GLORIA CLAIRE ELIZABETH DIX CHAPMAN
NOVEMBER 3, 1924 – OCTOBER 16, 2006
Gloria Claire Elizabeth Dix Chapman was born in Oriole, Maryland on November 3, 1924, the daughter of Ellis Belle Adams and the Rev. Seldon G. Dix. She died on October 16, 2006.
Gloria was a graduate of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French. She went on to attend Howard University and earn a Master of Arts degree in English. She then began her profession in education in 1945, by accepting a position in the English Department at Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Gloria met and married the love of her life while on staff teaching at F.A.M.U., Carlyle Horatio Chapman. Gloria and Carlyle were married for fifty-two (52) years. In 1947 they moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they resided and lived their lives together. They were blessed in their union to have two sons, Carlyle, Jr. and Seldon Edward.
Gloria, upon moving to Baton Rouge, started a 40-year career in the East Baton Rouge School System by accepting a position in teaching at Cheneyville High School.
In 1964, Gloria earned a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Texas. She then returned to Baton Rouge and was placed at McKinley Junior High as an Assistant Principal, then Capitol Senior High School, and then she was appointed to Tara High School at the same position.
Gloria’s position at Tara High School was a historical milestone in the community of Baton Rouge. She was the first African-American person, male or female, to hold a position with title and authority at a school with a predominately white student population in East Baton Rouge School System. Gloria Chapman effectively held the Assistant Principal position at Tara High School for twenty years.
She was a member of Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church for more than fifty years. She was very active and faithful in the Combined Choir and United Methodist Women. She felt strongly, upon the retirement from the school system, that she wanted to do more for God, the church, and the community. She broadened her strong, sincere, and servant commitment by pursuing studies and the discipline required to become a Diaconal Minister. She was active with the Evangelism and Shepherding Ministry at Camphor. Between 2000 and 2004 she suffered three strokes. Even though she suffered the strokes and started residing at the Lakewood Quarters Assisted Living Community, Gloria frequently taught Bible study, led prayer meetings, played in the hand bell choir, and wrote words for the youth at Camphor to make songs while residing there.
Gloria Claire Elizabeth Dix Chapman had a warm smile, encouraging spirit, loving heart, quick wit and ever-youthful beauty that were the hallmarks of her life. She was a courageous wife, mother, educator, and minister. Her concern for others and commitment to share with others were even evident in her connections with numerous civic and community organizations. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., and The Flower Lover’s Garden Club.
Gloria loved her family, church and community, but she also loved reading literature, poetry and the Bible scriptures. On July 4, 2006, she suffered her fourth stroke. She was not able to completely recover. Her son wanted to give her the best care. Carlyle moved her to Dallas to reside near him where she died on October 16, 2006.
She leaves to mourn her death and to celebrate her faithful life, her son Attorney Carlyle Chapman, Jr. and his wife Gloria Oglesby Chapman of Dallas, Texas; her granddaughter Dr. Erin D. Chapman of Oxford, Mississippi; her grandson, Carlyle Chapman III of Dallas, Texas; and a host of relatives and friends.
Gloria was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Carlyle Sr., and her son, Seldon Edward.
In Heavenly love and abiding,
No change my heart shall fear,
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me.
My heart may low be laid.
But, God is round about me
And can I be dismayed.
Apples of Gold
By Jo Petty
Rev. Darlene A. Moore
Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2007; p. 249.