Theodore Chapman, 84, of Lexington died Feb.21


Theodore Abbott Chapman, 84, of Lexington, died on Feb. 21, 2018, at Webster Assisted Living Facility at Kendal at Lexington, surrounded by his closest family members.

He was born August 15, 1933, in New York City, and grew up in Greenwich, Conn.  After college (Yale 1955), he worked for a year in Albany, N.Y., after which he enlisted and served for three years in the military in a noncombative position, stationed in Frankfurt, Germany.  During that time he formed many lasting friendships and also met his future wife, Renate.  After his discharge he returned to the States, to complete his education in 1962 with an MBA from Harvard.

He is survived by Renate Wagner, his wife of 53 years, his brother Benjamin Low Chapman and wife Pat, and by the family of his predeceased brother Eustace Blackwell Chapman Jr.,  i.e. Lynne Wildman Chapman, widow, niece Ashley Lansdale Chapman and nephew Mills Matthiessen Chapman.

Ted and Renate were married in 1964, and lived in Bethesda, Md., until 1988. From 1962 until 1987 Ted worked at the Export-Import Bank of the United States in Washington, D.C., as a loan officer and financial analyst.  The position at the Eximbank, as it is known, appealed to Ted because of the opportunity to aid developing countries in financing significant infrastructure projects to be purchased from U.S. manufacturers. He became heavily involved with OECD export credit negotiations and during those years made numerous trips to Africa, Latin America, Japan, and major European capitals. 

After Ted’s retirement from government service, the couple moved to Rappahannock County. They purchased and renovated an 1830 farmhouse, and in 1989 opened September Song Retreat House, a place for small church groups to come to on weekends.  A very busy life of serving fellow Christians, but a joyful ministry.  With advancing years, they slowed down somewhat, until in 2011 they retired to Kendal at Lexington.     

For their vacations during all those years, Ted and Renate liked to travel to various mountain regions of the world, mostly where the trails are “user-friendly,” such as Austria and Switzerland and many western states of the U.S., but also got a taste of trekking in Peru and Nepal.  And, of course, they were very familiar with the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As a lifelong Episcopalian, Ted always served his respective parish, mainly as treasurer for 17 years of St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., and also at Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington.  He also served the community of Rappahannock County by driving for Meals on Wheels and assisting the elderly with transportation needs.

There was a graveside service at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery on Feb. 27, at 3 p.m., the Rev. James Hubbard officiating.  Memorial contributions may be made to the “Fellowship Fund” of Kendal at Lexington.