Nanette Figel Chapman
Feb. 29, 1936-May 9, 2016
Nanette Figel Chapman of Woodside died on May 9, 2016. She was born to Elinore and Clifford Figel on Feb. 29, 1936, and she always looked forward to her "leap year" birthday.
Nan was a fourth generation Californian on both sides of her family. Her first 24 years were spent in San Francisco, where she met and married her husband, Ron, with whom she shared the next 57 years of her life.
Shortly after their marriage, they settled for 36 years in Atherton and for the past 16 years they called Woodside home. She was a graduate of James Madison Elementary School and Lowell High School in San Francisco, and Pomona College (1957) in Claremont, California.
Shortly after settling in Atherton, Nan began her volunteer career by serving on the Board of Directors of Amigos de Las Americas, Family Service/Mid Peninsula, Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Junior League of Palo Alto Mid-Peninsula.
She was an early member of the Atherton Crime Prevention Task Force before becoming the first woman to successfully run for and be elected to the Atherton City Council, where she served for 20 years. Nan served as the Mayor of Atherton from 1986 to 1988 and again from 1998 to 2000.
Nan's love of horses began at 7 years of age and was a lifelong passion as she owned many American Saddlebred horses, which she successfully showed throughout the West Coast. She was showing her current horse right through the 2015 season.
She was active in numerous organizations and charities, including the Menlo Charity Horse Show, of which she was a founding member. She served for 46 years as a committee member, during which time over six million dollars was raised for the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
In addition, she served on the Steering Committee to restore the Folger Barn in Woodside, and the Open Space Committee of Woodside. Nan also served on the Board of Directors of the Horse Park in Woodside.
In a letter to Nan, Barbara Wood of the Almanac Staff said the following: "I have so enjoyed knowing you and working with you over the years from the Atherton Council to the Menlo Horse Show. You have left your communities far better off than they would have been without you. Thank you so much."
All who knew Nan will remember her as a vibrant, giving person who enriched the lives of all who were privileged to know her. Her life was dedicated to her family, friends and community service. She was passionate about animals and shared her life not only with her horses, but with the dogs she loved and cherished.
Nan is survived by her husband Ron, of Woodside; her son Doug, of Reno, Nevada; her nephews Marc Koenigsberger of Madison, Mississippi, and Robert Koenigsberger of Greenwich, Connecticut; brother-in-law Lynn Chapman of Menlo Park and his children Debbie and Bruce; and nieces Janice Nicolosi and Marge Ferguson. Her sister, Susan Bennion of Menlo Park, predeceased her in 1991.
Her family wishes to extend their gratitude to Dr. David Liang and the staff at Stanford Hospital for their care and compassion during the final phase of her life.
Tags: public service