Barbara's Story

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Barbara Jean (Alexander) Chapelle, 89, passed away Sunday, March 19, 2017 at Orchard Creek Supportive Care, where she had been lovingly cared for the last years of her life. Barbara "Barb" was born on Oct. 9, 1927 in Delaware, Ohio, to the late Donald M. and Alice E. (Livie) Alexander.
She married her childhood friend, Walter "Walt" Edward Chapelle, on June 14, 1952 at the United Methodist Church in Alden. Together they raised four wonderful daughters, Susan, Carol, Martha and Bette, in Southfield.
Following in her father's footsteps, Barb earned her degree in English at Albion College, where she also received her teaching certificate. She taught high school before she married Walt and became a devoted wife and mother raising her four daughters. Working together, Barb and Walt achieved their most prized success, saving enough money to send their four daughters to college.
Barb was also very active at Berkley United Methodist Church, where she volunteered in many capacities, which included using her teaching talents as the fifth grade Sunday school teacher for many years.
In 1994 Barb and Walt returned to northern Michigan to live in Traverse City near their grandchildren and their cottages on Torch Lake. There Barb continued her faithful church service through adult education classes and the community meals program at Central United Methodist Church.
Barb was well appreciated for her ability to find happiness in such everyday things as baking cookies for a church event, planting flowers, going to the farmers market or reading to grandchildren. She nurtured happiness in others through her interest in their stories and her natural empathy, which also extended to dogs and birds.
Through her example she instilled in her children their responsibility for creating happiness and their respect for all humans and animals. Barb held high expectations for her children, which were exceeded only by her steadfast confidence in them and her endless interest in their lives.
Barb will be deeply missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her daughters, Susan (Charles) Judson, of Traverse City, Carol (Jim McCormick) Chapelle, of Ames, Iowa, Martha (Floyde) Flanders, of Mounds View, Minnesota, and Bette (John Evans) Chapelle Evans, of Berkley; grandchildren, Alexandria (David) Walker, Bailey Judson, George Flanders and John Flanders; and one great-granddaughter, Reiley Chapelle Walker.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband of 62 years, Walter; as well as her two brothers, Robin Alexander and Donald Alexander.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Central United Methodist Church.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Central United Methodist Church endowment fund or to Hospice of Michigan.
You are invited to sign Barbara's online guestbook at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
Published on March 26, 2017
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