Ben Chapman passed away at 12:15 am Hawaii time on Thursday, February 21 at the Tripler Medical Center in Honolulu. His health began to deteriorate February 12. He collapsed and was admitted to the hospital around 8:30 am on February 20. His life support was turned off Wednesday around noon and his pacemaker was turned off shortly before he died. He died peacefully with his wife, Merrilee, and son, Ben Chapman III, by his side. He was 79 years old at his death.
His body was cremated and a memorial service was held at St. Augustine By-The-Sea Church Waikiki in Honolulu. It was held on Saturday, March 29 at 9:00 am. The scattering of the ashes followed at 10:30 am off Waikiki Beach from Hawaiian outrigger canoes.
A second remembrance was "a very small private scattering ceremony with the remaining ashes in April, at Universal Studio's backlot 'lagoon' where Creature From the Black Lagoon was filmed.
Ben wins a posthumous award. See this link.
You can find a more detailed obituary in the Honolulu Advertiser and here. There are also a great articles on the following sites:
Los Angeles Time
The United Press
Dallas Morning News [PDF]
Marine Corps Times [PDF]
New York Times
Merrilee, Ben's longtime companion sent out this informative e-mail after his death to some of his fans:
Aloha Friends and Fans:
Ben Chapman wanted me to send an e-mail en masse when he passed away. He left the world he loved at 15 minutes past midnight (HST) February 21, 2008. He took his last breath at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu about 12 hours after he was taken off life support (he was on life support about 4 hours).
Ben was transported to ER about 8:30 am on February 20 via ambulance. He lost consciousness and spoke for the last time at our apt (never regained consciousness). Ben's health, as you may know, has not been good forthe last few years, but beame increasingly and alarmingly worse just before Valentines Day (congestive heart failure). He didn't even open his red Valentines-shaped box of See's Candies --- and he was a certified chocolaholic!!
He did, however,eat his home-made 3-course Tahitian Valentines Dinner. He also ate a whole hot dog (he never met a hot dog he didn't love) at the VA snack shop Febuary 19 - a day in which he had three appointments at the VA. Hospice was to begin, including delivery of a hospital bed to our apt -our "glass house in the sky" as we called it - 16th floor with a golf course and mountain view.
The nicest thing he ever said to me was in 2007 when he said out of the blue, "I LOVE MY LIFE" and we loved him - the love of our lives!
Semper Fi Marine!
Me Ke Aloha, Merrilee & ohana (family)
We have compiled a page for fans to share their memories. If you have a memory you would like to share here, e-mail: kenroar (at) yahoo dot com. Fan memories are below:
There are many memorial websites and blogs honoring Ben on the internet. Here are a few:
Universal Monster Army
Monster Kid Classic Horror Forum
Horror of it all
Toy Boy's Blog
Shock Till You Drop
Icons of Fright
Bob's ART du Jour
Enlaces de cine
Pretty Scary Forums
Find a Grave
Slice of SciFi
Finally, here is my tribute to Ben