A photo of Rebecca “Becky” Chapman Wilburn

Rebecca “Becky” Chapman Wilburn

Rebecca Chapman Wilburn, age 75, passed away on March 26, 2021 at the Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington, DE.

Born in Greenwood, SC, to Allen and Elizabeth Chapman, Becky was one of five sisters that she loved dearly.

Becky was a friend to all with a special affection for those with four legs, fur or feathers. She nurtured Tat, Quincy, Mr. Fluff, Pug, Amos, and Cleo as their Mom and confidant. They could do no wrong.

She was a graduate of Greenwood High School in South Carolina and Pfeiffer College in North Carolina (1966) where she met her husband, Jim. She and Jim started their journey in Albemarle, NC, where she began her career as a first-grade teacher at Albemarle Elementary. She taught children to read with an emphasis on those with special challenges. She inspired young minds to succeed. Her students loved her. Her daughter, Elizabeth, joined the family in 1970.

Becky continued to use her teaching skills at Raleigh Academy in Raleigh, NC. In 1974, her son, Jake, was born. Always active in church as a person of faith, Becky taught Sunday School at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary, NC.

Becky and family moved to the Newark, DE area in 1979 to begin the next chapter in their lives. Becky and Jim joined First Presbyterian Church in Newark, DE in 1982, where they remained members. Becky taught Sunday School, chaired the Strawberry Picnic for many years, led a Presbyterian Women’s Circle, served as President of Presbyterian Women, and continued her faith journey as Co-Superintendent of Sunday School, Deacon, Elder and Stephen Minister. She was the consummate Mom, always the “hostess with the mostest,” had a great laugh, and loved books, Sodoku, music, movies, chocolate and traveling with her family. She encouraged the children to explore expression whether it was in music, band, theater, athletics or civic engagement. Family, friend or stranger, all were “honey,” or “sweetheart” to Becky. Though the family moved to the Delaware Valley in 1979, Becky was renowned for her Southern accent, which never waned.

In 2007, Becky assumed her most important identity, the incomparable “Nana,” with the birth of her first grandchild, Finn, followed in 2009 by Georgia and James in 2014. Becky loved being Nana and showing off the latest pictures of her grandchildren.

Becky was a friend to all. In her first months at Parkview, the Director said Becky would find ways to assist residents “who needed a little extra help.” When her condition worsened, those same residents assisted Becky.

She was predeceased by her parents, Allen and Elizabeth Chapman and siblings, June Anderson and Betty Anne Todd. She is survived by her children, Elizabeth (Frank) and Jake (Lorraine); grandchildren, Finn, Georgia and James; husband, Jim; sisters, Barbara and Mary Allen; cousins, Jimmy Maye and Katie McGlade (Mac); sister-in-law, Judy Karasow (David); and many nieces and nephews.

The family expresses appreciation to the Bayada nurses who cared for Becky at home during 2020, with a special thanks to caregiver Sharon Goodman. We also thank the staff and skilled nursing support that Becky received at the Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, as well as the caregivers from Seasons Hospice.

All may celebrate Becky’s life by doing small acts of kindness. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, interment will be private. 

The family suggests contributions to the Delaware Humane Society, 701 A Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 or First Presbyterian Church of Newark, 292 West Main Street, Newark, DE 19711 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market Street #250, Philadelphia, PA 19106 in lieu of flowers.

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13 Guestbook messages for Rebecca “Becky” Chapman Wilburn

  • I did not know her, but she was clearly a wonderful, wonderful person. I send my most sincere thoughts of love and caring to all members of Mrs. Wilburn’s family in this time of sadness and loss.

  • Dear Jim, Elizabeth and Jake,

    I am deeply sorry to hear of your loss. Your time with your mom and wife I am sure was such a treasure. I always loved listening to your (Jim) stories of Becky and how warm and wonderful she was. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time.

    Love & Hugs,

    Tricia

  • I love you Aunt Becky. I love you a bushel, a peck, and a hug around the neck. Sending you, Uncle Jim, a special warm, strong hug and much love. Beautiful obituary.

  • Becky was the consummate Southern Lady. Her smile, warm hug and infectious laughter spoke of her kind heart. Everyone was Becky’s friend. If Becky was in charge of a task you knew it was going to be more fun with her there. Whether it was hulling strawberries, setting up for a PW event or washing and cleaning up after an event. We sat near Becky and Jim for many years and while my husband and Jim discussed basketball, Becky and I caught up on the latest about our families. Having children of similar ages Becky was always interested in their activities. The star we have lost will shine brightly in the heavens.

  • I send my sincere condolences to the family. You where not only my client but a friend. The first time we met it was like we knew each other for years. We often laughed about your southern accent. GBNF Missed Already. Imma miss walking in and you saying there goes my friend.Rest In Peace.I love you.

  • Gloria and I are thinking about you today cousin and what you’ve been going through. Love you.

  • Jim & Family
    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you

    sincerely
    Dave Lewis

  • Miss Becky was a great friend to my
    mom and through that a friend to me. Spending time with them was always lovely. She was a bright warm soul and ever so kind. She and my mom would look at dessert first to decide what was for lunch and we’re always happy to talk about their kids. Miss Becky was very loving and supportive. She will be missed. Sending love to the Wilburn family.

    -Elizabeth

  • Jim, sorry to hear of your family’s loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family,

    Frank & Cathy Perry

  • Mrs Wilburn always had a smile for everyone. She was my introduction to southern hospitality- and one of the first to congratulate me on my acceptance to Clemson. Our families sat near each other at church, so we kept up with our families. And when I would come hone to visit – she always had a warm hug & sparking conversation. Elizabeth & Jake – I am so sorry. Your mother was a ray of sunshine. My prayers are with you. And Mr Wilburn- I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for peace for you.

  • Jim & Family,
    So sorry for the loss of Becky. Becky was such a sweet lady. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family
    Kim & Tom Desper

  • Darling Becky, some day we will be together in peace & harmony. You will always have a special place in my heart♥️ Thanks for always being so kind. You will be missed by many indeed. I know that your laughing and showing your loving self to the angels before you. I love you Becky🥰Rest In Peace Sweet Darling😇

  • Becky was a special friend in high school. Her family &mine were friends so I kept up with her life thru college. A more lovely, loving, delightful person was never made. Her picture tells the true story. May God continue to bless her family & friends -old as well as newer