Theodore Chaplin, Sr. was born on September 19, 1922 to the late Virginia Chaplin and Willie Fripp on St. Helena Island, SC. He was affectionately known as “Joe” by family and friends alike.
He received his early education at the Penn School. As a young man, Joe moved to New York City in search of a better life. He also longed to be reacquainted with family and friends including his siblings Anna, Rosalie and “Jr.”, as well as uncles Ned & Tommy who had previously relocated.
He was known to be a well-dressed young man who had “swag”, always wearing his hat or cap “cocked” to one side. Joe made friends easily and quickly! While moving about through the community, he met and fell in love with the former Athenia Saunders. The two were married and their union was blessed with a daughter and son.
Rising daily at 3 or 4am, Joe gained employment as a longshoreman. He would routinely go down to the dock to “shapeup” for the day’s selection of laborers. Joe would also work on the fruit and vegetable wagon with his brother-in-law, Charlie. Just prior to retirement, Joe was employed by the Department of Social Services-Food Stamp Division.
Joe spent quite a bit of time with his daughter Cynthia and her children. She reminded him of “home”, the peace that he knew in South Carolina. As Gladys Knight would sing “so he packed up his bags to return to a simpler place in time.” Joe returned to his home of St. Helena where he could enjoy gardening and fishing once again. Always an avid walker, as much as 2-3 miles at a time, he could be found taking a stroll to visit with old friends and family. Upon returning to St. Helena, Joe united with the Adams Street Baptist Church where he served on the Trustee Ministry and sang in the Choir.
After the death of his first wife, Joe married the former Patsy Johnson. Joe and Patsy didn’t have children together, however, he became a beloved father and grandfather to her family. He had a warm bond with her family, in fact many days you would see Joe in the truck with his brother-in-law, Jeff. The two of them would go touring in the golf car with Joe waving to everyone he knew.
We were blessed beyond measure to have our patriarch at the helm of our family for 96 years. At the 2018 Lands End Woodland River Festival, Joe was given a certificate as the oldest living member of that organization.
In addition to his parents, first love Belle, siblings and wives, Joe was preceded in death by son, Theodore Chaplin, Jr. “Teddy”. He leaves to cherish his love and memory daughters, Mrs. Cynthia Green-Campbell and Reverend Dr. Patricia A. Morris; grandchildren: Bruce, Chynae, Antoine, and William; great grandchildren, Avyana, Tanasia, Saiquan, Skye, Rayne, Jordyn and Alanna; great, great grand, Sebastian; aunt, Doris Chaplin who is now the matriarch of our family; sister-in-law Albertha Jefferson (Charles); Joe also leaves to cherish his love and memory Patsy’s children and grandchildren who loved and cared for him over these years for which we are eternally grateful: Gaynelle Johnson-Dantzler (Christopher), Joseph A. Johnson, Jr. (Tarita) and grands, Jomaya M. Johnson, Joseph A. Johnson, Jr., Justin C. Johnson, Jourdyn A. Johnson and Christian D. Dantzler, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends too numerous to name
"The years of our life are three score and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years,
yet most of them are labor and sorrow; for life is soon cut off and we fly away."
With Love, The Family
Theodore Chaplin, 96, of St. Helena Island, SC died Monday, August 19, 2019 at his residence on St. Helena Island. Visitation will be held from 5-7 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at Allen Funeral Home Chapel in Beaufort, SC. Funeral services will be held 11am Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at Adam Street Baptist Church on St. Helena Island, SC. Allen Funeral Home of Beaufort in charge.