CAMDEN — Colonel Henry Alan Geoffrey “Geoff” Chapman of Camden died Sept. 17, 2021. He was born July 23, 1927.

Geoff spent more than 30 years in the military, serving two years in the army of occupation and Army Intelligence until 1947, and subsequently as an officer in the Air Force. In that capacity, he was a natural pilot, who for decades served his country with honor and distinction. His service encompassed an era of innovation and accomplishment for the Air Force.

Geoff himself qualified in and flew over 20 different airplanes; from bombers to supersonic fighters, to push-me-pull-you’s over enemy territory. He served with particular distinction as squadron commander during the Vietnam War, where he flew 0-2s, though his all time favorite plane was the F-86 Sabre jet.

His love of flying inspired and outlasted his Air Force Career. In his early 20s, he purchased a Piper Cub, and subsequently experienced a “mechanical failure,” landing it on a fairway at the local country club. He did some hang gliding off-and-on throughout his life, and toward the end of his 70s, took up paragliding.

His favorite routes were solo cross-country flights from the 3000 meter peaks of the Julian Alps. As expected, he crashed occasionally, but more gently, and with fewer greens fees to pay. He continued into his 80s, gliding solo from the Carpathian Range in Romania.

When travelling more slowly — though not necessarily at lower altitude — skiing was Geoff’s favorite pastime. He traversed continents; from his childhood in the Swiss Alps, to his Dartmouth college ski jumping, to the French, German and Austrian Alps, where he skied competitively for the Air Force, to jumping out of helicopters in the Canadian Rockies and finally ending with his years as a Mountain Steward at Camden’s Snowbowl.

When travel allowed, he skied frequently at Bourg St. Maurice, France, and will be returning there in spirit, shortly.

Geoff was a superb citizen throughout his life. He actively participated in numerous causes that contributed to the well-being of the communities he lived in, both at home and abroad. He was a literacy volunteer, selectman, school board member, founder of an education foundation, Red Cross driver, library volunteer, school bus driver, rural mail carrier, Nature Conservancy volunteer, American Legion member, softball coach, mountain guide and Meals on Wheels driver, just to name a few.

Geoff was a man of parts with eclectic tastes, singing opera arias and trucker songs with equal fervor. He was an avid reader, a collector of books, fine clothes and pretty much whatever else he could get at the Swap Shop in town, much to his wife’s dismay.

He was sociable and gregarious, speaking/butchering five different foreign languages to some degree, so he might make friends wherever he lived. He met people everywhere on ski lifts, in the grocery line, on hikes, on his jogs and on his morning walks up Mt. Battie.

He is survived by his sons Philip “Xav” Chapman, Daniel Reed, Peter S. Chapman and Matthew W. Chapman; daughter Alexis A. P. Chapman; grandchildren Nica V. Waters and her husband Jeremy, Zachary Chapman and his wife Amy and Samara Chapman Guynn; great-grandchildren Bee Waters, Julian Waters, Parker Chapman, Tatum Chapman, Addison Chapman, and his wife of 47 years, Marilyn.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Knox County Meals on Wheels, online at Maine Community Happen, mchinc.org/donate-to-meals-on-wheels, or to 46 Summer St., Rockland ME 04841. As per Geoff’s own request, “In lieu of casseroles, please send wine.”