Roman Chapa


Roman Ernest Chapa, 76, of Chalk Bluff, passed away Thursday, September 23, 2021 at a local hospital with his loving wife of 34 years by his side, along with his daughter and granddaughter.

Mass of Christian Burial: 10AM Thursday, September 30 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bellmead. Burial with military honors will follow at Waco Memorial Park.

Visitation: 6 to 8PM with The Rosary being recited at 7PM Wednesday, September 29 at Lake Shore Funeral Home.

The family requests for all that are attending these events to please wear a mask and respect one’s distance between one another. “We care about you.”

Roman was born in Anna Rose, TX on March 5, 1945 to Marcelo Smithwick Chapa and Leonor C. Chapa. He graduated from George West High School. Roman was drafted into the United States Army in July of 1967 while the war with Vietnam was going strong. Roman was issued a purple heart when a bullet from a sniper grazed his head. He didn’t even realize he had been hit till his helmet flew off and a fellow soldier saw the blood running down his face. His purple heart was sent to his parents who were assured that he was okay. Roman is a survivor of TET Offensive, which was a deadly battle that began on January 30, 1968. On July 4, 1968 he stepped on a mine while on patrol through the rice patties. He was able to save his platoon, but almost lost his foot and had a cast up to his thigh. He was hospitalized in several different hospitals overseas. He went through rehabs but was never sent back to the states. After rehab, he was offered a desk job with Central Logistical Command. He was issued a second purple heart, which he requested be sent to his oldest brother so his parents would not hear of his serious injury. Roman was honorably discharged in July of 1969.

He worked for Central Freight Lines from August 18, 1969 to September 6, 2019. He worked out of the Dallas terminal for 19 ½ years then came to work in Waco for another 30 ½ years giving a total of 50 years. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church where he served as an usher.

Roman met Opie on March 27, 1971 at a dance in Waco. After a 2-year courtship and engagement they parted ways. They found each other again in 1987 and were married July 17, 1987.

He is preceded in death by parents, Marcelo and Leonor Chapa; brothers, Robert Chapa Sr. and Rudy Chapa; sister, Lila Chapa; in-laws, Antonio and Maria Lozano; and brother-in-law, Art Lozano.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Opie Chapa; daughter, Khristine Rich (Christopher); granddaughters, Brennah and Brooklin Rich; grandsons, Brendenn, Braedenn, Braylin, and Braxton Rich; grand dog, Bolt; sisters, Emma Cuellar of Beeville, Olga Cavazos of Hillsboro, and Herma Perez (Abel) of George West; sisters-in-law, Belia Chapa, Angel Lozano and Evelyn Guerrero (Joe); Jessica Fickett and (David), Nathen and Noah Fickett who he loved like his own; numerous nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces, great-great nephews, great-great nieces, and his Silver Sneakers Family.

Pallbearers are Brendenn Rich, Braedenn Rich, Braylin Rich, Braxton Rich, Nathen Fickett and Noah Fickett.

Special thanks to our wonderful neighbors, Silver Sneakers friends and trainers, and our great friends and neighbors who are flying their American flag at half mast in honor and respect for Roman.

Place of Service: St. Joseph Catholic Church , 1011 Boston St.; Bellmead, TX 76705

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Condolence Messages

  1. Regina Mandel Dominguez

    My condolences to all the family R.I.P cousin

  2. I will always have fond memories of our conversations at Central! Take your rest, friend

  3. Roman lit up our exercise class with his dancing in between workouts.

    He was a proud veteran of Vietnam. His service to our country is appreciated by all. He wore his Military cap even during our marching, bending and weight lifting.

    I miss him as well as everyone in our class.

  4. Roman was a good friend at Central Freight Lines where I first met him probably 30 or more years ago. He was an avid Texas Longhorn fan and I am an avid Baylor fan so we always had spirited debates on who was going to beat who. We always had a friendly bet on game day and the loser had to buy lunch. So sorry to hear about his death. I will remember him always. Eddie Sherman

  5. My condolences to the family, RIP my friend

  6. Sorry for your loved one, We will keep you and your family in our prayers.

  7. Roman,

    I treasure our time together at CFL. You were so very kind to me. I loved to make you laugh at my craziness. I know how much you loved your family especially your beautiful wife. You were a wonderful person and I am grateful I could call you my friend. Rest well

  8. Linda Spearance sorry for your loss . we enjoy working out with him and Opie.

  9. I worked at Central Fright Lines for 27 years and knew Roman well. He always had a jingle in his steps and a friendly hello. Lord bless him and keep him. Condolences to all his family.

  10. I meant Romain at Central Freight Lines. He was a true friend I had the pleasure of working with him. He was a great man. He will definitely be missed. My condolences to the family and our prayers are with you.

  11. I was so sad to hear of Roman’s passing. He was a good guy, and I enjoyed knowing him at Central Freight Lines. We often talked about the “good old days.” My condolences to the family.

  12. Roman was the best coworker and friend!
    I will always have fond memories of our time working together at Central Freight. He will always have a special place in my family’s heart! Rest easy my friend!

  13. I’m so sorry for your loss my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I know it’s hard but remember the good lord is with you.
    Minnie Lozano Moreno – Cousin

  14. So sorry for your loss Roman was a good friend and will be missed

  15. Linda Janes ( LuLu)

    Roman was one of a kind and I’m honored to have not only worked with him at Central Freight,but to call him a dear friend for 25 years. Opie was the love of his life and he was so proud of his daughter and grandkids and spoke highly of his son in law. My coworkers would tease us that we were like an old married couple because of the fun we had with our banter back and forth but he loved his job and was very good at it for 50 years.
    I loved hearing his stories of his military service and he was extremely proud to serve his country.
    Rest In Peace my friend,, you will be missed .

  16. Linda Killough-Brown


    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  17. Pamela Kay Wilson

    Opie, I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words that can express my sympathy.

  18. Roman was a good, kind hearted person. I am blessed to have crossed paths with him as a coworker. Praying to the entire family.

  19. Miss Jean, Silver Sneakers

    Bless your heart, Opie. I am so sorry for your loss .

  20. I worked with Roman for years at Central. He always gave me a firm handshake and slap on the back when we would pass in the hall along with a hearty “Miguel!” (Roman had a nickname for everyone). Being a devoted Longhorns fan, he never missed a chance to joke with me about the Aggies. He always had a story to tell, and I am glad that I got to hear many of them. Rest well, my friend. My prayers and condolences to his family.

  21. James and Pam Grossman

    Opie, Pam and I were so sorry to hear of Roman’s passing.
    We are proud to have known him and to have worked with him for a good part of his time at Central Freight Lines. Roman was proud of his family and his country. He was one of the most Patriotic people that I have ever known. He will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  22. Opie, I’m so sorry about Roman, he was a good man and I enjoyed working with him. He made me laugh and gave me advice whenever I had a problem.
    He was helpful and funny and I loved joking around with him. I used to have a list of all the nicknames he gave people. I would read them at work whenever I needed a laugh.
    He will be missed so much, you have my most sincere condolences.

  23. My heart aches to hear this news. I’m praying for him and Opie. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in their time of grief. Roman was so loved by my parents. He was a good ‘son’ to them up through their deaths. Along with Opie, he was always there when needed. I will always remember his love and goodness. And, it was my honor to have him as my good brother. Roman was a Christian and patriot and lovingly did his duty to God, his country, and family.

    Unfortunately, life gets going full speed and we assume there will always be time for visits, then our mortality steps up to show us that we are here for such a short time. He is missed, but I know he is now with the angels. A lifetime together is never enough. I am thinking of both Roman and Opie with so much love. I wish Opie and the family peace and comfort as you grieve.

  24. Opie and Family,
    We give our sincere condolences. We have so many memories to cherish and our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    May all your wonderful memories of Roman live forever in your heart.
    Sending all our love,
    Sarah, Robert, Lawrence Chavez and Family

  25. Roman
    We never met in this life – Over the years i wanted to write a story, a new article about your Nam experience so our community would understand your Bravery and Valor but never could link up with you. Opie would always tell me that you wouldn’t share. I respected and honored your position.
    I extend my condolences to your family and condolences from countless Nam Vets who sadly learn of your passing.

    Welcome Home My Brother Welcome Home
    Robert Gamboa – Nam Vet

  26. Dolores Requena and Family

    Our deepest condolences to Opie, and family. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

  27. Peggy & Leon, Silver Sneakers

    Dearest Opie,
    Our hearts break for your great loss. Your love & care are so evident to all who are blessed to know you, even briefly. You are both so gracious & shine brightly, reflecting God’s love to all. We hold your sweet greetings, welcoming smiles & genuine care fondly.
    We’re looking forward to a joyful reunion in heaven and praying for peace and comfort for you, your family & friends that only Jesus can give during this season.

  28. Opie, I am so sorry for your loss!! He was dearly loved by many! I had the honor of working with him for 35 years before he retired. He was a true friend!! Always sharing his wisdom with others as well as myself. He would bring me potato tacos and I would give him Chicharon’s!! I would always buy an extra bag just for him. Rest High on that Mountain my Dear Friend!! Until we see you again!

  29. Linda Alderete Tovar, “las hijabs de Don Simon”

    Daddy thought of Roman as the son he never had and he was the closest thing to a big brother we had. He teased us three girls mercilessly as a big brother would, but also gave us big brotherly advice when he thought we needed it. He loved sharing music tapes with our dad and we loved dancing with him. He was such a good dancer, so light on his feet, you felt like you were dancing alone. We’ll miss you, Roman, but I’m sure Daddy is happy to see you and have you back with him.

  30. Sending you so much love Opie. I know Roman was your soul mate and you were his. I will always remember how much it meant to Art and me when you both came out when Art was sick. I remember Roman as a really good soul, with a kind heart and a great sense of humor. The obituary you wrote is beautiful and really does justice to what he lived through as a soldier and how he cared for his troop.
    It is heartwarming to remember all the ways you took care of him and all the ways he cared about you and loved you. I wish you much love, blessings and healing.

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