Charles Ray Chapman
Charles Ray Chapman, 88, of Tupper Lake died peacefully May 2, 2020, at his home surrounded by family.
Born in French Camp, Mississippi, on March 25, 1932, he is the son of James “Jack” Larkin and Zoella (Speed) Chapman. Ray married Mary Fletcher on June 4, 1967, in Warrensburg.
Ray graduated from French Camp High School, Mississippi, in 1950. He enlisted in the United States Air Force, flying to many destinations and performing mechanical duties until finally being stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, where he retired. After moving to the Coreys area near Tupper Lake, Ray worked for Sunmount DDSO for a couple of years before purchasing Tri-Lakes Amusement & Vending, and eventually Ray’s Liquor Store, selling the former and retiring from the latter after a long and illustrious career serving the adopted community he loved so much. A few of Ray’s accomplishments are serving 22 years of service in the Air Force, owner/operator of Tri-Lakes Amusement & Vending, owner/operator of Ray’s Liquor Store, raising nine children and always having a smile, and maybe even a song, for all. He was so very loved by all.
Ray was a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving from 1950 to 1972 and retiring as a master sergeant near the end of the Vietnam war.
Some of our family’s fondest memories of Dad were as the “Candy Man,” owning and servicing vending machines/games in the Tri-Lakes area and occasionally letting us kids give them a “test drive.” He was a kind and gentle soul who rarely raised his voice, but when he did, you’d better run for the hills!
Ray is survived by four sons: Michael (Rachel) Chapman of California, Gregory (Susan) Chapman of Wisconsin, David (Camille) Chapman of Arizona and Michael (Teresa) Downer of Alaska; four daughters: Tina (Mark) Bradley of Tupper Lake, Tami Chapman (Craig) of Tupper Lake, Jesse (Sean) Fletcher of Tupper Lake and Billi (Darryl) Fletcher of Tupper Lake; nine grandchildren: Catherine, Mark, Kayla, Mallory, Stone, Dylan, Logan, Max and Cassidy; and five great-grandchildren: Jonathan, Rebecca, Delila, Adelyn, Kayden, and Garrett; as well as many nieces and nephews. Ray was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers (who also served in the U.S. military), Bill, J.T. and Speedy Chapman, his fishing buddy brother-in-law Ray and his beloved son Markie.
Special thanks to Ray’s nephew Jim Fletcher Jr. for taking such good care of him in this last phase of his life, and to High Peaks Hospice staff, especially nurse Melissa Boushie Stearns, for all their comforting care and family support.
Burial will take place at Holy Name Cemetery in Tupper Lake at the convenience of the family. A private service is planned.
Family and friends wishing to remember Ray Chapman may make memorial contributions to Alzheimer’s Research at ALZ.org or High Peaks Hospice, 19 Church St., Saranac Lake, NY 12983. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at www.fraryfuneralhomes.com.