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Life Story / Obituary
With a whole heart and a spunky, determined spirit, Ann Pansy Chappell lived a life rich and family and friends. Ann never lost her inner child and lived in a dream world. She was loving and trusting and did things on her own terms. Ann welcomed each day as a gift, celebrating its joys and meeting its challenges with confidence. She was a wonderful sister, wife, mother, and grandmother who loved completely and inspired much joy. Cherished by many, Ann will long be remembered and so very missed.
The mobilization of war efforts in 1942 was quick and effective, with carmakers and other manufacturers changing to the production of weapons of war. Gas rationing, Scrap Days, and Victory Gardens became the norm. At the same time, The Declaration of the United Nations, the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, and The Voice of America assured that every citizen had their eyes focused on a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the hearts and home of Herb and Cora (Haendle) Preston as they welcomed their daughter Ann on March 19 in Detroit, Michigan.
The oldest of four Preston kids, Ann first grew up on the northeast side of Grand Rapids and later on the northwest side of the city. She attended Lexington and Sibley Elementaries, and Union High School. She didn't care much for school and quit after ninth grade, choosing to work for Miller Metal and several other jobs. Ann also liked to dance and had many can-can skirts.
As a teen, Ann met and fell in love with Roger Van Popering. The young couple married in 1959 and soon began their family. Though the marriage ended in divorce, they shared the joy of welcoming sons, Roger, Dennis, and Jimmy, to their family. Ann later met Jerry Giddings and was blessed to welcome another son, Jerry, to her life.
In 1976, Ann married Les Chappell. Their family soon grew to include two more children, Les and Cora. The family first made their home on Frontenac St. in Wyoming before moving to Straight NW. Ann was a homemaker dedicated to creating a loving home. She was the center of the family and liked to cook chili and goulash and bake homemade biscuits. Her sweet tooth was often met with a Snickers or Reese's and a Pepsi. Though Ann frequently liked to tease Les, that in 1976 she had the chance to go to an Elvis concert but went on a date with him instead, the couple enjoyed 21 years together.
Ann's child-like wonder led to much joy. She believed in Santa well into her teens, loved Country music, and enjoyed classic movies. She loved Elvis and had a poster of Kenny Chesney in her room later in life. One of her favorite things to do was Karaoke, singing to classics by Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline tunes. It's A Wonderful Life, Wizard of Oz, An Affair To Remember, or any Elvis movie always delighted Ann. She was very crafty and enjoyed scrapbooking and collecting stamps. Grocery shopping was her alone time and often an all-day event. It was not uncommon for her to spend six to eight hours at Great Day Foods. Ann loved laying Bingo, the lottery, and going to casinos. Once, while in Las Vegas, she won $2500 on 75 cents!
When Les died in 1997, Ann was totally lost. In time, she took hold of her independence, learned to manage her money, and moved Mount Mercy Retirement community. For many years, Ann lived independently in the security of her new home. These years were filled with the delights of watching her children turn their dreams into reality and being blessed to be the grandmother to 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Without a doubt, Ann was happiest when sharing the good company of her loved ones! Her family was her world and she was theirs.
Ann's final days were spent at St. Ann's Home where she received the additional support she needed with memory care.
Ann Pansy Chappell age 80, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Saturday, June 11, 2022. She was preceded in death by her husband, Les; parents, Herb and Cora Preston; and sister, Barbara Scoby. Ann is survived by her children, Roger Van Popering, Dennis Van Popering, Jimmy Van Popering, Jerry Van Popering, Les (Star) Chappell, and Cora Chappell; 16 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; and sister, Judy Bellows. The funeral service will be held at 12 PM on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt and Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, with visitation for one hour prior. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. Contributions in her memory may be made to Autism Speaks. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Ann's life story, archive a favorite memory or photo, or sign the guestbook.