Marna Lou Smith Chapman, 91, of Andrews, NC for the past 42 years and previously
of Whitney Point, NY, entered into the presence of her Lord and Savior on July 27, 2022. She
was born March 7, 1931.
She was predeceased by her husband, C. Kent Chapman, whom she dearly missed
since he made the journey to his heavenly home in April of 2020. They were happily married
for over 69 years. Marna also was predeceased by her parents, Walter Smith and Dorothy
Baker Smith, as well as her brother, Russell Smith, and her sister, Lucie Smith Crolius.
Marna was a joyful handmaiden of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to her own
testimony, saved her from her sins when she was a teenager. By His grace, she was faithful to
the Lord, serving alongside Kent in his employment endeavors and in his various church and
evangelistic ministries. Marna was a glad and diligent wife and mother who enjoyed raising
kids, cooking, sewing, reading, gardening, raising animals, singing, praying, going to church,
teaching Sunday School, playing the harmonica, and being around family and friends. She
worked more than full time contributing selflessly and happily to the success of her husband
and family. She is survived by all seven of their children: Russell (Karin), Janet (Jerry
Zayas), Laura (Timothy Fotusky), Kevin (Mary Beth), Jonathan (Holly), Dorothy [“Dottie”]
(Phil Close), and Eric (Cathy). Marna is also survived by her brother, Richard Smith, and her
sister, Joanne Smith Bowman, over 30 grandchildren and over 40 great-grandchildren, whom
she loved and prayed for. Grandchildren known in the community are Adina Chapman-Mers, Cherith Chapman Flowerday, Katie Chapman Horner, Carrie Chapman Scott, Wesley Chapman, Rachael Close Litchfield, Maria Close Lee, Sarah Close Boyd, Andrew Close, and Stuart Close.
Marna wrote the following poem to her husband in 1987, when she was 56 years old,
after 37 years of marriage.
If I could go to lands afar
And sail the oceans blue,
I’d let someone else take my place,
And I would stay with you.
If I had a choice to be famous
And have honors and high acclaim too,
I’d choose to stay right here
And wash and cook for you.
If I’d had the choice of the wife of a prince
Or be one of the wealthy few,
I’d choose your love and protective roof
And stay right here with you.
So as you toil and work each day
To provide the things of life,
I always try to make your life better
And be a loving wife.
Marna wrote the poem “A Mother’s Prayer” when she was 37 years old; the oldest of
her seven children was 16 and youngest three years old.
A Mother’s Prayer
Lord, when I was a child, I often said
I wanted lots of babies as my dolls I bathed and fed.
When I was grown and my husband came my way,
Lord, You really blessed us as we trusted You each day.
Then we said we’d like lots of children, – and You gave them to us, too:
You sent us seven to be taught and trained for You.
Now, Lord, I am happy for the privilege that is mine,
For the joy of raising children for the kingdom that is Thine.
Please help me to show them the straight and narrow way,
And help me to be patient when I’ve had a trying day.
Will You show me sound wisdom as I counsel troubled hearts,
And help me to be loving when I’m feeling out of sorts?
Now, Lord, it isn’t easy when the little ones are sick,
When the children are ill-tempered and they want to quarrel and pick.
And, Lord, sometimes the money is so scarce I truly wonder why,
But I know You didn’t promise there would always be blue sky.
But when I see a little daughter read the Bible and pray,
Or a son who seeks Your leading for decisions for the day,
Or when another daughter sings out her praise to You in song,
And the whole family joins to make a happy throng,
Then I say, “What greater joy and privilege could You have given me
Than to be a mother training children just for Thee!”
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28)
Calling hours will be from 1-2 p.m. Saturday, August 6, at First Baptist Church of
Andrews, with the funeral to follow. Interment will be in Red Marble Baptist Church
Services will be officiated by the following ministers of the Gospel: David Anderson,
Calvin Bobo, and Eric Chapman.
Memorial contributions may be made online to the Gideons, a ministry that gives
away Bibles, at https://gideons.org/donate or by calling (615) 564-5000. Cochran Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Marna Chapman; you may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at www.cochranfuneralhomes.com.