Mitchell R.  ‘Mitch’ Chapel

Mitchell R. “Mitch” Chapel passed away peacefully on Sept. 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 high school in 1957, and then attended vocational school to study mechanics and welding. After vocational school he returned to Timber Lake and pursued different jobs as a mechanic along with various construction endeavors and worked as an electrical lineman for the local REA.

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.

Mitch 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. With his love for music, Mitch passionately 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 over 16 years of service.

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

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

Mitch’s family extends a heartfelt thank you to all the caring staff at the John T. Vucurevich Cancer Care Institute and the Spearfish Hospital Infusion Therapy Center.

A family mass of Christian burial will be Sept. 16 at St Joseph Catholic Church.

Burial will be at Rose Hill Cemetery in Spearfish.

Online condolences may be written at

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