David Chapman
David Chapman
David Chapman
David Chapman
David Chapman
David Chapman

Obituary of David Thomas Chapman

David Thomas Chapman passed away February 2, 2023, in Olympia, Wash., his home for the last nine years.  He was born January 25, 1945, to Thomas O. and Sally (Schiller) Chapman in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the age of three, Dave joined his father in Seattle, where he lived from 1949 to 1971 and Mercer Island from 1971 to 2013.


Dave graduated from Seattle’s Franklin High School, Class of 1963. He enjoyed working at Norselander’s and his dad’s used car lots.  In his spare time, you could find him racing cars in the “tubes” and at Golden Gardens with “the fastest flat head in the valley.”  He then attended Everett Community College for a brief time before enlisting in the U.S. Army.  He served during the Vietnam War Era (1964-1967) in the 215th Military Police unit, stationed at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. He was deployed to Korea at the DMZ (Panmunjeom) and the U.S. Army Support Detachment at Oakdale, Penn.


While stationed in Oakdale, he enjoyed driving to Ohio to visit his grandparents and spending time with the woman he would make his “bride,” Peggy Miller. He married Margaret Ann “Peggy” Miller on January 31, 1967, at St. Vincent DePaul Chapel in Walker’s Mills, Penn. the day after he left the Army. They drove across the country to make a home in Seattle, and they spent a wonderful 56 years together.


Professionally, Dave worked in the car business for 55+ plus years. He started out washing cars as a teen at TO Chapman Automobile Brokers, April and Chapman Used Cars, Cadillac Lane. He worked in all phases of the industry from salesman to General Manager at Tom Chapman Ford in Bothell and Totem Lake, Wash., and as the used car manager at Cascade Ford, Southgate Ford, University Ford, and finally struck out on his own as the owner of Dave Chapman Auto Sales.  He was a fixture at South Seattle Auto Auction, Adesa Auto Auction, and DAA. With his silver hair and quick smile, he loved bringing Christmas presents for the staff every year.       


Dave will be remembered for being kind, considerate, and smiling a lot.  He loved his family most of all, but cars were a close second. He was fond of saying, “Old car guys never retire.  There’s always one more car and another deal to be made.”  There was no way he was going to retire. He was heard to say more than once, “I just need one more good deal.” He loved the car business and made sure his dealer’s license was current. It still is!


Dave loved anything car-related, golf, and spectator sports, especially any sports his granddaughters participated in. They were the apples of his eye. As a grandfather, he was known for never missing a game, concert, or dance recital.  It was not uncommon for him to travel more than two hours round trip for one of their 20-minute games, sometimes twice a week or more.


He was a member of the American Legion in Lacey, Wash., and a former member of the Washington State Independent Auto Dealers Association and Bellevue Power Squadron.


Dave is survived by his loving wife, Margaret “Peggy” of Olympia; son, Thomas (Lisa) of Tumwater, Wash.; granddaughters, Megan and Brittney; stepsister, Diane (Rich) Forth of Monroe, Wash.; and half-sisters from his maternal side of the family, Terry Lane and Lisann Watson.  He was predeceased by his parents; and grandparents, Rev. J.E. and Gertrude Chapman.


There will be a service in Spring 2023 at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash.


Memorial donations are suggested to any veterans’ organization of your choice.


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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Funeral Alternatives of Washington - Tumwater
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