Homer Alaska - Obituaries

Story last updated at 3:17 PM on Wednesday, July 4, 2012

John Cundy Chapple Jr.

June 5, 1922 June 23, 2012

John Cundy Chapple Jr., 90, began his last marathon to Gods golden shore on June 23, 2012.

Mr. Chapple was born on June 5, 1922, in Flatbush, Brooklyn, N.Y. He grew up and attended school in Saranac Lake, N.Y., where his mother was being treated for tuberculosis. He graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1941, and attended Hobart College, majoring in meteorology. He was an avid runner, as well as a downhill and cross-country skier.

John enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1943 and spent two years in the North Atlantic. He was a chief aerographers mate on a weather (decoy) ship assisting convoy traffic during World War II. His service in this capacity began a lifelong interest in tracking and recording the daily weather.

Returning home from the war, John married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Schreiner. They moved to Lake Placid, N.Y., where they raised five children. John opened the Adirondack Liquor Store which he owned and operated for more than 30 years. He was very involved in community activities as well as local politics. He was a member of the Elks Lodge Club 1508, the VFW Post 3357 and the Lions Club of Lake Placid. He was also a 4th degree Knight of Columbus in St. Agnes Catholic Church.

In 1980, after the Olympics in Lake Placid, John and Betty decided to move to Alaska to join their children who had moved to Homer over the years. After working briefly at Prudhoe Bay, John worked for Leo Rollins Crane Service and as a watchman at Alaskan Seafoods. He made friends with all those he came in contact with, from maintenance staff to management alike. The Chapples lived on the Homer Spit for more than 25 years.

John was as active in community activities in Homer as he had been in Lake Placid. He was a member of St. Johns Catholic Church, the Lions Club, the American Legion, as well as treasurer of the Homer Elks Club. He enjoyed politicking with friends, league bowling and exploring the great outdoors of Alaska. He hiked trails and mountains across Kachemak Bay, and canoed and portaged lakes around the Kenai Peninsula. His running career was life-long and included years of participation in the Boston Marathon as well as races in New York City, Buffalo, Montreal and other areas. His positive spirit and enthusiasm for running were an inspiration to all.

A dedicated sports fan, John followed all kinds of professional sports, and he particularly enjoyed attending the many local athletic events of his active grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He always had encouraging words for people, and he connected with and respected all athletes for taking on a challenge no matter what their fitness level or goals.

Nothing was more important to John than his family and friends. He was a true gentleman and lived by the Golden Rule. People from all walks of life were beneficiaries of his generosity and compassion. His genuine concern for others extended to all Gods creatures, evident by the bowls of water placed below his mailbox and faithfully refilled for dogs running by his home on the bike path.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Chapple; sister, Jane Potter; and daughter, Victoria Chapple.

He is survived by his daughter Rebecca Sawyer of Lake Placid, N.Y,; son and daughter-in-law John (Bumper) and Peggy Chapple of Homer; daughter Alex Chapple of Palmer; daughter Jessica Chapple of Clark Fork, Idaho; brother-in-law Don Potter of Clinton, N.Y.; cousin Rena Dempsey of Accord, N.Y.; and many nieces, nephews, as well as 11 grandchildren, including John Chapple IV; 13 great-grandchildren, including John Chapple V, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held in Homer on July 2, 2012. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to Hospice of Homer or Homer Senior Citizens Center. Condolences and special memories can be shared with the Chapple Family at P.O. Box 1201, Homer, AK 99603.