2020 Honoree: Dick Chapdelaine (Chappy)
A Message from Jack Nicklaus:
It cannot be overstated, when I say that we lost a great friend in Dick Chapdelaine. A child of the Great Depression, who grew to be one of the most successful businessmen in New York, the man we lovingly called “Chappy” touched our hearts in many ways. He bravely served his country in World War II, and then proceeded to serve communities all over the country. A friend for parts of five decades (do we count the 2020 decade and say six?), Chappy loved the game of golf, but loved people far more. He was an early member at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio, and a fantastic supporter of the Memorial Tournament. He went on to be a Founding Member of The Bear’s Club in Florida, and an unwavering supporter of our mission at the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
Chappy was a kind, considerate, selfless man who might be one of the nicest individuals I ever met. He was just one of those guys. If you ever needed something, Chappy was always there. He never ever thought of himself. It was always, “What can I do for you? How can I help you?” That’s the way he was with everyone. And everyone loved Chappy. That long list certainly includes Barbara and me, and the entire Nicklaus Family. We can say with heavy hearts that our dear friend Chappy will be greatly missed but never ever forgotten.
Dick Chapdelaine was known for his kindness, professional business acumen and philanthropic generosity. Known by most as Chappy, his life was one of great distinction. Even while growing up through the devastations of the Great Depression, Chappy’s work ethic and goodwill always persevered, a true testament to his character.
After losing his father at a young age, Chappy relied on the guidance and magnanimity of the Vincentian priests and brothers, creating a bond with the Vincentian community that would never be broken. Continuing to be such a present member in the Vincentian community is what led Chappy to his later successes in life and to his spirituality.
After graduating from St John’s Prep in Brooklyn, Mr. Chapdelaine served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a tail gunner. After flying 35 combat missions during World War II, as well as several other covert assignments, he was awarded the Air Medal with four oak clusters. His time serving brought him friendships that would last a lifetime.
After his many years of service, Chappy continued to serve others in a different regard. In the early 1940s, Chappy became a Vincentian High School teacher, later enrolling at Niagara University to pursue a B.S. in Economics. From here, his career in investments took off. Mr. Chapdelaine’s work
ethic allowed him to start his own company, Chapdelaine and Co, which would soon grow to become The Chapdelaine Companies. Chappy continued to support his students by offering them the opportunity to grow their careers at Chapdelaine Companies.
In 2007, Chappy retired and continued to show his benevolence through his philanthropical actions: a Knight of Malta, Knight of the Holy Sepulchre of the Roman Catholic Church, Director of St. Francis Hospital, service on numerous fundraising organizations, professional organizations and was a member at several golf clubs throughout the country (to name a few).
He was given many distinguished awards throughout his long career. Chappy’s sacrifice and goodwill will always be remembered by everyone he came in contact with. Mr. Chapdelaine made the most of his 95 years through his service to this country and his generosity towards bettering the community. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Terry, his two children Diedre “Didi”, Brodt and Peter and his five grandchildren with a great grandchild on the way.