26th January 2018
Remembering a community champion: Keith Chapman 1947-2018
Pauline Alden has provided us with this tribute to Keith Chapman:
One of the best known members of the community has been lost to us due to his sudden death. Keith Chapman was a former Chairman and active committee member of the Nunnery Area Residents’ Association. The current Association Chair Elin Hullis said it was ‘extremely saddened’ at the loss of such a popular member of its Committee.
“Keith, who was previous chair of NARA, was always full of creative ideas to engage local residents, improve our surroundings and help those in a less fortunate position, despite his own health concerns,” she said. “His enthusiasm, compassion and drive to make York a better place to live will not be forgotten.”
Keith was born in York and spent most of his life on Nunnery Estate. He worked in the health service and later in life suffered from ill health but he did not let this get him down and was still active in the community. Keith was a frequent and long term contributor to the letters page of the Press and many will know him for his comments. He was a Trustee of York Independent Living Network.
Tributes to Keith have been pouring in and some of them are mentioned here:
Many people said that Keith was a lovely man and a true gentleman who was always ready to speak up about justice and unfairness.
Jean Thompson remembers Keith as a teenager: “Keith used to play tennis in Rowntree's Park. He was always so kind and loyal. He was the one who would organise an event when maybe the rest of us were dodging the hard work. If he was your friend you were truly blessed.”
Micklegate Councillor Jonny Crawshaw said: “He was always very engaged and active in the community. He has done a lot for the Community and Residents’ Association, and will be missed.”
Reverend Andrew Stoker from St. Clement’s Church, who will be conducting Keith’s funeral service, added this: “Keith was a real presence in our community. Ever selfless, he was dedicated to being a voice to the voiceless and never tired of trying to help people especially the most vulnerable among us. He had a profound faith and sought to bring people together in the service of the common good. Keith was one of the prime movers behind our Internet Cafe and we owe him much for his support and energy. Even though in these latter years his own health deteriorated, he never lost his concern for others. He will be sorely missed.”
Keith’s enthusiasm, compassion and drive to make York a better place to live will not be forgotten and NARA is considering options to honour his memory. Rest in Peace Keith.