• by Kirk Gaw

Ray Chapman, Grocer and Community Leader

Walkerton will miss longtime businessman Ray M. Chapman, 90, who passed away Friday, February 2nd 2018 at Miller's Merry Manor. He was best known as one of the leading grocers in town at Ray's Market on Illinois & Van Buren. He was born November 8, 1927 in Lacrosse, IN to Kenneth C. and Hazel (Lee) Chapman and lived in the Walkerton area since 1934.

Ray Chapman at home in Koontz Lake hamming it up with a WSBT news reporter about the Chicago Cubs.

On April 2, 1949 in LaPorte, IN, he was married to Marian L. (Parsons) Chapman, who preceded him in death in 2014. He was also preceded in death by his parents and brother, Lee Chapman. Survivors include three daughters, Nancy (Roy) Johnson of Bluffton, IN, Sharon (Mark) Fenstermacher of Bloomington, IL and Linda (Dennis) Holland of Walkerton; exchange student daughter, Ingrid (Peter) Hanisch of Germany; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Ray posing with Lloyd Knowlton at the new store on Illinois St. - Photo by Ken Rohrer

Ray was a graduate of Walkerton High School and attended the South Bend College of Commerce. He was the co-owner of Dave & Ray's Supermarkets at Walkerton, Koontz Lake, and Plymouth. He was an Army Air Force veteran, serving in Japan from 1946-1947 and a member of the Walkerton American Legion Post #189.

Ray was a member of the Walkerton United Methodist Church and a Lay Leader of the South Bend district of the Methodist Church. He was a 50 year member of the Walkerton Lodge #619 F&AM and past president of the Walkerton Chamber of Commerce and the Walkerton Lions Club. He was previously a member of the Walkerton Industrial Committee, the John Glenn Building Corporation, the Ancilla College Board of Trustees and was active in forming the Koontz Lake Enhancement Committee.

Ray had supermarkets in Walkerton, Koontz Lake, and Plymouth. - Photo by Ken Rohrer

Funeral services will be Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. EST at the Walkerton United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Walkerton. Friends may visit Monday at Rannells Funeral Home, Koontz Lake Chapel from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST and Tuesday at the church one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Walkerton United Methodist Church or the John Glenn Education Foundation.

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