Gracie Mae Chapman was welcomed with joy into this world on February 17, 1941 by her late parents Melvin and Grace Gilkey. Along with her siblings, Gracie was raised in Dallas, Texas until the age of three when she and her family moved to the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado in 1944.
Education and Career
Gracie was educated at Manual High School in Denver, Colorado. She went on to have the most amazing career as a loving mother who managed her household with precision and lovingly and firmly supervised her children’s schedules and activities with expertise! And she was the best mother! Her children remember her devotion and care and how much she supported their goals. She never discouraged them when they shared their dreams, but pushed them to excel and encouraged them to pursue life to the fullest.
Gracie was a woman of great faith. In 1985, she confessed her sins, surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ, and received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost under the leadership of the late Pastor Charles E. Leali. Gracie later became a member of Zion Temple under the leadership of Bishop Robert Martin, Jr. Her final church home was at the Rock Church of Denver under the leadership of Apostle Ryan Fontenot.
Personality and Character
Gracie (affectionately known as Aunt Gracie) loved family and spending time together was invaluable to her. To ensure that family gathered, she always hosted family holidays at her home where she created joyful atmospheres full of love, laughter, and good food. Gracie loved to cook and it was definitely her love language. In fact, her homemade potato salad and homemade dressing recipes were so delicious that they should have been on the top shelf of every grocery store! No one could be hungry in the presence of Gracie because she would make sure everyone was fed and their bellies full. And if anyone experienced lack or needed a place to stay, she welcomed them into her home with open arms and ensured their needs were met. She lived a life of sharing God’s love by feeding and sharing with others. There was, however, only one thing that Gracie would not share No one dared to ask Gracie for one of her shrimp! They were off limits! Period.
Gracie loved playing games such as gin rummy and Bidwiz. And when the family played Uno, she had an uncanny ability to have all of the Draw 4’s and Skips. Something was not quite right about her game moves! Gracie was quite the character!
Gracie had the heartiest laugh and a beautiful smile that was her signature characteristic. And when she smiled, she flashed her two front gold teeth: one had a star and one had a moon. She definitely had her own unique flair and style! Oh, and Gracie had her unusual idiosyncrasies too. For instance, no matter where family and friends lived, she would call and ask them to come over. But she would always preface come over with, “Oh, and I need you to go get me a Dr. Pepper!” That was her favorite soda! Her daughters ultimately decided it was best to simply show up at their mother’s house with a twelve-pack!
Much more can be said about the life that Gracie lived. Above all, Gracie made an impact and she made the lives of so many better because of her love, kindness, and generosity. She not only raised her own children, but lovingly raised her sister’s children and adopted children.
Gracie is preceded in death by her parents the late Melvin Gilkey and Grace Gilkey; brothers James Gilkey, R. C. Gilkey, and Leechy Gilkey; sister Doris Gilkey; children Ronald Phillips and Charley Ward; her niece who she raised Sheronda Williams; and granddaughter Deanna Coleman.
Heavenly Departure. Surrounded by family and loved ones on December 28, 2020, our Sovereign and Merciful God called Gracie from this life to her eternal home in glory. Death cannot diminish the beautiful memories we share of her profound presence. We therefore humbly submit to the will of God and commit to ensuring that Gracie’s memory is forever a blessing.
Gracie Mae Chapman leaves to cherish her memory her sons Lonnie (Denise) Phillips, Calvin Alexander, DE Anthony Ross, and Maurice Chapman; daughters Diane Coleman, Shanda (Albert) Lewis, Shameka (Jonathan) Howse, and Sharmaine Chapman; brothers William Gilkey and Bobby Gilkey; sister Shirley Gilkey; nephews she raised Anthony Clayton, Charles Weathers, and Demetrious Weathers; grandchildren Charley Ward, Jr., Talisha Ward, Kalina Lewis, Keya Lewis, Destiny Coleman, Desiree Coleman, Ranisha Nelson, Jenai Howse, and Tanaja Howse; eighteen great grandchildren; and a host of beloved family and treasured friends.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gracie M. Chapman, please visit our floral store.