Ellen A. Chappell

Mrs. Ellen Aileen Harris Chappell, 91, a resident of Oak Lea in the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, died Sunday, March 19, 2006, at Rockingham Memorial Hospital.

A daughter of the late Allen Shackelford Harris and Martha Washington Harris, she was born on Oct. 17, 1914, in Lawrence, Kan. In 1916, she moved to Pocatello, Idaho with her family where she received her education including one year at the University of Idaho Southern Branch in Pocatello. She graduated from the University of Kansas with an AB degree and later did graduate work at James Madison University.

On Dec. 22, 1936, she married Dr. James Wilbert Chappell of Hays, Kan., who preceded her in death on June 2, 1989. She was also preceded in death by her two sons, Allen Harris Chappell, on March 7, 1992, and James Lee Chappell, on Feb. 5, 2002.

After moving to Harrisonburg in 1943, she was active in various organizations with former membership in American Association of University Women, Lanier Garden Club, Rockingham Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and Theta Epsilon. She sponsored the establishment of a chapter of Theta Epsilon at Fort Hays Kansas State College. She was the founder of the Madison College Faculty Wives Serving Circle, which later became the James Madison University Woman’s Club and the co-founder of the Honorary Life Members Group.

Mrs. Chappell was a member of Harrisonburg Baptist Church, where she had served as chairman of the Ruth Price Dickerson Circle and also the Fidelis Class, the Youth Committee, the Flower Committee and the Library Committee.

Mrs. Chappell taught fifth graders in Rockingham County at Mount Clinton, Bridgewater, and Pleasant Valley Elementary schools. She was active in the Rockingham County Education Association and a member of the Virginia Education Association.

Surviving are a daughter-in-law, Mary Ann Chappell of Harrisonburg; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Fern Horsley of Midland, Mich.; two nephews, Lee Herbert Horsley and Geri R. Horsley and two nieces, Jo Anne Horsley and Barbara K. Hauck.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. from the Chapel of Lindsey Harrisonburg Funeral Home with the Rev. T.W. Johnson Jr. officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.

A private burial will be held earlier in Woodbine Cemetery. There will be no public viewing.

Memorial contributions may be made to the J. Wilbert Chappell Scholarship Fund, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.