Reverend Leon Oaks-Lee
Dr. Christopher C. Warren
First Baptist Church
27 Broad Street, Hamilton, NY 13346 315-824-2780
Jean Keefe Chapin was born in Cooperstown NY, but her roots have been deeply placed in the village of Hamilton all her life. The oldest of four children she was raised on a dairy farm located within the town limits on Lebanon Street, next farm neighbors being Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Fisher (Arnold’s parents). She has fond memories of going to the Fisher farm to get a dozen eggs from Mrs. Fisher, going into their main barn to look in a water trough that was filled with huge goldfish; and as the years passed seeing houses built up on both sides of the farm; ice skating on the “feeder”, sledding on the hills on the back property, sneaking a swim in a muddy pond. All that remains of the Keefe Farm now-a-day is the house, leaving the corn crib, horse barn, grain barn, main cow barn and the round watering troth as cherished memories.
Meeting her husband, of 50 years, on the 4th of July 1962, Jean and Richard Chapin were married the next year in the “Little Brown Church” (as it was called then) in Randallsville. Since Dick was baptized at Old First in his teens, Jean eventually joined his beloved First Baptist Church Hamilton in April 1970 and has been an active member ever since.
After retiring from the Hamilton Strategic Management Group as Director of Administration, Jean had the opportunity to become secretary at First Baptist late in 1999. To date, Jean has hit the goal of working longer as secretary than Mary Grace’s tenure and now is working on passing Eleanor Ross, who was secretary for 15 years! She thoroughly enjoys the interaction with individuals that walk in and out of the church office for whatever reason on a daily basis. Jean has served on all but one of the four church boards over the years, chaired the women’s group, taught Sunday School and was assistant Sunday School superintendent.