Caterpillar Remembers Long-Time Friend and Visionary Leader

Erskine “Chappy” Chapman was an influential leader with extraordinary vision, strong wit and a quick smile. Today, the Caterpillar family is saddened at the news of his passing. Mr. Chapman’s influence, felt far beyond Caterpillar and the local community, was great and his legacy is vast.

Mr. Chapman retired from Caterpillar in 1985 after a distinguished 40-year career which culminated in his role as executive vice president and a member of the Board of Directors with responsibility for marketing Caterpillar products and services worldwide. His career included an international assignment as president of Caterpillar Overseas, S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr. Chapman was a combat veteran, having served in the U.S. Army during World War II where he received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. In addition, his leadership and guidance extended in the business community well beyond Caterpillar. He was a director of the Beloit Corporation, president of the International Road Educational Foundation, director and executive committee member of the International Road Federation, director of Prospect National Bank of Peoria and served on the Board of Governors of the Country Club of Peoria.

"Chappy was a great force in Caterpillar's history. He started with the company when he was a young man, worked in increasingly important positions and, in particular, helped shape our global marketing footprint," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. "As a WWII veteran, he was also part of the greatest generation. I know I speak for all of us who knew and worked with Chappy when I say he was a good friend, a wonderful colleague and will be sorely missed."

Visitation will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, at the Wilton Mortuary in Peoria. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Read Mr. Chapman’s full obituary here