Jean Watkins Horger Chapman-Castle died on Saturday September 26, 2020. She was 97. She was the daughter of Ulrich and Mercedes Horger, Jean was born in Scranton PA on October 17, 1922 and attended private schools in the area, finishing her secondary education at Taylor (Public) High School. She had fond memories of her schooling, recalling how she took the trolley to Scranton Country Day School as her privileged schoolmates arrived by private car. Jean credited her parents—her father was a doctor, her mother a teacher—with foresight in wanting her to finish school locally before going on to college. She studied liberal arts at William and Mary in Williamsburg VA and graduated in 1944.
She was married for many years to Robert D. Chapman whom she met during college. They moved often during the last years of the war, living in Cambridge MA and San Diego CA before Robert, an officer, shipped out on a destroyer to the Pacific.
Jean was very active in volunteer work and the Episcopal church in Rochester NY during her marriage and raised three children, Peter, Polly and Tim. The family sailed on Lake Ontario and enjoyed frequent cruises to Canada and the Thousand Islands. Jean returned to work outside the home as a teacher aid in the Rochester City Schools then at Irondequoit High School, where she loved interacting with the students. She often found a way into the hearts of difficult, disruptive teens who were successful in later life.
During her second marriage to John M. Glasgow, she lived part of the year on Deer Island on the Maine coast and piloted her trawler yacht “Spirit” to Florida.
Jean loved the gentle beauty of the natural world but could summon her wits when harm threatened, climbing aboard “Spirit” to radio for help when it broke from its anchor in a storm, nearly foundering. Voyaging south one time, onboard issues forced her to replace crew on Chesapeake Bay, then run the boat by herself into Florida, where she took work as a personal companion.
These were times of change and adaptation and Jean found pleasure and challenge in the families she lived with, including Tom and Jane Barnes, whose son, Bob Woodward, wrote much of “All The President’s Men” with Carl Bernstein on their porch in Naples. Later she worked for Mrs. Brackett Clark of Rochester, as her personal companion.
Jean came to enjoy a period of independent living later in life, spending winters on Sanibel Island FL and summers in Rochester, on the lake. She loved dining at the Rochester Yacht Club and sponsored friends who wished to use the club. It was through this affiliation and her many years of sailing that she and Wilmot V. (Jerry) Castle Jr., a well-known and much admired racing sailor, came to marry, in their late 80s, with their families attending the service at a small chapel on Sanibel Island.
Jean was prized by all who knew her as a deeply loving, spirited friend and supporter. She fought illness including cancer and refused to complain or succumb, often toasting herself with “Here’s to you, old girl.” She embodied the meaning of unconditional love and leaves a great void in the lives of her children and devoted friends.
The family would like to thank her nurses, Kayko Harris, Diana Wawrzyniak and Theresa Canne for their devoted and loving care during the last chapter of her life.
Jean is survived by her daughter, Polly C. Parker (Stephen), of W. Simsbury CT; her sons Peter D. Chapman, of Amelia Island FL; R. Timothy Chapman, of Rochester NY; grandchildren Brooks W. Parker, of Wethersfield CT; Evan C. Parker, of. Hartford CT; and great-grandchildren Tess Parker and Reid Parker.
A Funeral Service to celebrate Jean’s life will be held Thursday October 1, 2020 11a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (25 Westminster Rd Rochester, NY). Interment Abington Hills Cemetery (South Abington, PA).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rochester Community Boating (5555 St. Paul Blvd Rochester, NY 14617) in her memory.