George Chapman

GEORGE CHAPMAN

Businessman and philanthropist

Services were Nov. 24 at the Church in Aurora for Aurora native George B. Chapman Jr., 95, who died Nov. 24, 2012.

He was a longtime businessman and was well known in the Aurora and Greater Cleveland area for his community service.

He graduated in 1939 from Princeton University, served in the 107th Cavalry from 1940-46 and then married Ann Whitman, daughter of artist Paul Whitman, in 1946. Later, they moved to Cleveland and he joined his father as an Aetna Life & Casualty insurance agent.

He spent 20 years there and extended the family's management of the agency that lasted 50 years, 30 of which it was the largest Aetna agency in the country.

He also was employed by Lubrizol Corp. as division head of personnel and public relations.

In 1967, Mr. Chapman started his own independent agency -- Chapman & Chapman -- where he served a president until his retirement in 1982. The agency is now a fifth-generation family business run by son Walter.

He served as a director on the boards of several organizations, including Hill Acme Corp., Federal Metal Hose, Edward Howard & Co., Petroc Co. (co-founder and president of the southern Ohio gal and oil drilling firm), Union Commerce Bank and Huntington National Bank.

He also was chairman of the admissions committee of the Union Club.

His charitable activities included the Northeast Ohio American Heart Association and Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.

Mr. Chapman volunteered at the Cleveland Clinic for 10-plus years as an ambassador, served for more than a decade with the United Way One Fund drive and was a lifetime trustee of University School, where he was recognized as the alumnus of the year.

Mr. and Mrs. Chapman and his parents provided financial gifts that were key in the establishment of Aurora Memorial Library in 1966, and additional funding in 1971 led to the establishment of the Performing Arts Center.

Survivors include his wife, five sons, 13 grandsons and four great-grandchildren.

Johnson-Romito Funeral Home handled arrangements.

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