Walter Chappel (Barnwell)
Walter Chappel was born on July 30, 1939, in Union Hospital, Brooklyn, New York, to the late Joseph S. Chappel and Edna Mae Smith Chappel. Walter was the third of four siblings and was preceded in death by his younger brother, Marvin, and older sister, Lorraine.
Walter received his early education in Brooklyn, New York, and after the family moved to Queens, he attended and graduated from Newtown High School in June 1957. Soon after graduation, Walter joined the United States Navy, where he served on the USS/LUCE for four years and was honorably discharged in 1962.
Walter was the proud father of three children: Walter David (who preceded him in death), Colin Michael and Nicole Denise, from his union to Christola Williams. Walter married his best friend, soul-mate and love of his life, Ada Robinson, in 1986. Ada came as a package, so through marriage, Walter gained and helped raise another son, Walter Kenneth.
Walter held positions in the garment district in Manhattan, New York, as a key punch operator on the very first computers, using key punch cards to attain data and compile reports. Walter’s next few jobs took him into the wholesale liquor business, where he worked as a salesman for many years before retiring. His next endeavor was driving a school bus for the Mineola School District in Mineola, New York, for almost 20 years.
After he retired, he and Ada moved to Barnwell, South Carolina. Walter, being Walter, didn’t quite know how to be retired, so he soon took a part-time position as a bus driver for Barnwell School District #45, where he worked until his illness. He was dearly loved by all his students.
Walter was an avid tennis player and loved the game, playing both indoors and outdoors, sometimes five days a week after work, for over 40 years in amateur tournaments, where he won many trophies. He looked forward to his New York church, Allen AME’s, annual golf and tennis outing, where he taught and coached children for the day, and finally playing on the senior circuit once he moved to South Carolina. He had the 24-hour tennis channel at home, and thought that Serena and Venus Williams were his “daughters” as he sat at home coaching them through the TV, sometimes at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., when they played live from other countries. He also loved following sports, especially Sunday, Monday and Thursday night football and his beloved New York Knicks. Walter also enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and watching game shows, Jeopardy being his favorite, along with old Cowboy and Indian westerns.
Before becoming ill, Walter enjoyed gardening and growing vegetables that he shared with friends and neighbors. Walter loved traveling, especially cruising (which he called one stop shopping), and didn’t mind driving anywhere. He and Ada traveled all across the country on their “road trips”, visiting family and friends. Walter was happily able to cross two places off his bucket list that he wanted to visit: a cruise to Alaska and flying to Hawaii.
Walter’s impact extended beyond his household, as he became a representation of what a father and a man should be. He served as the neighborhood “Pops” to all of Little Walter’s friends, who affectionately called him “Big Walt”. He always kept his doors (and fridge) open to the young men who stopped by, imparting words of wisdom when necessary. Additionally, Walter was Grandpa and Papa to a host of adopted children and grandchildren who each loved him as their own.
Although not a cook, Walter was the best sous chef ever, always willing to help Ada in all her cooking and baking endeavors and always had her back in any of the many projects she undertook, both in and out of their home. He was truly the wind beneath Ada’s wings.
Walter went home to be with his heavenly Father on Sunday, September 24, 2017. He leaves to cherish his memory: his loving and devoted wife, Ada of their home; children, Colin M. Chappel of Hempstead, N.Y., Nicole D. (Dan) Freeman of Phenix City, Ala. and Walter K. Young III of Columbia; one brother, Joseph (Cora) Chappel of Hempstead, N.Y.; four grandchildren, Kwancy, Montrell, Tariq and his “baby girl”, Janiya; brother-in-law, William (Nancy) Robinson of North Haledon, N.J.; Ruth Summers of West Park, Fla. (whom Walter called his “Big Sis”); his godsister, Bernadette Williams of Brooklyn, N.Y.; his goddaughter, Kim Chalmers-Potter of Raleigh, N.C.; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other family and friends.
Visitation was on Friday, September 29, 2017, at Dyches Funeral Home in Barnwell from 4-6 p.m. The funeral service was Saturday, September 30, 2017, at noon at Bethany Baptist Church in Blackville with words of comfort by Rev. Reginald Mixon. Burial followed in the Hope Memorial Gardens in Barnwell.
B.F. Cave Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.