John Chappel, PT (January 22, 1953 – August 29, 2016)


If you were lucky enough to have had John Chappel in your life, chances are that you’re in the midst of grieving his passing and your loss, and you’re recognizing that his influence on your life is not about to end. If anything, it may have become more evident.

Perhaps John took care of you or your child, or you took care of him! He may have been your esteemed colleague, your dear friend, your respected teacher, or your valued partner; or the guy who frequented and raved about your shop, bar or restaurant, that guy on the beach who gave you a hotdog, the man you saw body surfing, or that character driving an old white Chevy pickup.

Maybe he was the fellow next to you on the airplane who bought you a drink or a snack, or the person who recommended your new favorite book, movie, TV show or pen. He might have been who gave you that treasured one-of-a-kind toy or gadget. He could’ve been the one who helped you distinguish a birdcall or a feather, left you your funniest voicemail or email ever, or joined you in your most recent frustration with technology. It might have been his voice you heard talking, storytelling, joking or laughing over everyone else’s or whose voice you didn’t hear as he sat quietly, thinking and listening. He could’ve been the one who sent you that special letter you’re trying to find. You may have known his amazing touch, his incredible knowledge and know-how, his uncommon ideas or his gigantic heart.

In his 63 years of life and over 40 years as a physical therapist, John Chappel was a truly tremendous man. Being in his presence was an experience. And so it goes. Now John’s passing is our experience, with his spirit, compassion and lessons holding strong.

Read more about John’s life and his life’s work at

Feel the inspiration of John’s National Association of Neonatal Therapists Pioneer Award acceptance speech –

Share our gratitude for John and his enduring & endearing influence.


2 Responses to “John Chappel, PT (January 22, 1953 – August 29, 2016)”

  1. Elsa Dueno

    Our deepest sympathies go out to John’s family, extended family and everyone he “touched” in so many ways such as the article states above. It was an honor having him as my daughter’s PT many years back. It was she who accidentally learned about his passing. John is definitely making his rounds and saying good-bye in his own special way. Listening to John’s speech and learning of his fight for life at birth and how he began his career revealed God’s miracle at birth and John’s “plan” to the bitter end at the award’s ceremony as it seemed as if he were giving his own eulogy. He will truly be missed and NEVER be forgotten.

  2. Pediatric Therapeutics

    Hi Elsa,

    Thank you for your very, very kind words.

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