Joan “Joanie” Chappel, 71, of Butler died peacefully on Friday, September 25th at Sunnyview
nursing home. Born November 29th, 1948, in Pittsburgh, PA, she was the daughter of the late
Coy “Jim” Chappel and Eileen O’Connor Chappel.
Ms. Chappel is survived by her daughter Erin Beeson of Berkeley, CA; her son-in-law Chris
Prochnow; three sisters, Kate (the late Charles) Goessler of Perrysville, Susan (Clay) McLeod
of Wexford, and Carole (Sonny) Michaels of Economy. Ms. Chappel will be greatly missed by
her seven nieces and nephews and nine great nieces and nephews who all loved and adored
her. She built life-long friendships with loyal friends who will miss her very much.
Ms. Chappel graduated in 1966 from North Hills High School. She started her professional
career as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray in Charleston, SC. Her love of writing, took her to
Los Angeles, CA and later to Nashville, TN. Ms. Chappel was a talented and prolific writer of
both songs and children’s books. She moved back to Pittsburgh in later years to reconnect with
family and care for her father.
Ms. Chappel enjoyed gardening, skiing, creating stained glass, sewing, and other crafts. She
had a talent for decorating and loved collecting antiques and vintage clothing. She always
enjoyed learning new things and took classes at both Pitt and Carlow to continue learning about
her many interests. She believed in service, and volunteered as a bell ringer with the Salvation
Army every holiday season, taught ballroom dancing to the blind when she lived in California,
started a phone bank to campaign for Obama in 2012, and volunteered with Veterans Affairs.
She loved vacationing with her family and spending time at the beach.
A private memorial will be held with close family. Burial will be in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery,
Marshall Township. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Society of St.
Vincent de Paul Council of Pittsburgh Attn: Development Team 1501 Reedsdale Street Suite
3003 Pittsburgh, PA 15233.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan "Joanie" M. Chappel, please visit our floral store.