June 11, 1954 – Dec. 19, 2014
John J. Chapman, a horse trainer and driver, died Friday in his Orchard Park home after a long illness. He was 60.
Mr. Chapman – the son of the late Johnny Chapman, a Hall of Fame horseman – was born in Springville and moved to Long Island with his family, graduating from Westbury High School, close to Roosevelt Raceway, where his father’s stable was located.
As a young man, he worked in his father’s stable and in the 1970s enrolled in the animal husbandry program at Alfred State College.
More recently he worked at Buffalo Hospital Supply.
Fran Moran, a stablemate, characterized Mr. Chapman, who friends referred to as “Jake,” as a person with a “fierce work ethic, high moral compass, endless optimism and unconditional love for family and friends.”
He also was an outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing.
Survivors include three sisters, Cindy Chapman-Koch, Cricket Brennan and Cheryl Gacek.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday at the end of the viewing, from 5 to 7 p.m., in Lombardo Funeral Home Southtowns Chapel, 3060 Abbott Road, Orchard Park.