HAYS, Kan. -- Loren William Chapman of Hays, Kan., died Monday, March 16, 2009, at the age of 85.
He was born to Verne and Mary Chapman in rural Smith County, Kan., on May 13, 1923. He was attending Seattle Pacific College in Seattle, Wash., majoring in electrical engineering when Pearl Harbor occurred which changed his life as it did many others.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corp., on Oct. 27, 1942. He served through the duration of World War II, assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron in Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operations. He was trained in sending and receiving international Morse Code. His major work was as flight chief in charge of maintenance and operation of aircraft radio equipment on the P38 fighter planes. Loren attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.
After the war he went into partnership with his brother and operated the family farm in Smith County, Kan., for 16 years.
He married Verona Fishel on June 28, 1953, at Cowles, Neb. He then entered the ministry in the United Methodist Church. Loren graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 from Fort Hays State University. After graduation, Loren taught seventh grade Social Studies in Ellis, Kan., for one year before going to Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colo., where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1974.
Loren spent the next 25 years serving churches across Western Kansas until retiring in Hays in 1987. Loren served three years as an Associate Pastor at Hays United Methodist Church. He loved preaching and working with the churches and people of Western Kansas.
He enjoyed woodworking, camping, hunting, fishing, gardening and was an avid reader and Bible scholar. He also loved music and singing. While taking courses in Hymnody in seminary, he paraphrased Psalm 16 and set it to music.
Loren served many years on the board of trustees, as dean of camps, leading groups and other positions for United Methodist Camp Lakeside, Scott City, Kan. He served on the board of trustees for Hadley Hospital, Hays and the board of trustees of Kansas West Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Loren enjoyed many years serving in the Boy Scouts of America and Lions Club International.
Survivors include his wife, Verona (Fishel) Chapman of Hays; daughter, Gwenne and husband, Paul of Enid, Okla.; daughter, Donna and husband, Dennis of McCook; son, Tom and wife, Cheri of Grand Island, Neb.; and sister, Vera Wick of Hays.
He is also survived by seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.
Loren was preceded in death by his parents; a son, David; his brother, LeRoy; and sisters, Ruth and Ethel.
The funeral and reception will be at Hays United Methodist Church at 10:30 a.m., on Monday, March 23, 2009. Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery at Smith Center, Kan., at 2:30 p.m.
The family will receive friends at the Hays Memorial Chapel from 5-7 p.m., on Sunday, March 22.
The family wishes to express special thanks to the ICU staff at Hays Medical Center and Good Samaritan Center of Hays for their kind and generous care given to Loren and his family.
Memorials to United Methodist Camp Lakeside in care of Hays Memorial Chapel.