September 18, 1937 ~ October 13, 2019 (age 82)


Gene "Sonny" Edward Chappell, 82, of Libby, Montana passed away October 13, 2019 of a sudden stroke at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.  He was born in Lead Hill, Arkansas on September 18, 1937 to Guy and Geneva Chappell. He spent his early childhood in Lead Hill then moved to Eureka, California with his family.  He graduated from Eureka High School in 1955. 


He worked in the lumber industry his entire career.  Gene worked for Simpson Lumber in California, Roseburg Forest Products, Oregon US Plywood a division of Champion Lumber in Oregon and retired from Stimson Lumber Co. in Libby, Montana January 1, 1998.


Gene married Carol, the love of his life, on February 3, 1979 in Salem, OR.  They lived in Salem, Roseburg and Missoula before finally settling on the Kootenai River in Libby.


He was very involved his community serving on several boards including Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, The Community Health Center (CHC) and the Cabinet View Golf Club. He also served on the board of the community college.  Gene's passions were golfing and fishing and spending time with his family.  And, of course, a good debate. He was also an active member of The United Methodist Church.


Gene was preceded in death by a daughter, Tanya Lorraine who died in infancy, and his parents Guy and Geneva Chappell.


Gene is survived by his beloved wife, Carol and four children: Brett Williams, Terri Swartz, Connie Smith and Steve Versteeg; sisters Betsy "Bugs" Johnson, Carolyn Cadabona, Bonnie Whitelock, and brother Conny Chappell; 9 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. 


A memorial service is being held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 26, 2019 at The United Methodist Church, 713 Main Ave, Libby, MT  59923.  A reception will follow at the VFW hall, 114 W. 2nd St. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared at


In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Humane Society, Community Health Center (CHC) Voucher Program which provides health care for people that can't afford medical procedures, or The United Methodist Church.




To send flowers to GENE's family, please visit our floral section.


Memorial Service
October 26, 2019

2:00 PM

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