Emily B. Chapman, educator

Obituaries August 14, 2013 0 Comments

Emily Bernice Chapman, 82, formerly of Mt. Airy, a retired teacher and administrator, died July 30 of Alzheimer’s disease at the Cheltenham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Mrs. Chapman, who had been living in Olney, retired in 1989 from the Philadelphia School District. She had worked for three decades at the William Penn High School for Girls, where she taught home economics and had been dean of students.

Earlier she had taught at Laing High School in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., where she coached the girls’ basketball team.

After her retirement she worked for a time as associate director for urban affairs at Lincoln University’s Urban Center. She had also served on the board of trustees at Springside School from 1971 to 1976.

Mrs. Chapman’s daughter Victoria said her mother, as an educator and disciplinarian, “was both loving and no-nonsense in her manner, encouraging her students.”

Mrs. Chapman was instrumental in the formation and growth of “Just Friends,” a group that began in the home economics department at William Penn and grew to include educator friends from various schools.

Born Emily Bernice Mathis in Abbeville, S.C., she was a graduate of South Carolina State College and earned a master’s degree in education from Temple University and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Sarasota.

For the past two decades she was an active member of Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia, where she taught Sunday school.

She was an avid seamstress who made wedding dresses for friends and was a fan of Philadelphia’s professional football and basketball teams.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Chapman is survived by her husband of 56 years, Lee Manuel; a son, Leander Mathis; a brother, James Thomas Edwards, and a sister, Mildred Edwards.

Funeral services were held Aug. 3 at Zion Baptist Church. – WF

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