In Memory

Ivan Chapel

Sadly, Vivian Chan Nishimoto has informed us that Ivan passed away in July 2015. Condolences to his family and friends.


The Farsider

July 21, 2015

Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <> 

The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its website solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.

We made contact with Roy Chapel, the son of retired Officer Ivan Chapel who passed away on Saturday, July 11th. His wife Judy had taken him to a Culver City hospital where Ivan was diagnosed with pneumonia. While being treated Ivan suffered and survived a heart attack, but when a nurse took it upon herself to place him on a ventilator Ivan's body failed and he was gone. Roy provided us with the following obituary earlier today along with the text of the eulogy he plans to recite at the funeral that will be held this Thursday (details below)...

Ivan K. Chapel
May 9, 1944 — July 11, 2015

Ivan Kuropatkin Chapel, 71, passed away on July 11, 2015 in Culver City, CA. He was the husband of Judy Chapel. They shared 12 years of marriage together.

Born in Oakland, CA, he was the son of John and Mary Chapel. He graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BA. He was employed by the San Jose Police Department, where he retired as a Detective after 30 years. He was also a Captain in the Army and did a tour in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged after his service.

He will be remembered for his loving devotion to his career, his country and his family. His sense of humor and infectious laugh will live on through his children. Most importantly, he will be remembered for living his life with the highest regard for these following words: Family. Loyalty. Honor. Courage. Fun.

He is survived by his wife, Judy Chapel. His children: Jennifer Haining, Kerri Young, Michelle Pruiett-Haden, and Roy Chapel. His grandchildren: Tarrah Bopp, Nichole Bopp, Kade Young, Kai Young, and Kash Young.

His Public Viewing will be held on Wednesday, July 22, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at McKenzie Mortuary (3843 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA 90804). His funeral will be held on Thursday, July 23, at 11:30am at the Riverside National Cemetery with Military Services (22495 Van Buren Blvd. Riverside, CA 92518).

The Eulogy that was prepared by and will be recited by Roy Chapel at the funeral

Over the course of these last 12 days I have gotten to know the people who respected and loved my father. There are more people than I imagined, but that shouldn’t shock me or anybody else. My father was very likable. He had to be a hard ass from time-to-time, but with the life works of my father, who would expect any different? He was with the San Jose Police Department for 30 years and retired as a Detective. He was a Captain in the Army during the Vietnam War, where he served a full tour. He had a father who was extremely traditional and by-the-book, and well…he had to raise several children throughout the majority of it. I am not certain how difficult my sisters were to raise, but I know that I was a pain in the ass.

From all the friends that my father had from the Police Force and the Army, along with every other job he held in his life, I have gotten to know them a little bit over these last 12 days. And in that time of getting to know them, I got to know my father a little bit more. The words "Honorable," "Protector," "Warrior," "One of the Best" were used by many to describe my father.

Throughout everything that my father did throughout his life, I know for a fact that he lived with a simple code with these select words: "Family. Honor. Courage."

Although I have never been a part of the very close brotherhood of the military, I recently had a conversation with a friend who served with the Marines for 9 years. He and my father had a lot in common. They each had a mind-set directed toward there brothers and sisters-in-arms and their families. Courage is a very strong word for members of our military. In combat, it doesn’t matter why you are there. Your personal views don't matter, nor do your political views. What matters are two things: The man to your left, and the man to your right. My father gave orders better than he took them. And no matter what mission he was given while in the Army, and no matter what call he went on while in the PD, he always made sure to take care of the man to his left, and the man to his right. If they were there with my father, my father would make sure to do his damnedest to get those two people home. The man to his left, and the man to his right. Obviously that is just a phrase because my father wouldn’t take care of only two people, he would take care of everyone.

My father didn’t share all of his Vietnam stories with me, but he did tell me one story several times: After each mission that my father accomplished in Vietnam, he would always be asked the same question by his C.O.: “How many did your guys kill?” All his C.O. cared about was a number of confirmed kills to relay to his commander. As a Capt, my father only remember one number after each mission. At one point he broke and told me how he truly felt: “How many did you guys kill?” “I don’t F$%&@G know, SIR! But I do know that I lost 3 men." He only  remembered the number of people who did or didn’t make it home. My father didn’t care where he was sent or what he was told to do. But if he had some other people with him that were told to do the same thing, he always made sure to take care of the man to his left, and the man to his right. That, in my eyes, is courage. That is true courage and honor.

In terms of honor, my father was an extremely honorable man. I won’t get into his honor as much as I went into his courage, if I did we would be here all day. But I will tell you one thing, and this is fitting since my father is be being laid to rest with many honorable men and women. This is something that my father has only told a few people. He never boasted or bragged about this because he was a very humble man (I cannot recall him boasting or bragging about anything except his children). My father received a purple heart among many medals while in Vietnam, but he felt that he wasn’t injured enough to receive such an important medal. My father felt that someone within his unit was injured more than himself. and gave his Purple Heart to that someone who, in his eyes, was more deserving. To my father, it was never about him, it was never about the medals or awards. It was always about the men and women to his left, and the men and women to his right.

The military and the police, however, can only go so far and do so much for you in life. Those things aren’t always there for you when you get home. But family is always there for you. Although family can try your patience from time to time, it is always the driving force for so many people. Family doesn’t always have to be your blood, either. My father’s family extended through the Army and through the San Jose Police force. Your family sees you at your best and at your worst. And in turn, you get to see your family at its best and worst. We have all seen the peaks and hollows that my father went through throughout his life, some more than others. However, he always seemed to bounce back. And he would always make sure his family would also bounce back.

My father was a man of patience and a man of deep passions. His passions might not have always been the most visible to anyone aside from himself, but his children and the rest of his family were always a great passion throughout my father’s life. Family was always my father’s  greatest accomplishment. Because we are all Chapels, sometimes those times weren’t the easiest, but he saw us all grow-up and lead successful lives. What more could a parent ask for?

He was my coach in life, my mentor, my idol, the man I looked up to and loved the most. He was my best friend and my hero…

Hero. That’s another word I would associate with my father’s name. I don’t know if my father was called a hero while with the military or with the police department, but he has been my hero for over 30 years. My father, Ivan Kuropatkin Chapel, was my hero.

The following is a poem that my fiancé showed me the day after my father passed. It's author is unknown.

My Hero:

You held my hand
When I was small.
You caught me when I fell
You’re the hero of my childhood
And my later years as well.

And every time I think of you
My heart still fills with pride,
Though I will always miss you Dad
I know you’re by my side.

In laughter and in sorrow
In sunshine and through rain,
I know you’re watching over me
Until we meet again.


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05/11/16 09:33 AM #1    

Angela Centini (Field)

So sorry to hear about Ivan passing away, we were in home room together.  My condolences to his family.

05/11/16 03:08 PM #2    

Warren Sapir

Rest in peace my childhood friend.

05/11/16 03:56 PM #3    

MaryJane McCormick (Smith)

First met Ivan when we were eleven and in the Weldonians, endured Joaquin Miller Jr High together, and finally the great times at OHS.  I remember him as always friendly and kind, even though his father was the larger-than-life John K Chapel (!).  Wasn't the least surprised to find out of his successful careers in the army and in law enforcement.  He lived to take care of others. 

R.I.P. my old friend.


05/11/16 08:18 PM #4    

Barbara Underwood (Sullivan)

I had a class with Irvin and I remember one time he was so upset because he got an A- and I thought I should be so lucky.  He was pretty much a straight A student and nice guy. Sorry to hear he as passed.  My sincere condolences.

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