Tribute to Miss Joyce Chapman - The Heart of the Community
Miss Joyce Chapman was known as a wonderful storyteller who loved to laugh – and her heart was devoted to her community.
A woman before her time, Miss Chapman focused her energy on education and a successful career in lieu of marriage and family. Her magnetic personality and joy for life shone through to all who knew her.
“She had so much fun; every time you saw her, she laughed heartily about something,” recalled Margaret Dearth, personal friend and trusted advisor to Miss Chapman. “I think that was part of her longevity.”
THE CHAPMAN FAMILY
Miss Chapman’s family was prominent in the region, most notably having founded Chapman University. Born in Covina in 1920, she was raised near the town’s seven-bed hospital founded in 1922, which would later become Emanate Health Inter-Community Hospital. Miss Chapman was deeply devoted to her family who, despite their prosperity, stayed true to their roots remaining in Covina.
Miss Chapman’s grandfather was Frank Marion Chapman, brother of Charles Clarke Chapman, who is Chapman University’s namesake. The two brothers moved from Illinois to California in the 1890s. Frank Chapman and his family resided at Palmetto Grove, an 80-acre estate and citrus ranch that was located at Cypress and Grand Avenue in Covina.
At the time, Covina was a small, close-knit community of mostly orange ranches like that of Miss Chapman’s grandfather. Church, civic duties and family were important to the Chapmans, as well as education. Miss Chapman’s father graduated from USC Law School, later practicing law in addition to citrus farming on the family ranch.
Miss Chapman obtained a two-year degree from Citrus Junior College before briefly attending the University of Hawaii after visiting her brother, stationed in the Army Air Corps there. She returned to Chapman College for a semester before earning a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from the University of La Verne. Later, she received a high school teaching credential from the University of California, Los Angeles. Miss Chapman was a teacher for five years before moving to Palm Springs where she developed and sold real estate for more than 25 years.
A LIFE WELL LIVED
Miss Chapman was known for her kind-hearted nature, which undoubtedly contributed to her success in business. She frequented the Racquet Club in Palm Springs, was a member of the Disciples of Christ Church and the Kiwanis Club, and was active with the Chapman University Foundation.
In her later years, Miss Chapman spent her time at the South Hills Country Club in West Covina. Never one to spend time in the kitchen, she ate lunch and dinner there daily – her morning oatmeal with orange juice being the extent of her cooking, revealed Ms. Dearth.
Miss Chapman would often sit down at the grand piano in the club’s entrance to play. While her memory began fading with age, she never forgot a story or a song. Former CEO of Citrus Valley Health Foundation (now Emanate Health Foundation) Joseph Zanetta, remembers Miss Chapman fondly from their encounters at the club over the years. “She was like a concert pianist – she would sit down and just start playing a tune.”
“She had this incredible, sunny disposition – just this lovely way [about her]. She was always so kind and gentle with people and had a real positive attitude,” Mr. Zanetta recalled. “She was a great storyteller who had a lot of affection for people, for Covina and for Inter-Community Hospital.”
Miss Chapman’s legacy of philanthropy for organizations such as Emanate Health and Chapman University, among others, not to mention her endearing laugh and love for music, will live on far beyond her time with us.
A LEGACY OF GIVING
As a testament to her generosity and legacy of giving, Miss Chapman included Emanate Health Inter-Community Hospital in her will before she passed earlier this year at the age of 99. Upon completion of the new emergency department in 2016, Emanate Health named the lobby of the emergency department in her honor – the Joyce M. Chapman Lobby – as an expression of our immense gratitude. Estate planning is a wonderful way to leave a legacy in support of the organizations you hold dear. To learn more about including Emanate Health in your estate plan, visit emanatehealth.org/plannedgiving.