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Colonel, U.S.A. Army (Retired) Daniel Vasques Chapa, Jr.

March 26, 1957 ~ November 4, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old

Colonel, U.S.A. Army (Retired) Daniel Chapa, Jr. Obituary

Colonel, U.S.A. Army (Retired) Daniel Vasques Chapa, Jr., 66, passed away in Fayetteville, North Carolina on 11/4/2023. He was born March 26, 1957, in Fayetteville, North Carolina to Daniel Chapa, Sr. and Barbara Chapa. Col. Daniel V. Chapa, Jr., retired after 37 years of exemplary military service in the U.S. Army. Daniel’s accomplishments were many, including graduated U.S. Army Airborne and Ranger School, being part of a select group to receive the Army’s Order of Military Medical Merit for his work to provide updated medical equipment to soldiers and integrate that equipment and updated technologies into field units. Daniel was recognized as a 2015 distinguished Eagle Scout. During his nearly 40 years of service, Daniel was decorated twice with the Legion of Merit, received three Bronze Stars and the Soldier’s Medal for Heroism, among other honors and awards for his Military Service. Daniel was a beloved Son, Father, and Grandfather and is survived by his wife, Debra Chapa; his children, Charles, James, and Eva (Elizabeth) Chapa-Kelley; father, Daniel V. Chapa Sr. and sister, Donna A. Chapa of Fayetteville, NC, and his granddaughters, Adalyn, and Alex Chapa; and a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Baker Chapa. Daniel’s legacy is one of love, laughter, and proud service. He will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. Daniel’s Son James has included the following remembrance: In Memoriam, Daniel V. Chapa, Jr., Retired Colonel, USA Army, Medical, Airborne, Ranger There are other places you can read about my father’s decorated record of service to his country in the United States Army (for example: Chapa retires, is decorated by Army I Visions Magazine (tntech.edu)). Here I want to tell you more about who he was and what he meant to me. Like most of us, he was perhaps a complicated man--no one perfectly navigates through the challenges life on this planet presents us. My dad and I took different points-of-view on so many social and political issues, but I will remember him not for those or any other potential points of division, but rather for the attributes and actions that brought us together: (1) he valued science, both as a method and for how it improves our lives, (2) he was curious, interested in so many different things, and never stopped learning, (3) he liked cooking and good food, (4) he valued and supported his family, and (5) he worked incredibly hard. Some of my earliest memories include watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with my dad and telling him that his job as a military officer was cool because he was like Captain Picard. I remember him helping us play with toy soldiers and LEGO and when he would take us out to play miniature golf or to go see a movie. I remember when he left to go on deployments and when he returned, sometimes with German chocolate or another cool gift from abroad. I remember when we traveled through Europe as a family seeing some of the best sites in Germany, France, England, and Italy. I remember when he taught me how to tie a nice full Windsor tie knot. I remember when we went scuba diving in Hawaii on a different family vacation when I was a young teenager. I remember when we shared our first beer. And as I grew into adulthood, studying and working hard to be a scientist, it was now my dad who was telling me that my job working with the science of food and biotechnology is cool. As my dad was a multifaceted man with many interests, I have no doubt that my brother and sister have completely different but equally treasured memories. The best thing you can do in memory of my father is to work hard to make yourself and those around you better. Learn something new. Cook a new recipe. Travel. Enjoy the time you have with those you love and never take it for granted. In the words of Captain Picard: “Make now always the most precious time.” There are also many worthy non-profit organizations you could support. Please consider making a donation in Daniel V. Chapa, Jr.’s honor to an organization that helps support our military and veterans, such as Hope for Warriors: Make A Donation| Hope for the Warriors.

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