Gary “Fats” Chapman, age75, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 10th, 2022 at his home in Kalispell, MT, after a courageous 5 year battle with cancer. He was born on June 6th, 1947, in Butte, MT.
Fats moved from Butte, MT, to Salt Lake City, UT when he was 5. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in January 1967. He served his time in Vietnam, achieving the rank of Corporal. He received the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for saving a fellow marine while in the field. He was proud to be a marine. His passing happened on the 247th USMC birthday. It was very fitting for a former marine. Semper Fi Fats.
When he discharged from the Marine Corp, he followed in his step dads footsteps and became a roofing contractor. He finally retired from the roofing business when he was 65.
In 1992, Fats met the love of his life, Diane Hoopes. In 1997, they moved to Kalispell, MT, which was a dream of his. He loved to hunt and fish – what better place than Montana. Fats got to be with his grandson Brock when he shot his first deer. What a proud moment that was for him. One thing he wanted to do was take his granddaughter Bree hunting this year but his health did not allow it. He loved taking young kids under his wing to teach them how to hunt and fish, always looking to take someone on the youth hunts. He took his young cousin, Jake Culver, on such hunts, both the migratory bird and big game hunt. What a joy he had doing this. He also taught Jake the love of ice fishing. The love of these things will live on thru Jake. Jake shared his love of hunting and ice fishing with his dad. Fats also had a love of watching his grandkids play sports. He would watch them play whenever he could. Fats had a love for softball and would follow Kalispell county rec teams around the state to play in tournaments as well as the weekly games played at the Conrad complex in Kalispell.
Fats was preceded in death by his mother, Peggy White, step dad Ken White, sisters Judy Taylor and Patty Jo Gier, brother Larry White, and his grandson Brock Danowski.
Fats is survived by his best friend of 30 years, Diane Hoopes. Daughter Kellie and (Jeff) Saarinen; son Josh Danowski and (Gynelle). Grandchildren Bree Saarinen, Jett Danowski, Beau Danowski and Quinlan Nevin.
A celebration of life will be held late spring/early summer of 2023.