dr Richard Alexander Chapman of Dallas, Texas, beloved patriarch, gentleman, athlete, scientist and devout Christian, died peacefully on August 16, 2022 at the age of 89 after a short illness that marked the culmination of a life well lived and fulfilled.
Richard came from a long line of Chapmans who had lived in Ellis County since the 1850’s. When he was born on September 24, 1932, weighing 11 pounds, Richard’s parents, Hazel Stevens Chapman and Richard Franklin Chapman, surely knew their son was destined for a greater life. as a lifetime future. Waxahachie was Richard’s childhood home. These Harbin Street boys climbed trees, played Tin Can Shinny (street hockey on bikes), enjoyed war games, and went downtown to see movies at the Texas Theater for 9 cents! They were also known to play hide and seek in the city cemetery. Four of these boys were lifelong friends. Richard excelled in high school and placed in the top 10% of his class at Waxahachie High School while playing football all four years. Active in the Boy Scouts, he attended the 1947 Jamboree in Moisson, France, and became an Eagle Scout. Richard balanced his devotion to schoolwork and soccer in college at Rice University. He chose the university because of the institution’s reputation and the opportunity to play on a football scholarship for its head coach, Jess Neely. A dominant lineman for the Owls on both sides of the ball in the early 1950s, Richard was twice named to the All-Southwest Conference and was the 1953 tri-captain of the Owls’ Conference Champions. He was also selected by the Chicago Tribune for their first team Players All-American team. His collegiate career ended after the Owls defeated No. 11 Alabama 28-6 in sixth place in the 1954 Cotton Bowl and he was named one of the game’s MVPs. Richard was named to the Cotton Bowl All-Decade Team in the 1950s and later inducted into the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame in 1972. Richard matched his success on the football field with a determined focus on academics pursuing a physics degree while actively serving in Rice student affairs. He was twice selected as an Academic All-American, served as Junior Class President and was named Outstanding Senior. In recognition of his many accomplishments, Richard received one of Rice’s highest honors, the 1954 Bob Quin Award for Excellence in Sportsmanship, Science, Leadership, and Athletics. On a blind date during his freshman year, Richard met the love of his life, Barbara Dell Madden. Their love for each other deepened during their college years, and four days after graduation, Richard and Barbara married in Houston and began 68 years of happy life together. Richard’s life reached a critical turning point when he was drafted by the defending champion Detroit Lions as the 13th player in the 1954 NFL Draft. True to his character, Richard chose science over football glory. He stayed with Rice and received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in 1955. Graduated in 1957 in nuclear physics. During this time, Richard and Barbara welcomed their first child, Carol. dr Chapman began his career at General Electric in Vallecitos, California developing commercial nuclear reactors. Richard and Barbara’s second child, Janet, was born during their time in California. In 1959, the Chapman family returned to Texas when Dr. Chapman accepted a position at Texas Instruments (TI) Central Research Laboratories in Dallas. His first major specialty was the optoelectronic properties of semiconductors, playing a leading role in the development of charge transfer devices for infrared detector arrays used in night vision. During Richards’ early years at TI, Laura and then Rick were born, bringing the Chapman family to six members. as dr As Chapman’s career at TI progressed, he switched his specialty to silicon integrated circuit technology, leading to some of his most productive and rewarding work. He was responsible for transistor design for four generations of silicon integrated circuits, shrinking the dimensions of transistors to enable the development of digital watches, calculators, computers, and cell phones. He also briefly worked abroad, spending four months at TI-Japan transferring a logic circuit process. dr Chapman has been a leader in industry organizations such as the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Physical Society. He has chaired several IEEE Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Technology Symposia in Hawaii and assisted at other events in Japan. dr Chapman was the author of 42 US patents, 18 foreign patents, and 154 published articles. In recognition of his many scientific contributions, Richard has been awarded the Jack Morton Award by the IEEE and has been awarded the prestigious honors of TI Fellow and Senior Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the IEEE. Late in his TI career, Richard battled lymphoma and eventually received a life-saving stem cell transplant from his brother Steve at MD Anderson. After his recovery, he returned to TI as a transistor design consultant until 2007. In 2008 he joined the University of Texas at Dallas, where he published important papers on thin film transistor theory. Richard valued his relationships with his alma maters and returned frequently. He was a Trustee Advisor to the Board of Trustees of Rice University and was recognized as a 2017 Rice University Distinguished Alumni. In 2012 he was elected to the Waxahachie High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Richard’s steadfastness, athleticism and dogged determination remained evident throughout his adult life, as evidenced by his success as a competitive runner at the 10K and Dallas Turkey Trots, where he was a consistent podium finisher well into his 60’s. Despite his many accomplishments, the story of Richard’s life is not found in his resume but in his way of life. Throughout his life Richard lived the ideals of the Boy Scout oath and will be remembered for his character, service and leadership. Richard enjoyed his life, family and friends and strived to have a positive impact on everyone he met. He was a loving and devoted father and a devoted Christian who shared the values he learned from his parents with his four children. He became a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Richardson in 1961 and has served in several capacities and as a ruling elder. Richard was loved by his family and is survived by his wife Barbara and their children: Carol and husband Larry Faldet, Janet McCormack, Laura and husband Bret Owens, Rick Chapman and wife Marty; grandsons Lauren Campbell, Erik Faldet, Jessica Bridwell, David McCormack, Kayla Owens, Kyle Owens, Julia Chapman, Jake Chapman, Lexie Chapman, and great-grandchildren Hazel Campbell, Mac Campbell, and Madden Campbell. Richard’s brother Steve Chapman and his children live in Waxahachie. A memorial service will be held on Richard’s 90th birthday on Saturday, September 24 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Richardson, at the intersection of 271 N. Walton and LaSalle. Contributions can be made to the institution of your choice.