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Ann Chapman

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 11:05

March 12, 1927 - Jan. 22, 2024

Ann Williams Chapman, a board member of the East Hampton Library for 40 years who was actively involved in its expansion and fund-raising activities as well as chair of its Long Island Collection Committee, died on Jan. 22 following a long illness. She was 96.

A resident of East Hampton, New York City, and Dallas, she had served on the library board from 1979 to 2019. She also did volunteer work with the Ladies Village Improvement Society, for which she was once head of the tree committee, and was a member of the Maidstone Club and the Garden Club of East Hampton.

Born on March 12, 1927, Mrs. Chapman was the eldest daughter of Murphy McCrery Williams and the former Elizabeth Mitchell of Dallas. She graduated from Highland Park High School there during World War II, studied at Sophie Newcomb Memorial College (now part of Tulane University) in New Orleans for two years, then graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1947. She also took a master’s degree in social work, at the age of 50, from Columbia University in 1977.

After college, Mrs. Chapman moved to New York City, worked for Simon & Schuster, and married William P. Sedgwick III in 1950. The marriage ended in divorce. In 1961, she married Robert J. Chapman, and they enjoyed many years together until his death in 1988.

They first rented in East Hampton in 1962, then bought a house on Georgica Road in 1964, becoming summer and weekend residents. After Mr. Chapman retired, they left the city and divided their time between East Hampton and Dallas. In 2019 she moved into a retirement community.

In addition to her volunteer work in East Hampton, Mrs. Chapman was engaged similarly in New York City. During the 1960s and ’70s, she was first chairwoman of the board and “a guiding light” of the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, her family said. It serves “children and low-income families, out-of-school and out-of-work youth, and aging New Yorkers, including isolated and homebound elderly” residents of two major New York City public housing projects in Upper Manhattan. She was active in settlement-house work throughout her years in the city, and was voted an “outstanding volunteer” of the New York Junior League in 1965.

“With her naturally friendly, accepting style and relaxed manner, Ann Chapman welcomed all comers, from the young and old, to the mayor of New York and the crew that took care of her property in East Hampton, who appreciated the (halting) Spanish she learned as a child,” her family remembered. “Her personality — and decades of experience on boards and with city government agencies and neighborhood groups — made her highly effective at bringing together different people and factions in the East Hampton community and elsewhere.”

She was “a true New Yorker” but “never lost her Texas accent,” her family wrote.

Mrs. Chapman is survived by two sons, David Williams Sedgwick of Charlottesville, Va., and Mitchell Woodbury Sedgwick of London. She also leaves three grandchildren, Christopher Mitchell Sedgwick of Tokyo, Carolyn Woodbury Sedgwick-Ludwin of Charlottesville, and Georgina Elizabeth Harper Sedgwick of London, as well as one great-grandson, Andrew David Ludwin of Charlottesville, and many nieces and nephews. Her three younger sisters died before her.

A family memorial service will be held in Dallas this spring. Memorial contributions have been suggested to the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, at 415 East 93rd Street, New York 10128, or to the East Hampton Library.

 

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