RICHMOND—William Bates Chappell, 80, died peacefully on August 17, 2022.
Bates was born in Richmond on March 2, 1942. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School and Hampden-Sydney College. After college, he joined the Coast Guard and always remained proud of his service and the boat skills he gained while enlisted.
A beloved figure on the Richmond financial scene, Bates began his career as a loan officer at First and Merchants Bank before joining Craigie Inc. as an investment broker, then moving to Branch Cabell & Company. He left the brokerage business to become a trust officer at United Virginia Bank, then moved to Capitoline Investment Services, where he built close, lasting relationships with his colleagues and clients. Many of his clients followed him to Kanawha Capital Management, the private investment firm where he was managing director for 28 years.
Bates held many leadership roles in charitable organizations. He was director emeritus of the Sheltering Arms Foundation, a trustee for the Chastain Home for Women and the Flagler College Endowment Fund, director for the Henrico Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of Richmond and the James River Association, which he shepherded through its initial fundraising campaign. He spent eight years as the assistant scoutmaster for Troop 444 at Reveille United Methodist Church and mentored dozens of young scouts. Bates was a deacon and an elder at First Presbyterian Church and a trustee and co-chairman of the endowment fund at Reveille United Methodist Church.
When Bates wasn’t at his desk or visiting clients, he was most often outside, ideally near the water, usually with a golden retriever in tow and his wife, Margaret, nearby. A loving father, friend and colleague, he was incredibly generous with his time. Bates especially loved organizing experiences for others, whether they be Christmas tree cutting parties on his property in Goochland, canoe trips down the James River, family vacations to off-the-beaten-path destinations or yearly gatherings with colleagues at his home on Dymer Creek.
Bates was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Margaret Cole Chappell. He is survived by his children, Mary Margaret Chappell and Bill Chappell; his daughter-in-law, Millay Chappell; and his two granddaughters, Finley and Sadie Chappell. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Ann Ramage; and his nieces and nephews, Cole Handy, Holly Davis, Ann Ramage, Ty Chappell, Sam Ramage and Beth Schwarz.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, August 22, at Reveille United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests charitable contributions be made to the James River Association, thejamesriver.org.