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. 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 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.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Edith Chappell. He is survived by his sisters, Arlene and husband, Lyle Ekleberry, Paula and husband, Darren Venters; brother, Larry and wife, Linda Chappell; sons, Steve L. and wife, Barbara Chappell, Brett and wife, Tamika Chappell, and Dale and wife, Mary Chappell; daughters, Candi and husband, Vic Duran, Erin and husband, Chad Hanson, daughter, Jaclyn Thompson, and Sarah and husband, Keenen Lovett; and son John and wife, Jessica Chappell. Steve was a loving Grandad to 22 grandkids.
Services will be held at the Elks Lodge on Saturday, January 28 at 10:00am. Memorial contributions may be made in Steve’s name to Lighthouse Baptist Church New Building Fund accessible through: lbccortez.org/givingpage, an organization Steve felt strongly about.