Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

Never one to back down from a fight, Dan passed away after a 13 month battle with esophageal cancer. He fought with grace, courage and determination and  died at home surrounded by family.

Dan was born in Battle Creek to Dan and Jane Chappell . He graduated from St. Philip Catholic Central and then on to Grand Valley State University where he graduated with a teaching degree in physical education and athletic training. Dan spent the next 35 years at East Kentwood High School, he was not only known for his skills as an athletic trainer but for his quick wit, kind and caring nature, and the ability to have fun in even the most precarious situations.

Important to Dan were his love for his family, his career and the many students, faculty and parents he worked with over the years. Dan was also known in the sailing world. Beginning at a young age he become an avid competitive sailor, sailing in regattas near and far and always being present to race weekly at the Grand Rapids Yacht Club.  Preceding him in death was his father, Daniel Edward Chappell. Surviving are his wife, Heather Chappell, his children, McKenzie and Thomas Faulkner and grandchild, Everett, Danny Chappell, Ian Chappell, Hannah Krull ,and Riley Krull, his mother, Jane Chappell, his sisters, Julie Ryan (Tim) Janet Chappell ( Mike Ashton), Jeanine Plushnik (Tony)  Jackie Stevens (Mark) and Matt Chappell (Jair) and many nieces and nephews.

A scholarship fund under Dan Chappell  has been set up at Grand Valley State University for Athletic Training to keep his legacy forth going.  Donate:

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, a private family service will take place at 11:00 am on Saturday, August 22, 2020.  Live Streaming is available at:

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Dan’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:


Cremation arrangements were entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 616-452-3006.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.


  1. Julie A. Chappell Ryan on August 20, 2020 at 10:32 am

    I love you, brother. I know that you are sailing with dad in the heavens. May the sails be full, the seas calm, the air strong.
    We will miss you greatly.

  2. Jeanine L. Chappell Plushnik on August 20, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Love you Dan and miss you so much as do all. I know you are at peace now enjoying the seas of Heaven with those that welcomed you home. I hold you dear to my heart until we meet again. Sail on.

  3. Jerelie Retzlaff on August 20, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Dan.. you will be missed. Sail on my friend.

  4. Lynn VanGeisonCulver on August 20, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Dan I will keep our childhood memories close to my heart and keep your family and loved ones close in prayer for comfort and peace as they navigate through this time. It sounds as if you loved your calling to teaching and athleticism. A life of beautiful service well spent. I pray you are on the open waters as your social media portrays as a life long passion and pure joy. I am Blessed to have known you and your family. I love seeing your mom at church. We reminisce about fond memories. ❤️

  5. steven meade on August 20, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    love you chap thanks for always letting me hangout with you during sporting events cause you knew I wanted to be an EMT. rest easy man we got it from here. you where one great role Molde to me and someone I looked up too. I will miss you and your funny jokes

  6. Ashley Akinsanya on August 20, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Uncle Danny we will miss you and think of you with every wave we see. ❤️ Happy sailing!

  7. Randall and Sonya Bryant on August 20, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    RIP Chap, Dan the Man.
    Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted.
    Matthew 5:4
    Thank you for everything you did for us Falcons. You’re one class act. Prayers for the family.

  8. steven hall on August 20, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Dan was such a wonderful trainer and mentor to thousands of students! Dan was always so kind to me and treated me with the respect and dignity. He was the gold standard for athletic trainers in Michigan and will be sorely missed!

  9. Pete Canepa on August 20, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Dan the Man. Years of watching our kids play hockey, and drink beers, laughing and having a good time is what I loved about you. God speed and have a beer ready for me when I get to heaven, (Hopefully) love ya, brother!

  10. JD Marsiglia on August 20, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    Rest easy chap you expressed the Falcon culture in every aspect. Thank you for taking care of all of us when we were at our lows and teaching us how to. You will always be remembered.

  11. Elsa on August 21, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Chapp was the best! He helped me through many little running injuries. He kept us all laughing and entertained us while we sat and iced, wrapped us up before meets, and always explained our injuries and our healing processes to us so that we could learn. He was a joy to have in Kentwood athletics and I’m sure that his legacy will live on through future student athletes! He is a #foreverfalcon !

  12. Sandy Connors on August 21, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Dan, You have left an amazing footprint in the hearts, minds, and lives of the Kentwood community for grandparents, parents, students, teachers, and friends. Coast to coast, stories and positive experiences spent with you helping, healing and caring will continue for years to come. You were the very best! It never mattered who it was, what team you were on, ours or theirs, you helped. Your love of people was endless and we all thank you for that. Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed.

  13. Kent Mudie on August 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Dan was very welcoming to me and my three kids when we moved next door in 1995. You couldn’t ask for a nicer neighbor. My kids are very upset to learn Dan has passed. Ann in L.A. learned on Facebook. Haven’t seen Dan in 5 years or more. Definitely going to donate to the scholarship.

  14. Connie Cole on August 21, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Heather I am so sorry that your time together was short, hold the happy memories close! Hugs to you my friend.

  15. Brian Cobb on August 22, 2020 at 8:31 am

    I offer my sincere condolences to Dan’s many family members and loved ones. He was a great guy who touched so many hearts and will surely be missed. I pray for your comfort in these difficult times and hope your knowing that Chaps is in heaven will ease your pain. Warmest regards, Brian

  16. Jock Ambrose on August 23, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    To Heather, Mackenzie, Danny, Ian and Family- Dan was always a great friend who took such great care of all around him. EK was a better place because of his spirit and so many students, parents and staff benefited from his care . He will be missed by us all!!

  17. John scalabrino on August 24, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Dan was best described by the opening sentence in his obituary, he fought with grace,courage and determination. My condolences to the Chappell family on your loss.

  18. Frank Lerchen on August 24, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Chap, I’m going to miss you along with everyone else you’ve left a lasting impact on. I’ll never forget my first night covering events with you as my preceptor. I was as “green” as they came –in my first semester of GVSU’s ATEP and no prior experience of even having a HS AT at Shelby High School. I didn’t know how how much ice to put in a cooler for crying out loud.

    I thought I could attend classes, work weeknights, and keep up with my clinical rotations. Boy, was I wrong. The first event we covered, I let you know that I had to leave at about 5:30pm to make my shift at the Rec Center that night and all you said was, “yep fine, you get out of it what you put into it.” And that was all you had to say. The next day I switched all my shifts to the weekends! You had a way of bringing out the best in people and quickly made me realize the committment that you make to the AT profession when you join this field. I’ll be forever grateful for your mentorship, the laughs we shared, your wealth of knowledge, your fighting spirit, and the friendship we developed as the years went on and we lined up on opposite sidelines in the same conference. Gone, but never forgotten.

    Love ya Chap

  19. Gwenn Kolk on August 27, 2020 at 10:45 am

    All of us here at Yacht Basin Marina are very sadden to hear of the passing of Dan. You will be remembered by us all and love goes out to your family.
    -Gwenn, Phil, Paul, Matt, Cory, Tom.

  20. Ruth Dailey on August 27, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Jane and family, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and send you wishes for peace and comfort. You all will be missed on B-dock.
    Ruth Dailey from Miss D.

  21. Charlene Erskine on August 29, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    Dear Jane and family – I am so sorry to hear of your loss. May God surround you with His blessings and know that your son is now in Heaven. (I worked with Jane at Leila Hospital for years).

  22. Craig Rojek on September 1, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I was not fortunate enough to know Dan, but if my friend and colleague, Dan’s sister Jeanine, is representative of the family, he must have been a fine man indeed. Jeanine, you and all of Dan’s family and friends are in my thoughts and in my prayers. God bless!

  23. Diane Tuttle Cummins on September 15, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Sending my deepest sympathy and condolences for your brother i haven’t seen since he was a toddler living across the street. I have a photo of us girls dressed up for Halloween he photo bombed! My only brother is very precious to me. Sending hugs, thoughts, playmate memories and prayers for your comfort.

  24. Bruce Hutchinson on October 3, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Just found out about Danny. So sad to hear. He was a great friend ,great crew and member of a great family. Please let me know of the Memorial so I can pass the word on to the old Tamer crew. Special thoughts to the family and especially Mama Chaps. Good times and many fond memories. Keep in touch.
    Bruce Hutchinson and all the Tamer Crew. Sail on Danny

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