Charles Chapman remembered his daughter as “a free spirit” and his wife, Gloria, said she was a “treasured child.”

Tuesday the Chapmans tried to come to grips with the loss of their only child. Monday, Sarah Katherine Chapman, 20, was struck by an SUV at about 10:30 a.m. while riding her bike, according to a Huntsville Police spokesman. She died soon after at Huntsville Hospital.

Sarah was a 2006 graduate of Athens High School and was attending the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Daisy McCormack, who was a leader of a youth group Sarah attended at St. Paul Catholic Church, echoed those sentiments.

“She was a precious child,” said McCormack. “She never met a stranger. She was willing to do anything. Once we were going Christmas shopping for needy children and when we got in the car, she said, ‘I want a girl.’ She just couldn’t believe how much she could get for her money. She said, ‘I can’t believe I didn’t do this when I was going shopping for myself.’ I told her the difference was that she was ‘shopping for God.’”

Chapman is special assistant to the vice president of Academic Affairs for Medical Program Development at Athens State University.

Jayne Higginbotham said she taught Sarah’s catechism class when she was in seventh grade.

“She was very outgoing, intelligent—very smart—and so full of life and joy,” said Higginbotham. “She and our daughter, Jill, were friends. Jill would spend nights at her home. She just had lots of friends and she was in a lot of different groups. She was on the newspaper staff and did an excellent job. She was full of spunk,

“We had an especially close catechism class. There were several children with international backgrounds. She made her Sacrament of Confession and her First Communion while she was in my class. It was very special.”

Jill Higginbotham was a majorette at Athens High School where Sarah was in the Flag Corps. She said they met when Sarah’s family moved to Athens when they were in the sixth or seventh grade.

“I remember it was the first day of school and I knew she was new and I went up to her and said hello, and we have been friends ever since,” said Jill.

Sarah’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. today at St. Paul Catholic Church with Father Mark Spruill officiating and Limestone Chapel Funeral Home directing.

Trending Video

Recommended for you