COLONIE, NEW YORK
Michael Edmund Chapski died unexpectedly at home on Saturday, November 19, 2022 at the age of 69. Born in Babylon, NY, the son of Katina Chapski, Michael attended the Babylon Public Schools. He played football for his high school and spent his summers at Jones Beach and clam digging in the Great South Bay to fund the many pursuits he enjoyed as a teenager. Michael attended Clarkson University and obtained a degree in Industrial Management and Marketing after which he settled in Albany and was employed by Hewlett Packard. Although successful at his job, Michael discovered that it was not his destiny to work in that field and found himself called to work with and educate kids.
After attending courses at Siena College, he earned his Teachers’ Certification in Mathematics and was hired to teach Math at the South Colonie High School where he enjoyed a long tenure helping to educate thousands of students. In addition to being passionate about his job, he was a Mentor to many who attended South Colonie, coached many of its basketball and football players and went far above and beyond to do all he could to help his students in many ways, large and small. You could not go anywhere with Michael, ANYWHERE!, without running into at least one of his former students. Regardless of who recognized who first, what followed was always a heartfelt hug and then a lengthy talk down memory lane.
Known to many of his friends as “Chapper”, Michael was a gifted photographer, a lover of music, especially 60’s and 70’s rock, and a life-long fan and follower of all major sports, college and pro, especially the teams playing in the New York City area. Chapper loved all creatures, great and small. His Samoyan Huskie, Keemo, was his boon companion for many years and, following his retirement, he happily surrounded himself with stray and rescue cats.
Michael was a true friend to all who befriended him. He possessed a devilish smile and had a booming infectious laugh which he was quick to employ. He had a memory like no one else. Amazingly, he could tell you every person in attendance at a party from 1978; he could recite every live rock show he ever attended, its venue and precisely who was there with him. He could recall and tell you the life history of almost all the kids and athletes who crossed his path. And oh, could he tell a story! Mike could hypnotically hold sway, even with those who had heard the same story countless times, once he got started. You could almost hear Hendrix and Joplin and Richie Havens as he retold the story of his adventurous “trip” to Woodstock in 1969.
Michael discovered his true soulmate in Sonja Flores, his constant companion and best friend. The two of them spent many wonderful years together, lovingly co-parenting their many feline kitties. Michael was predeceased by his adoring and beautiful mother, Katina, who, an educator herself, passed on to Michael her love for teaching. In addition to Sonja, Michael is survived by Sonja’s son, Emilio Flores and cousins Barbara Daversa, Vicky Gullotti and Gregory Gullotti, a gaggle of close friends, his cherished kittens and thousands of former South Colonie High School students. Michael will be forever remembered and missed.
Michael’s family will receive visitors at the New Comer Funeral Home, 343 New Karner Road, Colonie, NY on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 between the hours of 11 AM and 1 PM, immediately followed by a brief Memorial Service and Interment at the Memory Gardens Cemetery on Watervliet-Shaker Road in Colonie.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to The Hudson Mohawk Humane Society, 3 Oakland Avenue, Menands, NY 12204.