338 - 4th Avenue North | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
Obituary of Harold Everett Chapman
Harold Chapman passed away peacefully at his home at Veterans Village, Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon on Tuesday, November 14th, 2023. He was 106 years old.
Harold was born in Saskatoon on April 27th, 1917. He married Mary Violet Bonnett on November 27th, 1943. They had two children, Robert Harold and Gail Lorraine.
Harold was raised on farms at Floral and Meskanaw. He attended Melness School near Saskatoon, Nutana Collegiate in Saskatoon, and Ethelton High School. He graduated from the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan in 1943 with a B.S.A. degree. He did post-graduate work at the University of Saskatchewan and at Iowa State College, earning a Master of Science degree in Cooperative Extension Education from the University of Wisconsin in 1971.
During World War II, while attending the University of Saskatchewan, Harold took military training and was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant. Harold was a mover and shaker in the co-operative movement. He lived and breathed co-ops. A university class focused on co-operatives qualified him for a position with the Saskatchewan Department of Co-operation and Co-operative Development where he worked from 1945 to 1955. This included a three year leave to work on the Secretariat of the Royal Commission on Agriculture and Rural Life. During the 1940s and 50s, Harold was instrumental in the development of co-operative farms in Saskatchewan. He became an educator, helping to establish fishing, trapping and housing cooperatives. In 1955, Harold was named the first director of the Co-operative Institute in Saskatoon, which provided courses on all aspects of co-operatives. The Institute evolved into the Western Co-op College and finally the Co-op College of Canada. In 1973, Harold’s teaching abilities took him to Federated Co-operatives Limited where he took on the role of Public Relations Director. After he retired in 1982, Harold continued to educate people about co-operatives. At the age of 95, Harold published his autobiography, “Sharing My Life, Building the Co-operative Movement”. At 100, Harold was recognized for his work with co-ops, receiving Canada’s top honour, the Order of Canada. In the same year, Harold received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Harold received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal in 2023, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in 2005; the Distinguished Graduate in Agriculture Award by the University of Saskatchewan in 1986; and the City of Saskatoon Centennial Medal in 1982. In 2019, Harold was named Saskatoon Citizen of the Year by CTV.
Harold was a founding member of the Saskatoon Community Clinic in 1962 and the Community Clinic Foundation in 1969. In later years, Harold was co-chair of the clinic’s Senior Advisory Council. Harold was instrumental in the establishment of Station 20 West, a project committed to improving the well-being of people in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods. In 2019, Harold was the focus of an Affinity Credit Union film in which he spoke of the struggles in the 1930s that gave rise to Credit Unions in Saskatchewan. Harold served for many years on the board of Grosvenor Park United Church and in the church choir. Harold was a long-time member of Saskatoon Nutana Rotary Club and served as president from 1973 - 1974. He was on the board of the Saskatoon Region Community College. He worked on fundraising committees with CNIB, the Saskatoon United Way, and the McClure Place Foundation.
Harold and Mary moved to McClure Place when it opened in 1989 where he served on the Residents Council and enjoyed the activities provided, including singing with the Choristers. Harold was honoured to receive a Golden Heart award from McClure Place.
After Mary passed away, Harold found a new love of his life in Joan Bell. Harold and Joan spent many happy years together, raising money for social and political causes. They also brought together the Chapman and Bell families who became best of friends over the years. In 2020, Harold moved to Amy McClure House. And in 2021, he took up residence at Sherbrooke Community Centre where he took part in many activities and enjoyed listening to “Music with Wes and Friends”.
Harold enjoyed life: golfing, choir, playing cards, square dancing and curling. He travelled with his family across Canada and the United States by motorhome for many years after retirement.
Harold was predeceased by his wife, Mary; his special friend, Joan Bell; his parents William and Gertrude; his brothers Jack (Phyllis), Earl (Elsie), Charlie, and Bill; sisters Gladys Dexter (John), and Alice Bader (Eugene). He is survived by his son Robert (Kathy) in Victoria, daughter Gail Chapman-Malone (Tom) in Toronto, granddaughters Corinne (Pat) , Megan (Jamie), and Mackenzie (Theo), great grandchildren Arden, Wesley and Jake; his sisters-in-law Mary Chapman and Yvonne Chapman; as well as many neices and nephews. Harold is also survived by the Bell family: Scott (Rob MacDonald), Drew (Shanna Strueby), and Roger (Tamara) and their children Jakob (Emily) and Lauren; along with many Bell/Coates relatives.
The Chapman and Bell families wish to thank the wonderful care given to Harold at McClure Place, Amy McClure House and Sherbrooke Community Centre.
Harold had a positive attitude his entire life and lived life to the fullest. He was an interesting person because he was interested in others. When asked what his secret was to a long life his answer was “no smoking, if you drink do so in moderation, cultivate and enjoy the relationships you develop and no running around with wild women.”
A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to McClure Place Foundation, Station 20 West, Saskatoon Community Clinic Foundation, Sherbrooke Foundation, or a charity of your choice.
Dependable. Committed. Compassionate.
338 - 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
Looking for something you can't find? We make it easy to get the answers you need. Please feel free to contact our professional staff for any questions or to schedule an appointment with a Funeral Director at any time.