Louis Ivan Chappell, 95, passed away January 3, 2017 at the Brookdale Foundation in Dodge City, Kansas.
He was born April 6, 1921 in Plevna, Kansas. His parents H.E. Chappell and Minnie (Nusser) Chappell moved to a farm North of Plains when he was four years old. He attended Mertilla Township rural grade school and graduated from Plains High School in 1938 where he was active in sports. Louis bought his first airplane at the age of 18, a year after graduation. He loved farming, flying, basketball and baseball, not necessarily in that order! He went to the Brooklyn Dodgers training camp in Florida and Tennessee in 1940, and he received a baseball contract from the Dodgers to report for Spring Training in Superior, Wisconsin.
When WWII broke out, Louis’ love of flying found him in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a civilian flight instructor. He was instructing in Albuquerque, New Mexico when he was reunited with a High School student whose parents had moved their bakery from Plains to Albuquerque. Their daughter Beverly Houdyshell was attending the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. They were married on September 5, 1942 and moved to Wichita Falls, Texas where he continued with the Army Air Corps.
After the war they moved to the farm and built a home 10 miles North and 1 mile East of Plains. In 1952 Louis invested in one of the first deep irrigation wells to be drilled in the area. He also established a herd of Charolais cattle diversifying his farming operation. He was a member of the Flying Farmers and did charter work with his Beechcraft Bonanza. Louis was also an early salesman for the Pioneer Seed Company. He also loved fishing, especially with the grandkids. He hunted elk for 32 years with friends in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Louis and Beverly (Beb) retired in 1981 and moved to Dodge City. They continued traveling and fishing in their 5th wheel with boat in tow. They recently celebrated their 74th anniversary at the Brookdale Foundation.
Louis was preceded in death by infant son Louis I. Chappell Jr. and his parents.
He is survived by wife Beverly and two children: daughter Sandi (Glenn) Schiff of Seward, Alaska; and son Jerry (Donna) Chappell of Plains; five grandchildren: Ryan (Kristen) Stapleton of Meade, Bart (Brandi) Stapleton of Port Charlotte, Florida, Shay (Michael) Frederick of Johnston, Iowa, Jeanie (Shane) Adams of Bucklin, and Jerry D. Chappell Jr. of Copeland; nine great grandchildren: Craig (Katie) Stapleton of Wichita, Jaden and Sierra Stapleton both of Port Charlotte, Florida, Jaylin, Jarrett, Grayson and Sayler Stapleton all of Meade, Mickayla Frederick of Johnston, Iowa, and Gage Adams of Bucklin; and four great great grandchildren: Titan, Athena, Bentlee and Haven.
Graveside service and burial will be held at Plains Cemetery in Plains, Kansas on Saturday January 7, 2017 at 2:00 PM with Rev. Ted Skalsky presiding. Visitation will be at Swaim Funeral Home in Dodge City on Friday January 6, 2017 from 12-8pm. Memorials are suggested to The Brookdale Foundation in care of the funeral home. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online guest book at www.swaimfuneralhome.com.