WINSLOW -- Marion Louise (Norman) Chapman, daughter of Earlen J. Norman Sr. and Leople (Pulcifer) Bickford of Oakland, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 18, 2010.
Born in Oakland on July 9, 1930, she was 79 years old when she died peacefully at her home in Winslow surrounded by her loving children, grandson and caregiver Roger C. Smith Jr., extended family and friends.
She was predeceased by her grandparents; her father in 1967 and mother in 1986; son Michael A. Chapman (1959); daughter Rebecca L. (Chapman) Smith (2007); brother Linton Bickford Jr. (2009); and brother-in-law Joseph V. Perry (2007).
Marion is survived by her brothers Earlen J. Norman Jr. and his wife, Ann, of Belgrade and Sherwood Bickford and his wife, Bonnie, of Smithfield; sisters Elaine (Bickford) Perry of Oakland and Carol (Bickford) Salley and her husband, Kenneth, of Smithfield; sister-in-law Barbie of Green Cove Springs, Florida; sons Stephen E. Chapman Jr. and his wife, Katherine, of North Charleston, S.C., Mark E. Chapman and his wife, Gloria, of Hooksett, N.H., Scott J. Chapman and his wife, Elsa, of Wilton, N.H., and Jon K. Chapman of Bangor and his fiancŽe, Elisabeth Daub; daughter Deborah A. Chapman of Bangor and her partner, Carol Cookson; many first and second cousins from the eastern shores of America westward to Hawaii; special friends Marlene Chapman of Benton, Jacqueline Varney of Waterville, Jan Osborn of Oakland and Tressa Nelson of Presque Isle; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and 15 nieces and nephews.
Marion's devoted and kind grandparents, Lee V. Pulcifer (1973) and Nettie (Payson) Pulcifer (1963), of Oakland, deserve special mention as they took Marion into their home and raised her from about age 12 to adulthood.
Marion's formative years were spent living off the sea in Boothbay Harbor. These years gave rise to a special connection with fresh salty air and the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline and became a period remembered with fondness throughout her life. As a young adult, Marion had a wonderful voice and was an avid singer. She served as a choir member at her church, then Oakland United Methodist Church, and participated in high school regional competitions in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and southern Canada. She was also on the girls' basketball team and a cheerleader for boys' sports. In 1947, at age 16, she graduated with 12 other seniors from Williams High School in Oakland. While a student in high school she was employed by Dexter's Drug Store in Waterville.
After graduating she accepted an office job in a shoe store in Norridgewock, working there during the Great Fires of 1947. Within a couple of years she had moved on to a cotton mill in Waterville and woolen mills in Fairfield and Oakland. During the 1950s and 1960s she worked in the delivery ward of the Osteopathic (now Inland) Hospital in Waterville, assisting and in some cases delivering more than 500 babies, including her youngest sister and niece. In the early 1970s she moved to Bangor and went to work for AT&T and New England Telephone.
After retiring in 1991, she returned to her roots in the Kennebec County area and settled in Winslow. Throughout her life, Marion enjoyed watching musicals, ice-skating competitions and "Law and Order" dramas; and playing Beano and tournament cribbage. She also loved gardening and oil painting on canvas and ceramics, especially lighthouses and ocean scenes, leaving many personal mementos to those who loved her most. She will always be remembered as a loving and devoted grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend.
A celebration of Marion's life will be held at her longtime church, the Oakland-Sidney United Methodist Church, 20 West School St., Oakland, at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 23, after which a reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall at the church.
Marion's ashes will be interred in a special ceremony at Lakeview Cemetery in Oakland during the summer of 2010 at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, please pray for Marion's eternal soul and/or send a memorial donation to the Oakland-Sidney United Methodist Church, 20 West School St., Oakland, ME 04963; (207) 465-3222; where her family has established a memorial fund in her honor.