David Robert Chappel

image002David Robert Chappel, an accomplished lawyer, adventurous world traveler, husband, father of two beautiful children, and true friend to many, is no longer with us at the age of 63.

Born in Burbank, California on October 2, 1949, David was raised in Santa Maria, a small agricultural community in northern Santa Barbara County, where he distinguished himself scholastically and made many lifelong friends.  Active in his church and scouting troop, David forged steadfast bonds to the central coast and frequently returned to visit family and friends. He kept in close contact throughout his life with Tim Crandell, whom he met in Sunday school in 1959 and with whom he shared many adventures.

After attending the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he obtained a degree in Religious Studies, David travelled extensively though Europe, and spent six months in Central America and Mexico. David eventually decided on a career in law, obtaining his degree in 1979. David began his legal career as a federal law clerk in the Western District of Washington. Following that clerkship, David embarked on an extensive world tour that circumnavigated the globe.  Upon his return, David was appointed Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Criminal Division at the King County Prosecutor’s Office where he earned the nickname “Clint” for his rugged good looks and commanding courtroom style.  He made many friends as lawyer, including opposing counsel who frequently became lifelong friends. David settled on immigration law and built a successful practice in Seattle that focused on Asian Rim countries and their business needs. David was fiercely independent as a lawyer.

David married Harumi, a particularly beautiful woman, in 1991 and they raised two lovely and intelligent daughters, Marjorie and image001 Isabelle, now ages 19 and 16, whom he loved dearly. In addition to his immediate family, David leaves behind his sister Linda Chappel of Santa Maria, and his brother Steven Chappel of Ontario, Oregon. His brother, Paul Chappel, died in 2012. His mother, Doris Chappel, died in 2008, and his father, James Robert Chappel, passed away earlier this year.

David died from complications arising from a rare neurological disorder. He bravely maintained his dignity and sense of humor despite the ravages of this disorder. David’s body will be cremated and his ashes strewn through Yosemite Valley. He will be missed deeply.

11 Responses to “David Robert Chappel”

  • Roger T. Dunawy says:

    David: You were a wonderful friend and great lawyer. I will truly miss you.

  • Claudine ZONGO says:

    Dear David, while I’m on my way to come see you from Burkina Faso, death has choosen to steal you at this moment. I feel profoundly sad of this terrible news. You’ll remain for me a best friend. I will always remember your friendship and your consideration that allowed me to successfully complete my Hubert Humphrey fellowship program in 2008-2009. May your Soul rest in Peace!

  • Janet S says:

    David, You were an amazingly kind person with a great sense of humor and I will miss your friendship. Rest in Peace my friend. ~Janet

  • Carrie Stancliff says:

    David was always kind. He exemplified such amazing determination and perserverance even thru the progression of his illness. What a dedicated Man, Attorney, Father, Lawyer and Husband he was to stay in the practice of Law as long as he did. David truely showed us all in the workplace what it looked like to not give-up and not give-in but to spend every effort championing obstacles. Though he showed great independance he also showed great humility in maintaining while also relying on others to assist. I knew he was a special person and only regret not getting to know him earlier. I count it great gain to have crossed David’s path. David’s legacy is great and eternal. My condolences to the family and his law practice partner.

  • Lien Nguyen says:

    My deepest condolences to Harumi and family. I had the honor of knowing and working with David during his practice at Gaitan & Cusack, and never forget the impression of him as a steadfast attorney and a humble, compassionate person. May his soul rest in peace and God be with you and family in this difficult time and always.

  • Miyuki Yoshida says:

    My prayers go out to you David and your family. You have a been a dear friend and mentor from Seattle University School of Law with a strong Asian/Japan legal practice. I’m now based in Portland, Oregon but travel to Seattle/Bellevue often. I hope to visit your firm and family in future. Rest in Peace. With deepest sympathy, Miyuki

  • Cheryl Musacchia (cousin) says:

    My prayers go out to all of the Chappel family in loss of a wonderful husband, father and brother. My family (the Merwin Chew family) were so very fortunate to be with David at his father’s funeral in June. David was so determined to be in Santa Maria for the funeral! All of his relatives circled David’s side and were able to share some of our fondest memoies with him. But most of all, we got to hug him and say “I love you so much David”. His love of life and his passionate spirit will be remembered by all who knew him. He now rests in well deserved peace. My love, Cheryl Anne

  • POUSSET Isabelle says:

    Sorry for my bad American langage.

    All my deepest condoleances for you Harumi and your daughters. I just acknowledge this very bad new one month ago by Internet(after two years…)

    Would you please contact me by e-mail. I would be very pleased

    Isabelle POUSSET (from France)

  • Ingrid Schmidt says:

    I was searching for your name and I was shocked and deeply sorry to read this very sad news. You were an amazing person and a great friend.

    You will be missed by many people.


  • Jim Goche says:

    To Dave’s Family,

    Dave and I were good friends in law school and just afterwards but then lost touch. Last week I visited SU Law School and after happening upon a picture of the 1978 Moot Court Board on the wall that included Dave and I, I concluded to look Dave up. I was shocked and saddened to learn that Dave had passed away, but it was good to read about his life and times and the loving family that he was part of. I remember Dave as a thoughtful caring person who was a solid friend. A good thought for his memory and best wishes to his family.

  • Sherell R Sanford-Stembridge says:

    I am sadden by the news, and send my condolences to the family. You hired me as your legal secretary as my first real job! You will truly be missed.


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