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Editorial: Robert Chapman

Posted: April 26, 2018 2:53 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2018 1:00 a.m.

We take a moment to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Judge Robert Chapman, who passed away April 18 at the age of 91.

Judge Chapman, who resided in Camden from 1971 until 2008, was by nature a quiet, humble man possessed of extraordinary drive and ability. He was not one to talk about personal accomplishments; however, they were many and impressive.

Chapman was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, actually commanding a ship at the age of 19. He would graduate from University of South Carolina School of Law in 1949; practice law until being recalled to Naval service in 1951; thenm upon returning from that tour of duty, would form the law firm of Butler and Chapman, which later became Butler, Chapman, Parler and Morgan, in Spartanburg.

A member of the South Carolina Republican Party, Chapman was an important figure in the party particularly in the 1960s, serving as a delegate to the national Republican conventions in 1960, 1964 and 1968 and as chairman of the state Republican Party from 1961 to 1963.

He became a U.S. district court in 1971 and an appellate court judge in 1981, where he would serve until electing senior status in 1991. He was active in many eleemosynary activities over the years as well and would be honored for his work and accomplishments by the state of South Carolina, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the University of South Carolina and College of Charleston, to name a few.

But Chapman, for all his honors and accomplishments, will be remembered by friends and colleagues and those who worked for him as a man of brilliant intellect, unimpeachable integrity, quiet generosity and gentle good humor.

His is a life to be celebrated and an example to which we can all aspire. He will be missed.

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