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Robert Harvey Chappell Jr.

SoVaNow.com / December 05, 2012
Robert Harvey (R. Harvey) Chappell Jr., who has practiced law in Richmond for more than 50 years, died on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. He was 86 years of age.

Mr. Chappell spent his entire legal career commencing Jan. 1, 1950, with the law firm of Christian & Barton and he had served as chairman of the firm. Michael W. Smith, chairman of the firm, commented, “If the measure of a lawyer’s success is the esteem in which he is held by his peers, then Harvey Chappell’s name sits at the top of the list. While tirelessly representing his clients, his loyalty and vision were instrumental in shaping Christian & Barton. His partners cherish his integrity, his indomitable spirit and our time with him.”

Mr. Chappell was closely associated with The College of William and Mary, having received a B.A. degree in 1948, a B.C.L. (later, J.D.) in 1950 and an honorary Legum Doctorem degree in 1984. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of the Coif and editor of the Law Review. His education at William and Mary was interrupted when he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II. His service to William and Mary included the Board of Visitors (1968-1976), Rector of the College (1972-1976), President of the William and Mary Law School Association (1951-1952), President of the Society of the Alumni (1963-1964). He was the recipient of the Alumni Medallion in 1968. He also served on the Board of Visitors of Virginia State University (1987-1994). Mr. Chappell’s professional affiliations included: President of the Bar Association of the City of Richmond (1969-1970) and recipient of the Hunter W. Martin Professionalism Award (1999); President of the Virginia State Bar (1977-1978); Executive Committee member of the Virginia Bar Association (1973-1977) and recipient of the William B. Spong, Jr., Professionalism Award (1999); member of the Board of Governors of the ABA (1978-1981) and Chairman of the Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (1977-1978); a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, of which he was President (1986-1987); and a member of the American Law Institute. Mr. Chappell also served on the Board of Directors of the Richmond Eye and Ear Hospital and as Trustee of the Westminster Canterbury Foundation. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Children’s Hospital and was President (1974-1976). A member of the Sons of the Revolution, he was President of the Virginia Chapter (1970-1972). He was a communicant of All Saints Episcopal Church and served as a vestryman.

Mr. Chappell was the husband of the late Ann Callahan Chappell and he is survived by his wife, Joan Midkiff Farley Chappell, his son, Robert H. Chappell III, his wife Karen Kay and their daughter Ann, of Richmond; his nieces and nephew, Bryar C. Nettles, of Wakefield, Kathryn Nettles of Boston, Mass. and Carter Nettles, of Wakefield; stepchildren, Jody Farley McGrew, her husband Dan, and their children Farley, Danny and Jack of Atlanta, Ga., Edward M. Farley IV, his wife Ashley, and their children Cameron and Ned, of Richmond, Dina Farley Foster, her husband Skip, and their children Mary Frances, Matthew and Will, of Shelby, N.C., Peter N. Farley, his wife Katherine, and his children Charlotte and Annabel, of Atlanta, and Matthew M. Farley, his wife Mamie, and their children, Miller, Harry and Joanie, of Richmond. He was preceded in death by his sister, Kathryn Chappell Nettles, and her husband, E.C. Nettles, Jr.

A funeral will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 8787 River Road, Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 10:30 a.m., and burial at Hollywood Cemetery will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to The College of William & Mary Foundation to be applied to the Chappell Scholarship Funds, Office of University Development, P.O. Box 169, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8779, http://www.wm.edu/giving/waystogive/funding/index.php, to be applied to be applied to the Chappell Scholarship Funds.

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