Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z April Challenge: W is for Wilson


“We need to get together more often and not at a funeral.” How many times have you and a cousin said that? Funerals are much like a family reunion. You can learn a lot about a family just by looking at who showed up. Using my grandparents’ guest books and sympathy cards, I’ll be exploring “Who came to the funeral?

is for Wilson Chapman. He attended the funeral of my maternal grandmother in November 1990. Wilson and his wife Dovie were my parents' good friends. However, the entire Chapman clan had been family friends for decades.

Born Leonard Wilson Chapman in 1927, Wilson’s parents were Bill and Edith Chapman. In 1930, the young Chapmans were living with Bill’s parents on Jouett Street. Bill was a merchant in a retail meat market. My grandmother worked for him off and on over the years.
Chapman's Market on Afton Parkway in 1954
cradock.org
By 1940, the Chapmans had added two more boys and moved to Ericsson Street in the Cradock neighborhood in what is now Portsmouth, Virginia. Wilson went to high school with my mother, graduating a few years ahead of her.

from The Admiral 1945
L. Wilson "Lappy" Chapman
Quote: Friendliness and good sportsmanship
makes a character



Wilson’s senior yearbook records his high school career as one popular young man. He was elected as vice-president of both his freshman and sophomore classes. He was president of the junior class. Wilson was quite the athlete too playing basketball, baseball, and football. One year he was co-captain of the football team. He probably made the perfect sports editor of the school newspaper, The Shipmate.








from The Admiral 1944
Bille Dove Forrest
Quote: She hath a daily beauty in her life


Also on the Shipmate staff was Billie Dove Forrest. “Dovie,” as she was called, held several positions on the staff including circulation manager, layout manager, news editor, and eventually editor. She also enjoyed the Literary Club, Drama Club, and Dance Club.

Wilson and Dovie must have been quite an item in high school. In a gossip column-type feature of the yearbook was this statement: Wilson and Billie Dove have made up again – will it last, who can tell?

It did last actually. They married in 1947 and were never apart. I don’t ever remember seeing one without the other.

Wilson and Dovie are buried together at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

L. Wilson Jr. 1927 - 1997
and Billie Dove 1928 - 2000
If you have withstood my wily and whimsical wheedling, then wallow in the wanderlust of more waggish writings and witticisms wafting your way at the A to Z April Challenge.


© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


16 comments:

  1. Dove was an interesting middle name; wonder if it was a family name. I am glad Dovie and Wilson's relationship lasted and endured for many a year. Looking at their pictures, they must have made a striking couple during their teen years!

    betty

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    1. That's an interesting theory about her name. With the limited research available on Ancestry, I didn't find any confirmation of that.

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  2. Great theme! It's fun to read about your family history, while you give us a bit of history to ponder. I love the old photos. I think Dovey and I would have gotten along wonderfully!
    Thanks for visiting my blog this morning.
    Play off the Page

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    1. And thanks for returning the visit!

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  3. I loved going to their house. I remember one Christmas we visited, and Dovie had decorated their fresh Scotch Pine Christmas tree in all gold shiny tear drop and oval ornaments. I was so fascinated by that "modern" tree with no ice icicles. I thought she was so cool. =)

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    1. I remember thinking their house was very grand being on the golf course and all. But when I looked at it on Google Maps street view, it's really a modest house by today's standards.

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  4. Nice reading about Dovie and Wilson!

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    1. Thanks Rachna - and thanks for visiting too.

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  5. Once again, love the names of your family members! Wilson (Leonard was too boring) and Dovie would make a cute couple in a novel. And with that gossip tidbit from the high school annual...it could be fun. Wilson really wasn't a 'looker' with those big ears, but Dovie was so cute :) Well done, Yvonne....almost to the end now!

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    1. Yes, Dovie was cute -- all smiles!

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  6. Eeeshh!! Wendy, Wendy....of course I know your name. Sorry~~I'm getting tired, and stayed up too late doing my 'W' post. Yep, of course I know your name my dear blog friend ~Sorry~

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    1. No prob -- I've been called worse.

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  7. What a wonderful and original topic for A-Z challenge. A lot of hard work must have gone into researching so many people. Wish I could do this about my ancestors one day :)

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    1. Don't wait too long! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

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  8. Somebody is beyond creative here. What a fun way to do A to Z and explore history and family! A treasure for your descendants!

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    1. What a nice thing to say. Thanks so much and thanks for visiting.

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