Nature 14


Jack E Chappelear

May 7, 1962 ~ January 5, 2019 (age 56)

Jack Emerson Chappelear was born May 7, 1962 in Houston Texas. He died unexpectedly on January 5, 2019 at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Preceded in death by his father John Emerson Chappelear, he is survived by his mother, Patsy S. Chappelear of Houston, TX, his sisters, June Elizabeth and her husband Robert Frank Keller of Houston, Janice Elaine Chappelear of Houston, and Juliet Eve and her husband Mark Markovich of Houston; his adored six nephews, three nieces, two grand nephews, and three grand nieces; and his cousins Rena Jean Nicks Bresser of Colorado Springs, CO, and Debra Kay Stallings Williams of San Antonio, TX. He is deeply mourned, especially by Sonya Dargis Chappelear of Sharpsburg, MD.

Jack grew up in Houston and was a graduate of Bellaire High School. Jack earned his Bachelor of Science at University of Houston in 1985 and Master of Computer Science at Rice University in 1988. As a student Jack began his career as a Unix system administrator and networking. In 1984, he started working at University of Houston in the Biochemistry department with Dr. George Fox, at the University of Houston Institute for Molecular Biology, in cataloging for the human genome project. He also worked in the Physics department researching chaos theory. From 1991 to 1993 he worked as a software developer and Unix systems administrator at Bonner & Moore Associates. In 1993 he joined Paranet (Sprint later acquired Paranet) as a network engineer and systems administrator. He was awarded the Golden Eagle for his accomplishments at Paranet. In 1999 he joined Fourth Millennium Technologies (FMT) to participate in providing consulting services in the developing field of computer science relational databases, parallel processing and clustered systems. His principal client was Goldman Sachs, where Jack worked on Equities Sales, Margin Technologies and Global Credit Risk models. Other clients included Home Depot, Texaco, Exxon, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Houston, Met Life, and Fingerhut.

In the fall of 2012 Jack left FMT for senior level IT positions. He first joined Goldman Sachs. In June 2015, Jack moved to Blackstone Innovations. In October 2016, RBG Capital Markets acquired his talents. His final career path change came in February 2018, when he joined Brightfield Strategies. He left dear friends and valued colleagues at each of these places, many of whom freely benefited from his mentoring talent.

His personal interests were diverse and include food; sushi, Indian food, and especially smoking meats. He loved music, theater, the visual arts, and role play gaming of all sorts. Jack especially loved Dungeon and Dragons and strategy games. When living with his family in Europe in 1975, Jack sat his family down in the Sistine Chapel and delivered his discourse on the chapel, its history, and Michelangelo. He also had a great appreciation of Van Gogh and other old Dutch masters. Jack, like his family and extended family, had a tremendous appreciation and diverse appetite for music, including Japanese punk, ethnic Celtic, classic rock, and orchestral classics.

When it came to food and drink, Jack enjoyed excellent scotch, bourbon, and BBQ. His favorite chef was Alton Brown—a great combination of humor, skill, and intelligence. It was in recent years that he discovered his love of cooking, especially smoking cow. He often shared the results of his efforts with friends and co-workers.

Jack was also an avid cat enthusiast from childhood. He rescued numerous feral felines over the years.

So please smoke some cow, sip some Scotch, and raise a toast in his honor!

Jack requested that memorial gifts be designated to the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University. These gifts may be made online at or mailed to Rice University, Office of Development MS-81, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251-1892.  Or a gift may be made to a charity for animal welfare or charity of your choice.

Memorial services were held in Jersey City on January 12 at Riotto Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life service will be held on February 9, 2019, at 3:30 P.M. at Clear Lake United Methodist Church, 16335 El Camino Real, Houston, TX 77062.

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