Naval Mine Warfare School. His father was transferred to several places, including the South Pacific. 
The family moved to Pateros, where adequate housing was unattainable and they lived with Lee and Gertrude Cooper until the end of World War II. In 1944, labor was scarce and George, at age 8, worked in an apple packing shed pushing the packed boxes to the stamper, who was his mother, at fifty cents an hour.  This was much more rewarding for George than going to school. Later, this position was replaced by an accumulator chain, making George a victim of automation.
After the war and the return of his father, the family began spending winters in Miami, Florida. During those times, George did not attend school but had a great time swimming and attending the dog and horse races. The winter vacations ended for George after several years, and he attended school in both Pateros and Chelan.
After high school George joined the U.S. Navy and ended up in VA155, an Attack Squadron, and did two WESPAC cruises aboard carriers. Upon discharge, he returned to Pateros and married Alberta Johnson.  No work was available in Pateros and the couple moved to Seattle where George worked at Boeing and service stations. While living in Seattle, their son Michael was born. In 1960 they returned to Pateros and built the Hi-Yu Fruit Stand, which took several years to become profitable.  Alberta managed the fruit stand during the days while George worked many other jobs. Their daughter Valerie was born in December of 1962.   After several years, the fruit stand venture became profitable and produced enough money for George to go to Central Washington College during the winter and spring quarters.
In 1965, the year George finished college, the Wells Dam project bought the fruit stand and a large portion of his father’s orchard.  At this time he was offered a management job at Mutual Apple Growers, Inc. (Later MAGI, Inc.), a job he held for the next 35 years.  He became an orchardist leasing and later buying his father’s orchard. During his tenure at MAGI, the company merged five times and grew 25-fold.  He ran MAGI as his own; always trying to cut costs and make the most money for his growers, working many hours and rushing to work in his own orchard during the evenings and weekends. 
Throughout his time at MAGI, George was involved with several other companies and was a Director/Chairman of Northwest Wholesale, Director/Chairman of Tree Top Inc., Director of First Bank of Washington and Chairman of North Central Washington Bank.  He was the recipient of the Silver Pear and Apple Awards upon leaving MAGI after the 1999 harvest. He and Carol sought warmer climates during winter months and spent time on Maui, in Coronado and San Diego, California, as well as multiple cruises.  During this time he worked as a consultant for Co. Bank of Denver and was a court-appointed receiver for BHP and Gebbers Farms. 
In 1975, he married Carol Cox - a marriage that lasted 37 years until her death in 2012. 
Continuing to be an orchardist after retirement, George experienced a bad tractor accident in 2009 and spent a significant amount of time in the hospital. George overcame such obstacles and continued his orchard career until 2020, when economics dictated the orchard removal.
Following retirement, George also started a mortgage company, financing homes in the local area to individuals, which will continue. He enjoyed being able to assist families in purchasing their own homes. 
George is preceded in death by his parents and beloved wife, Carol.  
George is survived by daughter Valerie Chapman Burgett (Rich), of Brewster, Washington and son Michael George Chapman (Luyun), of Pateros, Washington, his sister Linda Chapman and brother Mac Chapman, both of Seattle, Washington, stepson John Simmons and stepdaughter Julie Davisson, six grandchildren: Chase Chapman Burgett, Alexandria Ann Burgett, Claire Trudi Burgett and Blake Chapman Burgett of Brewster, Michelle Nicole Covey (Chris), of San Angelo, Texas and Dorothy Elizabeth Chapman of Juneau, Alaska, and his great-granddaughter Carlee Covey of San Angelo, Texas.
There will be a service for George on April 30, 2021, 11 a.m., at Barnes Chapel at 510 W. Indian Avenue, Brewster, burial to follow at the Pateros Cemetery, Ives Street, Pateros, and a dinner celebration at Lone Point River House at 912 S. Bridge Street, Brewster.
Please leave any thoughts and memories for the family at www.barneschapel.com.  Services are entrusted to Barnes Chapel of Brewster.

 

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