Gary D Chapman
Gary D. Chapman, former bank CEO and chair emeritus at Bank Of Cherokee County passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on September 3 2019.

Chapman was born to Ezekiel "Zeke" Chapman and Elva Sunday Chapman at home in Grandview, Cherokee County on January 2nd 1938. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Kenneth Wayne Chapman, Richard Owen Chapman, Thomas Jess Chapman, and Howard Ezekiel Chapman. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Virginia "Sue" Chilcoat Chapman, his sister Lenore Jones and husband T. Jack Jones, one daughter, Susan Chapman Plumb and husband, Loyal Plumb, Grandchildren, Susannah Plumb Scott and husband Dustin Scott, Sarah Plumb Morrison and husband Michael Morrison, Sunday Plumb White and husband Brett White, Sophie Plumb Rotola and husband Nick Rotola, great grandchildren, Ezekiel "Zeke" Scott, Loyal "Zach" Scott, Emma Scott, Conrad Morrison, Teddi White and Kodi White.

Chapman was educated at Grandview school, Bagley School and graduated from Tahlequah High School in 1955. He attended Northeastern State University graduating in 1959 with a Bachelors of Education.

Chapman taught and coached basketball for one year at Lost City School before beginning work as a scout executive with Boy Scouts of America for three years. Chapman went to work for General Adjustment Bureau and from 1964 to 1972 he supervised hundreds of insurance adjusters working some of the biggest hurricane and natural disasters in U. S. history.

He began to dislike the travel schedule of disaster work and in 1972 he went to work in the executive training program at Commercial Bank and Trust Company in Muskogee Oklahoma. Chapman left Commercial Bank in 1982 to come back home to Tahlequah as executive Vice President at First National Bank. During his time in Muskogee he was involved in Optimist Club, Jr. Livestock Auction, Boy Scouts of America, was a member of the Community Action Board and was ordained a deacon at First Baptist Church Muskogee in 1973.

Chapman remained at First National Bank Tahlequah until 1993 and in 1996 he and long time friend attorney, Harvey Chaffin and his daughter, Susan Chapman Plumb purchased First State Bank in Hulbert, now known as Bank of Cherokee County, where Chapman remained as Chairman Emeritus until his passing.

Chapman, at the urging of his mother, an original Dawes Commission enrollee, became involved with his tribe the Cherokee Nation and was appointed to the first Tribal Council in 1973 by Principal Chief W.W. Keeler after the U.S. Senate Concurrent Resolution 26 was approved in 1971 ending the U. S. Government's tribal termination policy.

He was one of the drafters of the 1975 Cherokee Nation Constitution and was elected as a tribal counselor serving faithfully until 1991. He was most proud of his work in securing the funding for the construction of new facilities at W. W. Hastings Hospital in the early eighties and securing the Cherokee National Historical Society as the official records repository for the Cherokee Nation.

He served as chair of the finance committee, business manager and Secretary Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation for chiefs Swimmer, Mankiller and Byrd. Chapman also served for nearly a decade as Chairman of Cherokee Nation Industries board of Directors and President of the Cherokee National Historical Society. He was a faithful member, sunday school teacher and deacon of First Baptist Church Tahlequah.

Mr. Chapman's home phone rang constantly with requests, business, tribal and personal and he was known for his readiness to help every caller in the best way he could.

He was an avid car collector and was frequently emailed engineers at General Motors with specific suggestions on how to improve their vehicle offerings.

A life-long rural health care advocate Chapman served on the board of Northeastern Health System as both a board member and chairman and was a founding member of the Tahlequah Hospital Foundation serving as president.

As a father and grandfather of only girls "Gary" was a passionate voice for women's equal participation in government, church, and employment settings. He leaves a legacy of hundreds of encouraging cards, letters, post-it-notes, voice mails, packs of gum, hand made ice cream shakes and shoulders to cry on. His "girls" cannot recall a time that he was too busy to talk or a subject that he could not or would not talk about.

Services are 11:00 a.m. Monday, September 9th at First Baptist Church Tahlequah, and visitation Sunday September 8th from 1-6 p.m at Green Country Funeral Home.

The family requests donations be directed to the Cherokee Heritage Center, Tahlequah Hospital Foundation and Go Ye Village Retirement Center.
Published on September 6, 2019


Plant a tree in memory
of Gary
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.
The guestbook expires on December 05, 2019.

Showing 10 of 3 posts

Restore this Guestbook to share a memory or message of condolence of your own.