James Chapman, 50, dies

Published 2:32 pm Monday, April 4, 2011

James Chapman kisses his wife, Beth, after her inauguration this year as Alabama's Secretary of State. Chapman passed away from an illness on Monday morning. (Contributed photo)


James Chapman, 50, husband of Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, and father to their two sons, Taylor, 21, and Thatcher, 18, passed away on April 4.

Chapman had been hospitalized at St. Vincent’s Hospital for more than a month, suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome. His wife was at his side the entire time.

Chapman was an employee of Alabama Power Co. for 17 years. He was a Republican, a member of the NRA and the National Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Freddy Ard, chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, said Chapman played a crucial role in the party and in the Shelby County community.

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of James Chapman. James and Beth have been through such a difficult ordeal these past few weeks, but endured with extraordinary grace and faith,” Ard said.

“The Chapmans have long been a vital part of the Shelby County community, and that service expanded with election to statewide office. While Beth was very much a public figure, James has enabled his wife with steadfast wisdom, support and encouragement for her pursuits in public service. James’ role has most definitely been crucial to Beth’s endeavors to bring excellence in public service to our state. This community, and indeed the Republican Party, has surely lost a dear friend, an upright Christian man, as well as an exemplary father and husband.

“On behalf of the Shelby County Republican Party, I extend heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Beth, as well as to her two sons, Taylor and Thatcher,” Ard said.

Chapman was one of the top managers at Alabama Power Co., a spokesman for the company said.

“It’s hard to put into words what James meant to us and how much we will miss him. James and his family were part of our Alabama Power family. Our hearts go out to Beth, Taylor and Thatcher at this very difficult time,” said John Hudson, vice president of public relations for Alabama Power.

The Chapmans are residents of the Hoover area of Shelby County. Chapman graduated from West End High School and the University of Montevallo. He served on the Shelby County Law Enforcement Personnel Board and volunteered for multiple charities.

In addition to his wife and sons, Chapman is survived by a foster son, Anthony; his mother, Ruth Chapman; and sisters Donna Powers and Patti Griffin of Hoover.

Visitation will be Wednesday, April 6, from noon to 2 p.m. at Metropolitan Church of God with funeral beginning at 2 p.m. A graveside service will follow at Southern Heritage on U.S. 119.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the James Chapman Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 224, Hoover, AL 35244 or they can be delivered to the church.