Jodene Alice (Kuxhaus) Chappell, 77, Scottsbluff
Jodene Alice (Kuxhaus) Chappell, 77, of Scottsbluff, quietly passed away on September 5, 2013, at the Golden Living Center. At her request, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at Plymouth Congregational Church in Scottsbluff at 11 AM on Tuesday, September 17, with Pastor Rod Wetzig officiating. Inurnment will be in
the Fairview Cemetery. A memorial has been established in Jodene's name to the Plymouth Congregational Church Foundation. Jolliffe Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements. Her obituary may be viewed online at www.jolliffefuneralhome.com, where online condolences may be left for the family.
Jodene was born on September 22, 1935, in Bayard, Nebraska, to Alexander and Alice (Haun) Kuxhaus. After her parents moved to Scottsbluff, she attended Roosevelt Elementary School and was graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 1953. She
attended all seven previous high school reunions but missed her 60-year celebration by one day.
Jodene displayed an unusually accomplished soprano voice during her early years. In the 1940's, she was placed on a flat-bed truck in downtown Scottsbluff to sing at World War II war bond rallies. Singing at the weddings of her older sister and various other relatives was done before she was high school age. Since her voice and piano teacher, William E. Cockle, was the organist and choir director at the First Presbyterian Church, she sang there and at other churches in the area, including Plymouth Church when it was located in downtown Scottsbluff.
At Scottsbluff High School, Jodene was active in A Cappella choir, school musicals and was a soloist at numerous club meetings and banquets. In addition, she was president of Nike Club, a member of National Honor Society and sang at her high school graduation
Jodene attended Hastings College for two years. She was a music major and toured with the Hastings College Concert Choir. The last two years were spent at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was a member of Alpha Phi Sorority, directed the house chorus at the Ivy Day Sing, sang the soprano lead in the opera "The Marriage of Figaro" and was graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree. She was hired as an elementary school music teacher by the Gering Public School District.
Jodene was married to Doug Chappell on December 22, 1957. From this union was born a daughter, Cori. After several years, Jodene returned to teaching at two rural schools - Highland and Lake Alice. After three more years of teaching and accepting a job as choir director at Plymouth Church, she was diagnosed with MS in 1964. Jodene continued to direct the choir for 36 years, keeping and living her faith the rest of her life. She was tough in her resolve to live as normal a life as possible, but she was gentle in nature with many understanding friends and relatives.
Jodene is survived by her husband Doug, daughter Cori Taedter and grandson Brendan Taedter, both of Scottsbluff; nephews Wally Schaffer (Crys) of Bayard, Wade Schaffer of Scottsbluff, Gabe Schaffer of Gering and Cole Schaffer of Chadron; brother-in-law Walter Schaffer of Bayard; and sister-in-law Mary Jo Menelle of Mt. Prospect, Illinois.
Jodene was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Shirley Schaffer and Sharon (infant).
For many years, the medical personnel at Regional West Medical Center, Home Health and Golden Living Center treated her not only as a patient with medical needs but as a person from whom they could usually get a smile and a thank you.
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