In Memory of

Garry Dwight Chapin

April 13, 1949–August 22, 2019

Photo of Garry Dwight Chapin

About Garry Dwight Chapin

Garry Dwight Chapin was born to Edwin and Hazel Chapin on April 13, 1949, in Holdrege, Nebraska. He joined his older brother Joseph; later his younger brothers Edwin and Thomas were born. When Garry was 10 years old his family moved to Oregon. They lived in Albany, Corvallis and Newport before finally settling in Salem when Garry was a senior in high school. After high school he received a draft notice from the Army, but he chose to enlist in the Navy instead. He served from April 1968 until January 1972, including one year repairing patrol boats on a river in Vietnam.

After his discharge from the Navy, Garry attended classes at Chemeketa Community
College and earned a Journeyman Diesel Certificate. He worked as a diesel mechanic for Goodwin Brothers GMC from 1973-1983, when the shop was purchased by Brattain International. Garry continued to work for Brattain until his retirement in 2006. He met Glenis Grove in 1972. They married in 1975.

Garry loved spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He was a gifted mechanic who generously kept his children’s, family’s and friends’ vehicles on the road. Garry’s ability to repair almost anything began as a child when he took apart his mother’s toaster and then put it back together. He told her that he wanted to know how it worked. Garry also enjoyed fishing of any kind, hunting, and target shooting and reloading his own ammo. One special fishing highlight for Garry was when he landed a 180 pound halibut in Alaska while visiting his brother, Tom. In the summer he liked to hike, backpack and tent camp. He returned often to his favorite hiking and camping site at Duffy Lake, Oregon.

He also enjoyed the challenge of watering his yard and garden with a tangle of hoses that required frequent relocations and a great deal of patience. Garry religiously filled his backyard hummingbird and birdseed feeders. He delighted in keeping the area birds happy. A thin person with a hearty appetite, Garry loved ice cream, and when he dished it up, the bowl would be large and filled to the top.

In 2014, Garry was diagnosed with dementia. After his diagnosis, the family arranged trips with him while he was able to travel. He visited parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde for the first time. Garry also revisited Hawaii and Disneyland with family. His last trip was to Yellowstone Park, a place he had never been. Shortly after that trip in 2017 Garry entered a memory care facility.

Garry passed away in Salem on August 22, 2019. He is survived by his wife Glenis; daughter Melissa Coleman (Tom) of Saint Paul, Oregon; son Jared Chapin (Brandi) of Roseburg, Oregon; and daughter Kylene Tvedt (Ryan) of Eugene, Oregon. Garry was “Grandpa G” to Sam Coleman (Gabby), Max Coleman (Sara), Emma Coleman, Evan Chapin, Cole Chapin, Ike Tvedt and Freya Tvedt.

A service at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd, Happy Valley, Oregon, is scheduled for 10 A.M. on Friday, September 13. A celebration of Garry’s life and lunch will follow at noon at 4494 Ray Bell Rd, Saint Paul, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, donations to Alzheimer’s Association may be contributed online at act.alz.org.