Nan Chapman, first Atherton councilwoman, dies at 80


Nan Chapman, the first woman to be elected to the Atherton council, where she served for 20 years, died May 9 at her home in Woodside. She was 80.

A fourth generation Californian on both sides of her family, Nanette Figel Chapman spent her first 24 years in San Francisco, where she met and married her husband, Ron, with whom she shared 57 years of her life.

She was a graduate of James Madison Elementary School and Lowell High School in San Francisco, and Pomona College (1957) in Claremont, California.

Shortly after their marriage, they settled for 36 years in Atherton and for the past 16 years, they called Woodside home.

Soon after settling in Atherton, she began her volunteer career by serving on the boards of many organizations, including Amigos de Las Americans, Family Service Mid-Peninsula, and the Junior League of Palo Alto Mid-Peninsula.

During her 20-year span on the Atherton City Council, she served twice as mayor, from 1986 to 1988, and from 1998 to 2000.

Her love of horses began at age 7 and was a lifelong passion. She owned many American Saddlebred horses, which she successfully showed throughout the West Coast. She was showing her current horse right through the 2015 season.

She was active in numerous organizations and charities, including the Menlo Charity Horse Show, of which she was a founding member. She served for 46 years as a committee member, during which time more than $6 million was raised for the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

In addition, she served on the steering committee to restore the Folger Barn in Woodside, and the Open Space Committee of Woodside. She also served on the board of directors of the Horse Park in Woodside.

She is survived by her husband Ron, of Woodside; her son Doug, of Reno, Nevada; and several nephews and nieces.

A full obituary will appear in the next print edition of the Almanac.

See the family memorial on Lasting Memories, where you may leave remembrances.

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Like this comment
Posted by fcservices
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 10:09 am

We are so sorry to read this news. Nan is a valued part of Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley's history through her leadership when we were known as Family Service Mid-Peninsula, and we treasured her long involvement with our organization. Nan's involvement with so many local organizations enriched our community and ensured people in need received help. Our heartfelt sympathies to all of the family and dear friends.

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