Evelyn Johnson Chapman passed away on November 19, 2016 due to heart failure. She was born in San Francisco, California on November 28, 1935, the eldest child of Frank Kenneth Johnson and Georgia Major Johnson.
As a child Evelyn lived all over the USA, due to her father’s career as a Coast Guard officer. She graduated from Ballard High School in Seattle in 1953. In 1957 she earned an English degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, where she was a member of Alpha Phi sorority, Mortar Board, and Phi Beta Kappa.
After college, Evelyn met John Hume Chapman and they married on September 12, 1959 in Ramsey, New Jersey. They returned to Seattle and raised 3 children at their home on Queen Anne hill.
Evelyn became an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, inspired by her oldest son Coolidge. She got involved with Northwest Center for the Retarded, and then led a group of four mothers and two law students to pass the “Education for All” law (House Bill 90) in 1971. This law in turn influenced the national law.
She continued her community service career by working for the City of Seattle for over 30 years. She was involved with programs for women and children, immigrant families, and people with disabilities. In the 1990’s, she was instrumental in establishing the nationally recognized Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Office.
Evelyn was a voracious reader all her life. She earned a Master’s Degree and took PhD classes at the University of Washington in education for children with special needs. She also enjoyed travel, playing bridge, and going to the ballet.
The family wishes to thank Husky Senior Care and Prosperous Care Adult Family Home for their assistance to Evelyn in her final years.
Evelyn is survived by her children Coolidge Chapman II, Mary Cole (Rick), John Chapman (Kelly), grandchildren Julia, Cristian, Henry, Parker, and brother Frank Johnson Jr. (Margaret). She was preceded in death by her husband John, her parents, and sister Georgia Manin.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, December 10th at 1pm at Bleitz Funeral Home, 316 Florentia St. in Seattle. Donations in Evelyn’s memory may be made to Northwest Center: www.nwcenter.org.