09:26AM, Wednesday 17 February 2021
John Chapman outside his home in Marlow last year after being made an MBE
A stalwart of the Marlow community who had ‘his fingers in all sorts of pies to help people out’ has passed away at the age of 85.
John Chapman, who was made an MBE last year, died at Wexham Park Hospital on February 11.
He had been taken to hospital due to illness and caught COVID-19 there, before NHS staff found an aggressive bone marrow cancer.
Mr Chapman died peacefully with a nurse holding his hand.
Born and raised in Newport Pagnell, Bedfordshire, Mr Chapman had three daughters with his late wife Jean.
He was awarded an MBE for services to the community in Marlow within the 2020 New Year’s Honours list, and although the pandemic restricted him from picking up his medal, his friends said he was ‘immensly proud’ of being recognised for the accolade.
An accountant in his early years, Mr Chapman's various roles took him overseas before he settled back in the UK until his retirement in 1995.
Mr Chapman moved to Marlow more than 40 years ago, where he got involved with a number of clubs and organisations.
He was an active member of the Rotary Club of Marlow for more than three decades, joining in 1987, and took up positions including chairman, treasurer, president, and most recently district governor.
With rotary, he assisted in taking young business people to America and travelled to India to help with the Rotary-led vaccination effort against polio.
Fellow rotarian Lance Slater said: “John was an absolute stalwart of the community in Marlow over many years.
“He was kind , warm-hearted , and always keen to help others. A true example of a rotarian in action to help those in need in his local community – and wherever else around the world. He will be greatly missed.”
Elsewhere in the town, Mr Chapman was a member of Marlow Rowing Club and also took up the president post of the Marlow Regatta committee, when the event took place at nearby Dorney.
He enjoyed spells as president of the Marlow Chamber of Trade, and the town’s branch of the Royal British Legion.
Mr Chapman also had ties with Great Marlow School, as a governor, and Marlow Age Concern, where he was a trustee.
Raising money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance was also a passion of his, friends recalled.
With the Marlow British Legion, Mr Chapman – an ex-soldier – was president for 11 years but was a member there for 25.
Chairman of the Marlow branch Shaun Murphy said: “He will be hugely missed, he leaves a space in the organisation that will be difficult to fill.
“He was an incredible guy, he had his fingers in all sorts of pies to help people out. John was just a really good egg.”
Arrangements for Mr Chapman’s funeral have not yet been made.
The candidates standing in the upcoming Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner election have outlined their priorities for policing in the region.