Ed Chappabitty (Chappie) age 76 passed away peacefully in his sleep in the home he loved on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. He was born Jan. 4, 1945 in the Lawton Indian Hospital to Edwin and Evangeline Chappabitty. Ed attended grade school and then Tomlinson Junior High and Lawton High School graduating in 1963 with honors. So much so he was offered a full scholarship to Harvard University but was unable to accept due to lack of necessary finances to relocate. Next he attended Cameron College for two years and again graduated with honors to include ROTC Battalion Commander.
Edwin Chappabitty Jr., MD graduated from OSU in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. He spent the next five years in the Army as a field artillery officer. He served in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970, where he received numerous awards for valor. He left the Army in 1972 to attend Dartmouth College and received his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1980. He then completed an internship and residency in Family Practice at the University of New Mexico hospitals in 1983. In the Summer of 1983 Dr. Chappabitty was commissioned in the U.S Public Health Service and assigned to the hospital in which he was born, the Lawton Indian Hospital. For the next 25 Years, he served as a Family Practice physician at hospitals in Anadarko and Lawton and was three-time department chairman at Lawton. He also served as chief of staff three times and clinical director for three years at Lawton, in addition to serving on the executive committee on the National Council of Clinical Directors. He retired from Indian Health Service in 2008 and went on to pursue a career as the first medical director of the Comanche Nation in Lawton.
Dr. Chappabitty appeared in the award-winning FFOR-TV documentary “Strangers in Their Own Land” in 1993. In 1996, he was honored by the Association of American Indian Physicians as “Physician of the Year”. He received the “Hero Award” of the Journal of Minority Medical Students in 1997. He appeared in the May/June 1999 Oklahoma Today article titled The New Medicine Men. In 2002, he was selected as an “OSU Distinguished Alumni” and mentioned in the book “Indian Tribes of Oklahoma, A Guide” in 2009.
In 2015, he was selected as the “A&S Hall of Fame & Distinguished Alumni”. He has contributed donations to the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at OSU, and in 2011 established the Edwin Chappabitty Jr. MD Scholarship in OSU’s Department of Integrative Biology. Dr. Chappabitty has demonstrated a record of distinguished service, extraordinary achievements for his country, medicine and distinction to the university. He has long advocated incredible support for Native American students to receive educations and to pursue health careers.
He was preceded in death by grandparents on both sides as well as brother Franklin and sister Marina and parents.
Ed is survived by his wife, Susan Dobbs Chappabitty; daughter, Leah Chappabitty Lyssy of Arizona; brother, Dennis Chappabitty and wife Linda of California; sister, Carla Chappabitty of Lawton and various nieces and nephews, cousins and extended family as well as an entire community of devoted friends and a vast array of admirers scattered over the United States.
Funeral Service to be Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 10 a.m. at First Assembly of God under the direction of Comanche Nation Funeral Home.