In Memoriam - Tom Chapman

Tribute to Tom Chapman with dandelion in background.



RINA Employment: August 10, 1964 – April 21, 2018

Tom Chapman had a very interesting life before joining RINA in 1964. Born in Hong Kong, he attended Cambridge University and majored in English. He moved to Canada after graduation to be near his family and began working for a small chartered accounting firm where he did mostly tax. He then moved to a large Canadian firm and audited clients all over Canada. As they say, “he got a bee in his bonnet” and in 1964 followed his brother, Tony, to San Francisco. There, he met with Jack Ahern and Bob Nolt, both founding partners of RINA. Tom became the leader for RINA’s management advisory services and then specialized in working with attorneys as an expert witness in a broad range of accounting related matters.

Tom Chapman will forever be remembered for the spirit he brought to his work and to his endeavors outside of work. That bounce in his step let us know he was up to something and that he would see it through. His ability to share interesting stories about clients, their families and their advisors helped several generations of RINA staff understand that we needed to pay attention to the people as much as the numbers. Often, we had to consult a dictionary or thesaurus (or Google!) to translate some of his words as his vocabulary was one that knew the nuanced meanings of many phrases. His willingness to help us learn about our profession taught us all that we hold a special place of trust with those we serve, and those we work with. More recently Tom’s dedication to watching out for Joyce (his wife) was shared with the Walnut Creek office as she frequently joined him so he could continue his work. Tom loved RINA and will be missed. 

—Ed Fahey, President 

Tom Chapman was a true logophile which sounds a little sinister but means a lover of words. Wordsmithing was a well-crafted passion for Tom. He was much more than that but it did give me joy to sit across from him and here him spin his craft over the phone. His friendship was more than just his words, his heart was behind it. He had a quick wit that always got a smile from me. We had many friendly and high-spirited discussions over his Democratic and my rather Republican values that always ended in joint laughter. I do miss him. 

—Donna Blackhall, Network Manager

I had the privilege of working next to Tom during the past few years and getting to know him and his loving wife Joyce. I always enjoyed his interesting vacation stories with his family. I was so moved by the way he talked and treated Joyce with such a loving voice and with a lot of patience. A brilliant mind and undoubtedly, one of the most respectable and honorable men that I have ever known. I will miss seeing him across my office. 

—Mario Amiri, Network Support Engineer 

When I was the front desk concierge, I was always amazed by the level of energy that Tom possessed and I quickly nicknamed him “The Energizer Bunny”! Tom would whiz by my desk every day, telling me quickly which client or court case he was attending to, and he would return to the office at 4:00 p.m. to continue his client work - despite my nudges of “just go home”. Tom was always dedicated to his clients and had a sharp and massive knowledge of the details for each court case. I will miss his spirit and unique laugh! 

—Kathy Moody, Office Manager

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