Saturday, October 06, 2007
My Friend Ed
Edwin Hubbell Chapin II of Charlotte passed away today, October 06, 2007. He was the son of the late Harold Miller Chapin and Elsie Chapin Banks of Newton, Massachusetts. Ed is survived by his wife Peg, his son Edwin (Chip) Chapin III of Raleigh, his daughter Dr. K and son-in-law Special K of Charlotte, his daughter Terri Hennessey, son-in-law Grant Hennessey, grandchildren Kyle and Erin Hennessey of Fort Mill, SC, his sister Harriette Philips of Nevada and niece Karen Hoppe of New Hampshire.
Ed graduated from high school and joined the Navy at age 17 where he served for three years. Once out of the Navy, he enrolled in Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts where he graduated with a degree in business administration. After college, he moved south to take a job with a beer distributor in Charlotte. Ed commuted to the UNC School of Social Work Master’s Program every week until graduation in 1967. After graduation he continued working at the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, and in 1969, he became director of the department. He remained with Social Services for 17 years as director and in that time, his genuine concern, thoughtfulness, kindness and caring earned him the enormous respect of his staff.
In 1989, he left the Department of Social Services to become an assistant county manager of Mecklenburg County. After retiring from his county position in 1995, he became the president of Thompson Children’s Home in Charlotte. In addition to his work at Thompson Children’s Home, he served on numerous boards, including Mi Casa Su Casa, the Program for Accessible Living, The Bruce Iron Camp Fund, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, and the Board of Advisors at the Schools of Social Work in Chapel Hill and Charlotte. In 1969, he was named one of the Top 10 Young Men for Mecklenburg County by the Charlotte Jaycees. He was honored at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill as a Distinguished Alumni in 2005. In September 2007, by Proclamation of the Mecklenburg County Commission, a wing of Mecklenburg’s new Social Services building will bear the name Chapin Hall in his honor.
Edwin H. Chapin II was a visionary who had an extraordinary ability to foresee the impact of social and political change on the public welfare system. He was sought out to serve as an advisor and leader of many local, state and federal organizations in the public welfare system, as well as the many other aspects of human services systems. He served as a Director of the National Association of Counties and was a part of their Welfare Reform Task Force. Ed was active on a national level in the debate regarding social welfare reform. He worked hand in hand with state and federal officials to develop policies to most effectively and efficiently serve the social services population. His many contributions will never be forgotten.
Throughout his life, he enjoyed traveling with his wife, Peg, spending time with family and friends, attending weekly get-togethers, sharing stories of his life’s adventures and playing poker. Spending time with his grandchildren, Kyle and Erin, always put a smile on his face like rolled up Aces over Kings.
Ed was a gentle soul who made friends easily. He will be remembered for his warm smile, funny stories and loving heart. Above all, he adored his loving wife Peg, his family, and friends.
As a lasting tribute to Ed’s work and life, his family and friends have established a scholarship in his honor at UNC Charlotte. In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Edwin Chapin Social Work Scholarship in care of Susan H. Ingle, College of Health and Human Services, UNC Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223-0001 (http://socialworked.blogspot.com/).