Cover photo for Donald R. Chappell's Obituary
Donald R. Chappell Profile Photo
1933 Donald 2017

Donald R. Chappell

December 1, 1933 — August 16, 2017

Donald R. Chappell       “beloved husband, father and grandfather”

SHINGLEHOUSE, Pa.----Donald Romaine “Don” Chappell, 83, of Shinglehouse, passed away on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, in Cole Memorial Hospital, Coudersport, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Born on December 1, 1933 in Olean, N.Y., he was a son of William and Geraldine Chappell Koblinger.  On September 1, 1962 in Millport, he married Bonita Ann “Bonnie” Hemphill, who survives.

Don attended Olean High School, leaving during his senior year to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1951 to serve in the Korean War on the 38th parallel as a hospital corpsman on the front lines.  He received many medals and citations including the Fleet Marine Force Combat Operations Insignia, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Nation Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with three bronze star appurtenances, United Nations Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, Marksman Rifle Badge and two Purple Heart Medals with one gold star appurtenance.  He received his Purple Hearts in action on August 21, 1952 and on October 1, 1952.  He never spoke of his medals or requested any benefits for his injuries or service as his corpsman group sacrificed their lives during the War and he chose to honor their service in that way.

Don was employed from 1954 until his retirement in 1991 serving as a supervisor of test stands at Dresser Rand in Olean.

Don loved hunting and fishing, but his greatest love was his family, especially his grandchildren.

Surviving in addition to his wife are three sons, Jeff D. Chappell of Turtlepoint, Jim D. Chappell of Shinglehouse, and Daniel L. “Dan” Chappell of Shinglehouse; and two daughters, Donna M. Kelley of Olean, N.Y. and Peggy A. (Kenneth Austin) Chappell of Eldred; eight adored grandchildren, Chelsea, Geoff, Tyler (Taylar), Amanda, Taylor, Colton (Nina), Lindsey and Kaci; and many close friends, nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Don was predeceased by a brother, Ronald; a daughter-in-law, Tracy Chappell; a son-in-law, Dale Saulter; and a brother-in-law, William “Bill” Hemphill.

In keeping with Donald’s wishes, there will be no public visitation or funeral services.

Flowers are gratefully declined.  Memorials in Don’s name may be made to the L.E.E.K. Hunting and Mountain Preserve (for disabled veterans), c/o Col. Ed Fisher, 740 Ridge Road, Lewisberry, PA 17339.

Donald’s family has entrusted his care to the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.

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