Thurman James Chapman

OCTOBER 13, 1925 – MARCH 27, 2019

Thurman James (T.J.) Chapman, age 93, of Austin, Texas passed away peacefully at his home on March 27, 2019 after a long illness.

T.J. was born Oct. 13, 1925 in Coleman County, Texas to George and Ellon (Poynor) Chapman. He graduated from Coleman High School and enrolled in Texas A & M in 1943 but his education was interrupted by service in the military. He enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and was accepted to flight school, but because of surplus of recruits was sent for additional schooling at the University of South Carolina. He later was offered and accepted a transfer to midshipman school at Columbia University. Commissioned as an ensign and assigned as a gunnery officer to the USS Vicksburg, he sailed for Japan on August 1, 1945. While in transit the A bomb was dropped and World War II ended. He returned to Texas A & M and graduated in 1948 as the class of 1947.

He was employed by the Veterans Administration as an instructor in Gillespie county Vocational School for WWII veterans. He met Betty Sell of Mason, Texas while both were living in Fredericksburg, and they were married in 1949.

In 1961 he and W. Robert Boon founded their firm, Boon-Chapman, in Midland. Soon thereafter it was retained by the Teas Department of Public Safety to implement and administer its new group insurance program. The company grew and in 1964 they moved the headquarters to Austin. Boon Chapman specialized in trade association group health insurance industry. It served Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, the Texas Hospital Association and many other associations and was a pioneer in introducing self-funding of employer group health insurance. On his retirement, his son, Kevin, took over the company.

In addition to being president of Boon Chapman, T.J. was president of Texas Association of Life Underwriters, Vice President and founder of Texas Professional Benefit Administrators Association, Chairman of the Quick Claim Client Association and a Board Member for the Society of Professional Benefits Administrators.

He is survived by his wife Betty, daughter MarrGwen Townsend and her husband Stuart, son Steve and wife Cyn, grandchildren Ross (wife Kate and great-granddaughter Harper), Keith, and Isabelle; son Kevin and his wife Rhonda, grandchildren Daniel and Ali (husband Patrick) Sullivan; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 1st at 2PM at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3003 Northland Drive, Austin, TX. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Presbyterian Children’s Home & Services or to the Settlement Home for Children both in Austin or a charity of your choice.