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Obituary: Stanley Chapman, 1931-2002

stan chapman Stanley Chapman, a postgraduate student in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, died at home on May 3 after a long battle against a disabling lung disease

Stan's association with the University was always a source of pride and pleasure to him; he did not simply talk about Lifelong Learning, he lived it. After retiring from the Leicestershire Ambulance Service, he started a new career as a coach driver and tour guide. A remark by a passenger on one of his tours about his lively and knowledgable commentaries on historic buildings stimulated him to enrol first for the Archaeology Diploma at Vaughan College, then for a BA degree course in Archaeology.

He graduated in 1996 with a 2(i), but even this was not enough for Stan. His previous life as a paramedic linked with his Archaeology course to give him an interest in the study of ancient human bones, so he embarked on a programme of postgraduate research.

At the time of his death he was in the last stages of writing up his MPhil thesis on spinal disease in an English medieval community. His detailed and meticulous study provides a vivid insight into the effect of relentless toil on the backs of our ancestors. It is hoped that his work can be published posthumously.

Stan's academic abilities, his infectious enthusiasm for his studies and for the latest technology, together with his generous help and guidance to follow students broke down all generation barriers.

His achievements also encompassed driving the departmental minibuses and a considerable talent for fancy dress - he dressed up as Santa Claus and handed everyone a bag of gifts at the last seminar before Christmas, and presented a stand at the 1997 University Open Day clad in a toga.

He was an active and respected member of the British Association of Biological Anthropologists and Osteoarchaeologists. He was also a prominent member of his local community in Desford where he had lived for many years. Another of his many skills was an expertise with fireworks, which gave the village a millennium celebration they will recollect with pleasure for years to come.

He leaves a widow, Phyllis, three sons and five grandchildren. We offer them our sincere sympathy at this sad time. He will be much missed by his many friends in and beyond the University.

Jenny Wakely
May 2002

Death notice: Stan Chapman

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Last updated: 22 May 2002 17:00
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