Mitchell R. “Mitch” Chapel


May 17, 1940 – September 12, 2020

  • Mitchell R. “Mitch” Chapel
    Mitchell R. “Mitch” Chapel

Mitchell R. “Mitch” Chapel passed away peacefully on September 12, 2020 at his home in Spearfish surrounded by his loving family, after a long battle with MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome).

Mitch was born May 17, 1940 in McIntosh to Delores Enright and Harold Chapman. He was later adopted and raised by Dwaine Chapel. He grew up in rural Timber Lake on a small ranch/farm.

Mitch graduated from Timber Lake High School in 1957 and attended vocational school to study mechanics and welding. He returned to Timber Lake and worked as a mechanic, in construction endeavors, and as an electrical lineman for Moreau-Grand Electric.

In 1960 Mitch and Deatta Rousseau were married in Timber Lake and the couple had four children.

In 1970 the family moved to Spearfish where Mitch attended Black Hills State University. He received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1973; a master’s degree in 1978 from the University of South Dakota (USD); and a doctorate from USD in 1990. He retired in 2005 after working more than 30 years in education.

Mitch loved playing guitar and was in several bands over a 60 plus-year span. He wrote and published a music history book titled, “A Magnificent Music Story.” Mitch loved Jeeps and attending car shows, but his greatest love and joy was spending time with his family whenever possible.

He was proud to have served in the South Dakota Army National Guard and was discharged from the Army in 1995 after more than 16 years of service.

He is survived by his wife Deatta of Spearfish; sons Dwaine (Gayle) Chapel of Brookings, Clinton Chapel of Johnson Siding, and Ryne Chapel of Spearfish; daughter Dawn (Wes) Miles of Spearfish; grandchildren Natay (Zach) Chapel-Steinlicht of Chesterfield, MO and Brian and Turner Miles of Spearfish; and sisters Judy (Joe) Stavnes of Fort Collins, CO and Sharon (Dave) Kelly of Torrington, WY.

He was preceded in death by his mother Delores Chapel-Olson, his father Dwaine Chapel and stepfather Raymond Olson.

A family mass of Christian burial was held September 16, 2020 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Spearfish with burial at Rose Hill Cemetery in Spearfish.

Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.