David Riner Chapman, M.D.

Born: Sun., Mar. 25, 1945
Died: Thu., Nov. 9, 2017


Memorial Service

2:00 PM Mon., Nov. 13, 2017
Location: First United Methodist Church South Campus


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David Riner Chapman, M.D.
March 25, 1945 – November 9, 2017
Greensboro, Georgia

David Riner Chapman, M.D., 72, of Greensboro, Georgia, passed away on November 9, 2017.  A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Dr. Chapman was born on March 25, 1945, to Marion Eason Chapman and Charligne Hall Chapman, who nurtured in him a steadfast faith in God.  He grew up happily in Raleigh Court and was notoriously mischievous with his childhood friends, including his brother and best friend, Eason.  Dr. Chapman’s devotion to medicine stemmed from visiting local hospitals in the early 1950s with his aunt, Essie Flagg Riner, one of Virginia’s first nurse anesthetists.  When Dr. Chapman was in third grade, his family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his father, who had been President of Virginia Bridge Company, became a senior executive officer of U.S. Steel until retirement with forty-seven years of service.

In 1963 Dr. Chapman graduated from Mount Lebanon High School, where he lettered in football, and in 1967 he received his undergraduate degree from Emory University in Atlanta.  He was encouraged and allowed to pursue his medical training while deferring service to his country.  He completed medical school, residency, and internship at the University of Miami School of Medicine, where he was Chief Resident of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  While living in Coral Gables he met and married his first wife and wonderful mother of his three children, Helen Ann Dilley, a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina, whose family lived in Miami at that time.  Upon completion of his residency in 1975, Dr. Chapman served two years active duty in the Medical Corps attached to the combat support unit at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina.  Dr. Chapman and his young family enjoyed living at Shaw AFB because his brother Eason and his family lived in nearby Florence.  During that time Dr. Chapman completed his Air Force duties daily and drove to McLeod Memorial Hospital (now McLeod Regional Medical Center) in Florence to work nights and weekends in the emergency room.  At McLeod Dr. Chapman met his mentor, Dr. Albert Baroody, a medical veteran of World War II with whom Dr. Chapman was honored to join in the private practice of obstetrics and gynecology in 1977.  On Dr. Chapman’s first day in the office, he and Dr. Baroody saw patients until dark and then made hospital rounds before Dr. Baroody asked him to ride with him to make a house call, stopping first at the pharmacy to fill a prescription for morphine tablets, stating that a terminal cancer patient should never die from or in pain.  Dr. Chapman was overwhelmed by Dr. Baroody’s compassion for patients.  It was this compassion that inspired Dr. Chapman to research and publish numerous case studies, then establish a high-risk obstetrics clinic for the Pee Dee region to address the highest perinatal mortality rate in the state.  The clinic was so successful that the State of South Carolina adopted the clinic’s guidelines to implement a statewide high-risk obstetrics program. 

Dr. Chapman delivered thousands of babies over two decades and later transitioned his practice to develop minimally invasive surgeries through a nationwide network of other advanced gynecological surgeons.  In 1995 he married Elizabeth Diane Cowley, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, who was a graduate of Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.  After their marriage she joined his practice with fifteen years of experience as a physician assistant.  In 2005 Dr. Chapman had the honor of performing the first worldwide webcast of a live Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH) procedure at McLeod Regional Medical Center.  Dr. Chapman consistently attributed successful patient relationships and outcomes to his many talented nurses and staff, including his decades-long office administrator Jenene Trump.  In 2014 Dr. Chapman retired from private practice and happily passed the torch to Dr. Albert Baroody’s great nephew, Dr. Brent Baroody.  

Dr. Chapman was Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  He also was a member of the Executive Board of The South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a member of the South Carolina Medical Association, past president of The South Carolina Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, and Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.  

Dr. Chapman was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Florence, South Carolina, where he served as Scoutmaster and led BSA Troop 477 to Sea Base, the Philmont Scout Ranch, and the National Scout Jamboree.  His summer outing to Philmont with his son (and eventual Eagle Scout) Thad was an experience that Dr. Chapman cherished – he often remarked that his greatest accomplishment was that everyone returned from Philmont in one piece.

Dr. and Mrs. Chapman retired to Reynolds Plantation in 2014, where they enjoyed their new church home, Greensboro First United Methodist Church, playing golf, taking their beloved golden retriever and certified pet therapist Vanna to local hospitals and nursing homes, and visits from grandchildren.  In addition to their shared passion for medicine, Dr. and Mrs. Chapman traveled to all the continents, including a special trip to the Tour de France.

The family wishes to express its appreciation for Dr. Chapman’s driver and companion, Reverend Mack Hill, whom Dr. Chapman referred to as his guardian angel, and for Dr. Chapman’s cousin, Dr. Ashley Hall Tapscott, who visited frequently from her medical practice in Charlotte to supervise Dr. Chapman’s medical care in recent years. 

Dr. Chapman is survived by his wife, Diane; his daughter, Ansley Chapman Cella (John) of Raleigh, North Carolina; his son, Thad William Chapman (Elizabeth) of Buckeye, Arizona; his daughter Lauren Chapman Fahey (Alan) of Lexington, Kentucky; and by his seven grandchildren, John Robert Cella III, Andrew Chapman Cella, Marion Pendleton Cella, Marian Elizabeth Chapman, Merritt Ann Chapman, Brendan Conor Fahey, and Aidan James Fahey.  He is also survived by his brother, Marion Eason Chapman, Jr. (Mary) of Charleston, South Carolina, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 13, 2017, at 2:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, Greensboro, Georgia (South Campus).  A reception in the Fellowship Hall will follow.   

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Greensboro First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 216, Greensboro, GA 30642; First Presbyterian Church, Florence, 700 Park Avenue, Florence, SC 29501; McLeod Health Foundation, P.O. Box 100551, Florence, SC 29502-0551; or the charity of one’s choice. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit www.mccommonsfuneralhome.com to sign the online guest register.

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Condolence Booklet

Dan & Robbie DeFreese
   Posted Sat November 11, 2017
Thad, Liz, & Family, so sorry for your loss. You & your family are in our thoughts & prayers. May you find comfort in knowing others care.

Fondly,
Dan & Robbie

David and Margaret Hewitt
   Posted Mon November 13, 2017
Dr. Chapman was a wonderful doctor. He took time to talk to each of his patients and show true concern for their well being. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Hopefully they can find some comfort in knowing that he is held in the highest regard by many.