"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." This quote was just one of many that described how great this woman was.
Charleen Alice (Snyder) Chapman, the third daughter Charles Anthony Snyder and Anna Vera Rowe, arrived in this world on February 17, 1937, at 5:47 a.m. She was born in the family home near Pipestone Creek 11 miles east of Whitehall, Montana.
As a girl growing up on a farm, Charleen learned to milk the family cow, grow vegetables, take care of the chickens, and ride their Shetland pony named "Jitterbug." The family farm didn't have electricity until Charleen was in the sixth grade. She remembered doing homework in the winter time by the light of a Kerosene lantern.
Being 11 miles out of town, Charleen rode the school bus, and it was on that school bus where she first laid eyes on a boy named Dave Chapman and fell in love with his long eyelashes. Many bus rides, and quite a few dates later, they were married on October 5th 1957 at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Whitehall, Montana.
They lived in Butte, Montana from 1962 to 1975. They had four children Craig, Jeff, Kristie, and Scott. Charleen and Dave moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1975 and became members and long-time parishioners of St. Ambrose Parish. She made many lifelong friends at St. Ambrose and looked forward to the Saturday afternoon folk masses there. Charleen served four years on the parish council and often volunteered at the Soup Kitchen, and at her granddaughter, Hailey's school, Redeemer Lutheran.
Charleen was a devoted mother who loved to cook. Her family looked forward to her bread, cookies, and crescent rolls. Charleen also made delectable foods like strawberry cranberry salad, sweet potato salad, and potato salad. She was also an accomplished seamstress. Who made clothing, curtains, and many sets of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for her children and grandchildren.
Charleen loved to golf with her friends from St. Ambrose and went on walks in the neighborhood with her husband. Occasionally, she would walk with her grandchildren in search for unusual and intriguing looking stones.
She always had a place at the dinner table for anyone who happened to be in town or away from home. She made sure that people were well fed. She sent dinners to the next-door neighbors when she was making their favorite dishes.
Charleen is survived by her husband of 61 years, Dave Chapman. Her three children and their spouses Craig and his wife Rosemary of Portland, Oregon, Kristie and her husband Jerry Griffiths of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Scott and his wife Shelly of Draper, Utah and their Daughter-in-law Donan Chapman of Greenbrier, Arkansas, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents Charles and Anna Snyder and her son Jeffery Chapman. She will be missed by all who loved her and knew her.
She said many times that she wanted this poem to be read at her graveside:
"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints in the snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die."