Neighbors mourn loss of Olney couple Mark, Cauley Chapman 'entertained everybody, had all the barbecues'

September 06, 1998|By Erika D. Peterman | Erika D. Peterman,SUN STAFF

Residents of a small community in Olney are mourning the deaths of two neighbors who were killed in the Swissair Flight 111 crash that claimed the lives of 229 people off Nova Scotia Wednesday.

Mark J. Chapman, a 42-year-old engineer, and his wife, Cauley H. Chapman, a 34-year-old flight attendant for American Airlines, were killed on the flight while traveling to Greece to visit Mark Chapman's parents. Their deaths rippled through the 10-home cul-de-sac in Olney where they had lived for about four years.

The couple had no children.

"Some [neighbors] were just shocked because they didn't even know they were gone," said Sherri Orlove, who lived next door to the couple.

"Mark was very nice. [Cauley] was very, very sweet," said neighbor Ken Alexander. "You never figure your little street. Then the fact that she was a flight attendant -- that was just what was so weird about the whole thing."

Orlove said the Chapmans were "both kind and sweet" people who were the neighborhood entertainers. Every morning, Mrs. Chapman could be seen with her beagle, Ruby, on her daily, 2-mile walk, Orlove said.

Both outdoors people, Cauley Chapman was outgoing and Mark Chapman was quiet, Orlove said.

"We have a very small street," Orlove said. "They were the ones that entertained everybody. They had all the barbecues and had everyone over. They were just always trying to get the neighbors together."

Michael F. Otts, who also lived next door to the couple, said the Chapmans were animal lovers who sent him sympathy cards when his golden retriever died.

"Knowing [Cauley], she was probably helping out with the other stewardesses on the plane," Otts said. "They were real nice people -- real cordial."

Otts said everyone on their street moved in about the same time, after the homes were built and finished in December 1994.

"One of [Cauley's] relatives called Sherri from New York, and then she came over and told me" about the crash, Otts said. "It's kind of strange. One minute you're waving goodbye. The next minute, you look at the house and you know they're never coming back."

Swissair has set up a hot line for relatives and friends to call for more information: 1-800-801-0088.

Pub Date: 9/06/98

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