December 20, 1948 – January 22, 2024

It is with heavy hearts and minds that we acknowledge the loss of Past Department Commander Richard ‘Dick” Chatman, who passed away on January 22, 2024. Richard Irving Chatman (affectionately known as Dick) was born on December 20, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan, to Hura Tee Chatman and Lee Ethel Jeter. He was the eldest of seven children.  

Dick graduated from Detroit Northwestern High School and continued his education, earning degrees at Wayne State University and Marygrove College. Dick served as Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force (1968-1972). He later retired from AT&T in 2002 after 35 years.

Dick was very active at all levels within the American Legion, where he held several positions and offices and served on numerous committees. He was the first African American to hold the position of State Commander from 2011-2012. PDC Chatman also served as the 1st Zone Commander and 1st District Commander. Dick was also the Chairman of several committees, including the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, the Internal Affairs Committee, the Public Relations Committee and the Homeless Veterans Task Force Committee. 
On the National level, Dick held positions with the Americanism Council, Legislative Council, and the Media Alliance. PDC Chatman loved fishing, playing baseball, and chess. He participated in many Veteran events and served as a Veteran Mentor for Third Circuit Court’s Veterans Treatment Court program. Dick was also very passionate about the restoration and relocation of the Michigan War Veterans Memorial. 

Dick was preceded in death by his parents Hura Tee Chatman and Lee Ethel Jeter, and three brothers, Ralph, Dana and Garry, and one sister, Raher. Dick leaves behind to cherish his memory, two sisters Denise and Laverne, a Goddaughter Dionne, three nephews, two nieces, five great-nephews, six great-nieces, his American Legion Post 202 family, his VVA Detroit Chapter 9 family, and a host of friends and Veterans. And lastly, his beloved dog Chloe.