Obituary: Richard “Rick” Lee Chapman, 56, Ludington.

July 21, 2020

Rick Chapman

Obituary: Richard “Rick” Lee Chapman, 56, Ludington.

Richard (Rick) Lee Chapman, 56, of Ludington, died peacefully July 19, 2020 among his closest loved ones. Mourning his loss are his wife of 12 years, Renee (Stockwell) Chapman, and grown children Madison Leigh and Mason Daniel Chapman, all of Ludington. He is also survived by siblings Roy and Larry Chapman, Tammy (Van Loon), and Paul and Ron Pemberton — and a host of innumerable friends, the closest of which were blessed with decades of his generosity, loyalty and exuberance. They are all, as one, shattered by his loss.

Rick was born Aug. 17, 1963 to Roy (d. 1996) and Wilma June Chapman. A 1981 graduate of Ludington High School, he worked at the Ludington Elks Lodge and relocated briefly to Florida before returning home where, at age 20, he bought Chuck Wagon from the Donovan family in 1983. Over the ensuing decades, he nurtured the Lakeshore Drive eatery into a treasured institution, beloved locally and by an ever-growing fan base of summertime visitors from across the nation.

June 17 of this year marked Rick’s 37th year as Ludington’s most beloved “pizza guy” — a title he bore with pride and maintained always at the highest level, earning the restaurant a fiercely devoted clientele. Rick was a savvy, respected and personable businessman embraced by locals as one of their own, and by seasonal visitors as their reliable vacation-time connection.

He and Renee worked side-by-side for 31 years, eventually marrying June 1, 2008. On well-earned breaks from The Wagon’s pizza ovens, they traveled the world together in search of surf. Rick dearly loved being on the water, whether riding waves on the Central American coastline or motoring Upper and Lower Hamlin.

Devoted to the community he described as “paradise,” Rick coached Ludington High School swimming, was a longtime board member with Safe Harbor Credit Union and played an active role in the planning and development of the Ludington Skate Plaza.

Visitation will be held from 2-5 PM, Thursday, July 23, 2020, at Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, Pere Marquette Chapel, Ludington.  Private graveside services will be held at Lakeview Cemetery.

Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.



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