James Edward Chappell, Jr passed away on December 4, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona at the age of 93 years old.
Edward was born October 9, 1926 in Jasper Township, Adams County to parents Lester and Beulah Beckwith Chappell. He graduated from Corning High School in 1944 and went on to attend Drake University. Ed was on the first Drake cross country team to win a NCAA National Championship. In 1945 he served in the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in the Pacific during WWII.
On June 1, 1947 Edward and Evelyn Pearson of Carl, Iowa were united in marriage. In 1955, he became active in establishing the National Farmers Organization, serving as its first secretary. For many years the couple farmed in Adams County, as well as owning and operating a citrus business in Phoenix, Arizona during the winter months. In the mid 1960’s they moved to the Chappell family farm. Ed loved flying. He received a commercial flight instructor rating, and for many years he was a flight instructor for pilots in the Adams County area.
In his later years, Ed permanently relocated to Sun City, Arizona. There he was an active member of numerous organizations and President of the Sun Dial Dance Club. In 2005 he purchased the home where Johnny Carson was born in Corning, Iowa and established the non-profit Johnny Carson Birthplace Society to restore the home and make it open to the public. More recently, he was a resident of the Springs of Scottsdale Assisted Living near the home of son, Jim Chappell who oversaw his care. Ed’s family felt fortunate to have many visits with him during his final years.
Edward is survived by daughters Linda (Gordon) Lundberg of Ames, IA and Diann (Dave) Zimmerman of Clive, IA; son Jim (Michelle) Chappell of Phoenix, AZ; seven grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; brother Eugene (Beth) Chappell of Kerrville,Texas; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Ed was preceded in death by his parents.
A Memorial Service will be held for Ed in Corning, Iowa at a later date. There will be a private inurnment at Prairie Rose Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to APCS Caregivers.