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Good For You | Nova Beall

After 100 years, Mary Chapman's dance goes on

Mary Chapman, center, celebrates Mardi Gras in February with Palm Garden of Clearwater staffers. Another celebration last week was all about her and her 100th birthday on Sunday.


Mary Chapman, center, celebrates Mardi Gras in February with Palm Garden of Clearwater staffers. Another celebration last week was all about her and her 100th birthday on Sunday.

Mary Chapman of Clearwater was the guest of honor at a 100th birthday celebration hosted by her granddaughter, Sandra Cheek of Tampa, and attended by about 50 family members. The event took place a week before her actual birthday and included a big cake and a musical tribute. Great-granddaughter Laurel Sabadosh and family friend Jody Gray composed an original song and Mr. Gray sang it to her.

Mrs. Chapman and her twin sister, Ann Scully, were born April 26, 1909, in New York City to Andrew Pape, an immigrant from eastern Europe, and his wife, Anna. The family moved to Connecticut when Mary was a child.

Ann lived to the age of 98, and another sister, Margaret Schick, passed away at 70. Mrs. Chapman has two more sisters, Kay Kader, 96, and Ronnie Fucci, 90, living now in Fairfield, Conn.

From the time she was a young girl, Mrs. Chapman enjoyed crocheting, music, and has always loved to dance.

While celebrating Mardi Gras this year, the Palm Garden of Clearwater resident was captured on film dancing with costumed staffers.

In 1931, she married Robert Chapman in Stratford, Conn.

He was employed as superintendant of Austin Steel Company, which gave him and his wife an opportunity to travel around the globe.

While living in Stratford, she worked for several years at Remington Arms, inspecting ammunition.

Upon Mr. Chapman's retirement in 1973, the couple moved to Palm Beach from Pennsylvania, and 13 years later relocated to Palm Harbor.

Mr. Chapman passed away in 1991.

Mrs. Chapman's daughter, Blanche Sabadosh of Palm Harbor, said that nowadays, her mother has trouble remembering the names of family members and calls everyone "Cookie."

Mrs. Chapman also has a son, Robert Chapman of Clearwater; 11 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

The centenarian likes to share this thought: "I see the sky and the sky sees me. God bless the sky and God bless us all."

• • •

Martin and Betty Hughes of Clearwater celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary April 11 at Bon Appetit Restaurant, Dunedin with family and friends. Their children later surprised them with a five-day stay at the Catalina Grand Condominiums on Treasure Island.

The couple tied the knot April 10, 1949, in Woodinville, Wash.

They came here in May, 1965 from Seattle, Wash.

He retired in 1993 as a supervisor for American Can Company, Tampa.

She worked as a library clerk at St. Petersburg College and retired three years after her husband.

The couple are members of Sylvan Abbey Methodist Church, Clearwater.

They have two sons, Marty Hughes of Perry, and Tim Hughes of Oldsmar; three daughters, Lynda Anderson of Houston, Irene Kretschmar of Corpus Christie, Texas, and Cheryl Lamoureux of Clearwater; 12 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

• • •

At the recent Career Awards Luncheon at the Belleair Country Club, five winners of the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Chapter's National Society of Arts and Letters Competition entertained honored guests, members and attendees with their winning comedy or drama presentations. Each was then given an award plaque and a check. First place winner, Jack Holloway, will head to Washington, D.C. in May to compete in the national competition as the Clearwater/Tampa Bay representative.

The annual Community Award was presented to Carl Kuttler, Jr., president of St. Petersburg College, for his entrepreneurial spirit and many accomplishments in the field of the arts.

The National Society of Arts and Letters supports and sponsors young people in their endeavors through annual competitions in arts and letters focusing on a different area each year.

To submit an item, write to Nova Beall, 710 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756. Fax to (727) 445-4119 or e-mail Good For You includes news of 50th wedding anniversaries, people celebrating their 100th birthday (or more) and young people's noteworthy achievements academically, in the arts or community service. For information or an anniversary form, call (727) 445-4221.

After 100 years, Mary Chapman's dance goes on 04/28/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 8:27am]
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