Bernard “Bernie” Chapel

by | Mar 25, 2016 | Obituaries

Norfolk —Bernard “Bernie” Chapel, 87, of the 500 block of Maycox Ave. died on March 15, 2016 in Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Born in Norfolk, Va., the son of the late Sam and Eva Chapel, Mr. Chapel had been a resident of Norfolk for most of his life.

He retired as special assistant to the Deputy Superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools after having served 34 years. He held the position of teacher, assistant principal and principal during his tenure with Norfolk Public Schools. He received his BA degree in psychology from the University of Virginia and a Masters Degree in education and administration from the College of William and Mary. Mr. Chapel served in the Army Air Corps and the Army Transportation Corps and was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant after 10 years of service. He was a member of Norfolk Masonic Lodge No. 1 AF & AM, and served on the board of directors of the Tidewater Winds.

After his retirement, Bernie spent most of his time playing tennis and playing drums in the Olde James River Jazzband. Dave Jacobson, owner of Royal Atlantic Entertainment and leader of The Olde James River Jazzband was a dear friend of Bernie’s and provided him with many opportunities to play Dixieland music; one of Bernie’s favorites.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Deborah Jean Chapel; a daughter, Renee Camden, of Hampton, Va.; a son, Steve Chapel and his wife, Hope, of Richmond; his dear sister, Ruth Soskel of Norfolk; five grandchildren, Mandy Dreisbach (Brad), Kelly Studley (Patrick), Brittany Chapel, Haley Chapel, and Cody Chapel; two great grandchildren, Zoey and Dexter Studley; a very special niece, Linda Perales and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Hannah Aronov and her husband Abe, his brother Herman Chapel and his wife, Serna and his brotherin- law Fred Soskel.

Rabbi Michael Panitz officiated a graveside service at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations to Temple Israel, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, the Norfolk SPCA, or a favorite charity. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be made at