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Jean Marie Chappelle

November 12, 1920 ~ July 2, 2021 (age 100)


Jean Marie Hanley Higgins Chappelle, 100, of Terre Haute, IN, passed away peacefully at home on July 2. 2021. Jean was born on November 12, 1920, in Terre Haute to Albert E. Hanleyand Clara A. Cullivan Hanley. She was a graduate of Central Catholic High School, formerly a member of St. Margaret Mary Church, and a long-time member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. She worked as a lab tecnician in quality control for Chesty Foods until her retirement in 1982.

Jean was the matriarch of a large family. She had seven children: Penny (Bill) Dunham, Steve Higgins, Jill (Don) Coleman, Sheila Stultz, Ann Kinney, Molly White, and JC (Pam) Higgins. She was beloved as Grandma Chappy by her 15 grandchildren: Brendan and Shannon (Claudia Calabro) Dunham, Megan (Mark) Gerard, Kari (Johnny) Davis, Melony (James) Shortt, Corey Higgins, Amanda (Ed) Ludlow, Rebecca (Cedric Jackson) Stultz, Sarah (Brandon) Mahady, Jessica (Ken) Harrison, Jay (Marie) Kinney, Jeremy (Gretchen) White, Lyndsay Barker, and Zach (Becca) and Bryan (Katie Myers) Higgins. She is also survived by 27 great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, and cousins, and sister-in-law Pat Hanley. She was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings Albert J. (Joanne) Hanley, Helen Pollara, Rita (Shannon) Smith, and Richard Hanley, and her husband Ralph "Chappy" Chappelle.

Jean was a kind and generous person, always willing to open her home and her table to friends and family. She was a charter member of the St. Margaret Mary Mothers Club and enthusiastically supported her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids in their school and sports activities. Vacations at the Jersey shore were a cherished family tradition. She loved ballroom dancing, and she and her husband often attended dances all over the area. Bowling was a favorite pasttime, begun at age 18 and continued into her nineties, when she was asked to open the Indiana state tournament as the oldest active bowler in Terre Haute. She loved to gamble and was always up for a trip to Las Vegas or a riverboat casino.

Jean was also a veteran who enlisted in the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in WWII. She was a life-long member of Krietenstein Post 104 of the American Legion, joining first as a teen in the Junior Auxiliary.

Services are Friday, July 9, 2021, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 2322 N. 13 1/2 St., Terre Haute IN, 47804. Visitation will be from 9:00 am until the funeral mass in the church at 11:00. Burial will be at St. Mary's Village Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital (, or Sacred Heart of Jesus Church (address above). 

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