Alfred Orville Chapman

Alfred Orville Chapman was born in Del Norte, Colo., on Dec. 30, 1949, and went to be with the Lord on March 8, 2022. The sixth-born of eight children to Orville Chapman and Helen Myers Chapman, he was raised in South Fork and graduated from Del Norte High School in 1970, following which he earned his Associates Degree in Mechanics from Trinidad State Junior College in 1972.

Alfred served in the US Army in Vietnam for two years and was honorably discharged in 1974. He worked with O.W. Chapman Construction and was a small business owner, as proprietor of Al’s Garage, in South Fork. He was a proud veteran and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, for which he served as Chaplain in the South Fork Area.

He is survived by seven siblings, Judy, Hap, George, Brent, Melody, Mike, and Destry; 13 nieces and nephews; and many friends.

While a person’s life is reckoned in dates and accomplishments, they do not represent the sum of Alfred’s years, which were measured instead in the flow of the Highline Ditch, in cups of coffee, in conversations, filled with words like hard pan, return flow, and half flume.

He kept the pastures green and the cows moving; he cared about land and animals and people and water; he knew what gave him peace and purpose. The South Fork corridor is a testament to his work ethic and tenacity, transforming snowmelt into green cottonwood trees, healthy wells, and productive pastures.

Alfred was hard-working, smart, appreciated the value of a good prank, and loved to learn and engage in fellowship with friends and strangers alike. He was an independent soul, and he knew what he was about.

He was kind and generous and loved to sing, as evidenced by his well-worn hymnal, second only in use to his Gideon New Testament, always at the ready to share a verse of scripture. His hope was in Christ and his eternal reward, and he was confident that his passing would be received with great rejoicing and singing, accompanied by a welcome of “well done, my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Alfred will be laid to rest at Shaw Creek Cemetery on Friday, March 11. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Alfred’s name to the South Fork Veterans of Foreign Wars. To express condolences, please visit

Rogers Family Mortuary in Monte Vista is in care of the arrangements.