The Lord called my uncle, Steve Chappell, to Heaven last week. He has been a real mentor, friend, and burden bearer for me, and I already miss him.
He suffered a severe stroke and went to Heaven less than a week later. When I was with his family while he was unresponsive in the hospital, something was needed from his truck, and I went out to retrieve it. There, right by his seat, were three books: his Bible, a prayer journal, and The Resilient Life. Seeing these three and knowing they were there because he was reading them were a visible indicator of what I was already aware—he was pursuing God daily and fervently right up until the Lord called him Home. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
His obituary was a blessing to me, and I thought it would be to readers of this blog as well. Please continue to pray for his immediate family.
Steve Chappell Obituary
Steve Chappell, 78, of Cortez, Colorado, passed away peacefully on January 20, 2023.
Steve was born on October 10, 1944 to Paul and Edith Chappell in Cortez. Steve was a devout man of God, a farmer, hunter, father, and incredible athlete. He held the MCHS mile record for twenty years with a time of 4:40. Amazingly, he recorded this time after playing a high school baseball game. He was not on the track team. Steve won the Lake Placid National Championship for cross country skiing that qualified him for the winter Olympics. He was a major part of the MCHS basketball team that won the State Championship for the first time in 1962. Steve accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior as a young teen at church camp in Ouray, CO. He loved the Lord and his faith defined his life.
After Steve graduated from MCHS in 1962, he went on to study secondary education at Biola Christian University. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, he moved home to teach at MCHS while also farming on Goodman Point. Steve had the joy of raising eight children that he loved dearly and was a proud father of two Navy SEAL sons. Two of his children, John and Sarah, attended West Coast Baptist College. Steve always made time for his family. A true leader, he coached several youth sports teams throughout his life. Steve guided elk and deer hunters at his place for over 30 years and impacted many lives through hunting. He was a faithful member of Lighthouse Baptist Church for over 36 years serving as a teacher and deacon. He also led the construction team that built the current auditorium at Lighthouse Baptist Church. He was a speaker for past Spiritual Leadership Asia conferences in Manila.
He served on the Cortez School board for several years. He also served two terms as Montezuma County Commissioner. He was a beloved member of the community. Steve was an outstanding dry land bean farmer. Steve was a hard worker, honest, kind, and loyal. There wasn’t a problem he couldn’t fix, or anyone he wouldn’t help. He once grabbed a mountain lion by the tail and threw it off a cliff when the lion had a hold of his best hunting dog, Annie. He was a once in a lifetime kind of man. He truly lived out his faith in Jesus and was a godly example to his family and community.
As a family, we are grateful for Steve’s pastor, Bruce Burkett, who is a graduate of West Coast Baptist College. His ministry at this time has meant much to all of us. Times like these remind us to express our love to those who invest in us. Also, I am grateful for our Lord’s preparation of a place, an eternal Home for His people, as He promised in John 14.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1–3)
Truly, we “sorrow not…as others which have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)!
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