G. Clarke Chapman
December 1, 1934 - February 11, 2021
Born in California, the first child of Rev. Gordon C. Chapman and Charlotte McDonald Chapman, Clarke's younger siblings were Judy Janet Chapman Craig and David Chapman. He went to high school in Phoenix, Arizona, received his BA from Arizona State University in 1956 and his Bachelor of Sacred Theology and PhD from Boston University in 1963. He served on the faculty of The Department of Religion at Moravian College for his entire career, from 1963 until his retirement in 2006. He taught courses on the New Testament, Paul and the Early Church, and Religion in the Movies.
On August 17, 1957, he married Ardis Leone Vetesk, his lifelong partner. He is survived by Ardis and their three daughters: Martha Chapman, Gretchen Chapman, and Susannah Chapman, and by his three sons-in-law: Paul Pillitteri, Paul Breslin, and Jonathan Spitz; and his three grandsons: Amos Chapman, Lukas Spitz-Chapman, and Boaz Chapman and his brother David and family.
Clarke and his family had several stays abroad in Germany for his scholarship. Later he traveled to the annual Bonhoeffer Society Conferences, often in Europe, and enjoyed an educational tour of St Paul's ministry in Turkey. Passionate about living out his faith, he was active in local peace and justice work, and authored books and articles on the evils of nuclear proliferation. He held leadership positions in LEPOCO (Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern) and helped to found the Bethlehem Peace Center. For many years he walked in the annual Christmas Peace Pilgrimage.
Clarke was enthusiastic about backyard organic gardening and composting and was an avid listener to early classical music. He loved a good pun; his quiet but wicked sense of humor would frequently dissolve a roomful of friends or family into laughter. He loved being with family, friends and colleagues, sharing meals and enjoying good coffee and good wine. After a coronary bypass surgery at age 59 he maintained a strict diet and exercise regimen that allowed him to live to age 86. He was a longtime resident of Bethlehem and active member of
Wesley United Methodist Church. He resided with Ardis at Kirkland Village since 2011.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to Bread for the World, of which he and Ardis were some of the earliest members, and to the G. Clarke Chapman & Ardis Vetesk Chapman Endowed Scholarship Fund at Moravian College.