Barbara Chapman, 71

Barbara M. Chapman, age 71, of Nottawa, passed away early Monday morning, Oct. 29, 2012, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

She was born Dec. 29, 1940, in Centreville, a daughter of the late Simon and Mary (Yoder) Schwartz.

Barbara lived her early life in the Centreville area. In 1964, she moved to Iowa, where she resided until 1973, at which time the family relocated back to the local area.

On April 3, 1961, she married Robert P. Chapman in Nottawa. He died Jan. 26, 2000.

Barbara was happiest when she was able to do for others. She worked for six years at Fairview Living Centre as a nurse’s aide and for 20 years she had been employed by Nottawa Community Schools as a Bilingual Accredited Title One Para Educator. She graduated valedictorian of the class of 1986 from Three Rivers Community Schools Adult Education Program.

Barbara was a 36-year member of Wasepi Mennonite Chapel in Centreville, where she was active in the adult ladies Sunday school class and Bible study. Barbara had complete dedication and total love for her family especially her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her special holiday cooking, gatherings and festivities will be forever missed by her family.

She is survived by her children, Violet (Richard) Sears of Mendon, Tina (Kevin) Sears of Edmonton, Ky., and Mary (Shawn) Fabian of Nottawa; step-children Debbie Keplinger of LaGrange, Ind., Robert Woodward of Auburn, Ind.; grandchildren Rebecca, Josh, Steven, Cassondra, Bryant and Gabrielle; 11 great-grandchildren; her siblings, Jake (Martha) Schwartz of Sturgis, Rose (Jim) Chapman of Nottawa, John (Mary) Schwartz of Nottawa and Marvin (Maryanna) Schwartz of Middlebury, Ind.; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a stepdaughter, Vicky; and brother, Peter “Sonny boy.”

The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m.Tuesday and 2-4 p.m.and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Locust Grove Mennonite Church, 29525 Findley Road, Burr Oak, where funeral services celebrating the life of Barbara M. Chapman will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday. Pastors Doyle Miller and Jake Schwartz will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the service at Nottawa Cemetery in Nottawa.

Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, is entrusted with the arrangements.

Her family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Barbara’s memory consider Wasepi Mennonite Chapel, 25609 Wasepi Road, Centreville, MI 49032.

Her obituary is also at, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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