ROBERT R. CHAPPUIS, World War II hero and Michigan football star passed away Thursday night, June 14, 2012, with his wife Ann and his children by his side. The son of Sylvan and Mary Burchell Chappuis, he was born in 1923 and raised in Toledo, Ohio. He graduated from Devilbiss High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball. His father told him he could attend any school he wanted -- except Ohio State. In the fall of 1941, Chappuis enrolled at the University of Michigan, but he interrupted his college career when he enlisted in the Army, where he served as an aerial gunner and radio operator on a B-25. On his 21st mission over northern Italy, his plane was shot down, but he and two crewmates survived by parachuting behind enemy lines. They were rescued by the Comucci family, who hid them for three months, until the town of Asola was liberated. The families remain friends to this day. After the war, he returned to the University of Michigan, where he starred on Fritz Crisler's famed "Mad Magicians" 1947 national championship team. Although he played left halfback, he set passing records that stand to this day. He finished second for the Heisman Trophy, and was featured on the cover of Time magazine. After playing professional football for two seasons, Chappuis entered private business in Fort Wayne, Ind. He retired as vice president of labor relations for Central Soya Corporation. In 1949, he married his college sweetheart, Ann Gestie. They were happily married for 63 years. He is survived by Ann, four children, Mary McCord (Jim), Rob (Jill), Mark (Cindy), and Betsy Wilson (Rob); nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. More than his many accomplishments, his family remembers him the way he wanted to be remembered: for his humility, his wit, warmth, generosity, and unfailing kindness. Michigan has lost a great man. The family has lost a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Hail. Memorial service is 11 a.m. Friday, June 22, 2012 at First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor. Visitation is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, 2012 at Muehlig Funeral Chapel, Ann Arbor, Mich. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Michigan Parkinson's Foundation, at 30400 Telegraph Road, Suite 150, Bingham Farms, MI 48025, or the University of Michigan Athletic Department, 1000 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109. Please visit www.muehligannarbor.com to send a condolence.
Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on June 19, 2012