Jennifer Wilkins Chapin, known to all as Jeffie, died from injuries sustained in an equestrian accident on Sunday, August 11, 2019, in Woodstock, Vermont. Jeffie was born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 27, 1987, to Sarah and Stephen Wilkins. She attended Garrison Forest School in Maryland, Andover NH Elementary/Middle School, and Proctor Academy. Jeffie earned a Bachelor's Degree in Neuroscience from Skidmore College in 2009 and a Master's Degree in Special Education from Lesley University in 2012. At Skidmore, she was also captain of the intercollegiate riding team during her senior year. In 2009, she was the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national champion in Open Equitation Flat Class Team Competition. Jeffie is survived by her husband, Deacon Howard Chapin of Wenham Mass., her parents, her brother Nicholas Wilkins, her sister Susannah Barry, and her grandparents Linette French of Annisquam, Mass., and Angela and Herbert Wilkins of Concord, Mass.
What is most important to understand is that Jeffie lived her dream, a dream she had from her earliest days, to be surrounded by horses. She had her own horses, she lived on a beautiful horse farm in Wenham, Mass., she worked hard every day for her horses, donkey, dogs, and cats, and she found a husband in Deacon who shared these loves with her. Few of us actually know our life dream. From her earliest days as a child, she actually knew precisely what her dream was, and she achieved it. On her last day, Jeffie was doing exactly what her life dream had in store: she was in an equestrian competition with her horses alongside her husband and her dogs. Jeffie's dream has now become eternal.
Jeffie was a teacher. She possessed deep insights into her students in the classroom and in the riding ring. Her humility, kindness, tenacity, honesty, love, and intelligence caused her to be remarkably successful helping children. She taught at the Carroll School in Lincoln, Mass, Brookwood School in Manchester, Mass., and Bentley Academy Charter School in Salem, Mass. Additionally, she helped hundreds of young children acquire a love of horses and all the work and satisfaction that derives from helping animals. Deacon's father, David Chapin, and stepmother, Lauren Norton, and Jeffie's parents have established the Jennifer Wilkins Chapin Foundation so that Jeffie's legacy will endure as the foundation seeks to make the equestrian world accessible to young people who need financial support to pursue their dreams.
Tax-exempt contributions can be sent to the Jennifer Wilkins Chapin Foundation at:
110 Larch Row
Wenham, MA 01984
Services will be held on Friday, August 16th at 11:00 a.m. at The Myopia Hunt Club 435 Bay Road in South Hamilton, Mass. Attire is informal (coat and tie not necessary). Arrangements are in the care of the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield.
Jeffie's full memorial information can be viewed here.
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
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