Silverton resident David La Chapelle died from complications of throat cancer in Durango on Tuesday, July 21, 2009. He was 56.
Known as "Randy" as a child, he was born to Edward R. and Mary Dolores Greenwell La Chapelle in Denver on Oct. 8, 1952. He and one other child were taught in a one-room schoolhouse by his mother in Alta, Utah, during the winter months, and he attended public school in Kirkland, Wash., during the rest of the year.
Mr. La Chapelle spent summers with his parents in a small cabin on the Blue Glacier in the Olympic Mountains and learned the complexities of glacier research. Mr. La Chapelle later attended Woodside Priory in Northern California and the University of Washington for a short time.
"David's quest for knowledge and research continued throughout the entirety of his life," his companion and caregiver, Ananda Elise Foley, wrote.
His parents moved to Silverton about 30 years ago for avalanche research. After their divorce, Mrs. La Chapelle became well-known for her writing and teaching in the San Juan Mountains until her death in January 2007. At that time, Mr. La Chapelle and Ms. Foley moved into her Silverton home.
Married Amy Stevenson in White Salmon WA, 1971- 79
From a young age, Mr. La Chapelle was an expert skier and wilderness guide. He later took more than 200 groups into the wilderness.
He was trained in a variety of body therapies and yoga psychology, received eight years of clinical supervision in psychology with a physician and was initiated into Native American healing traditions by John Fire Lame Deer, a Lakota medicine man.
In 1981, he co-founded Wellspring Partners in Health, a holistic medical clinic in Boulder, where he had a private practice as a transpersonal psychotherapist and spiritual counselor. Throughout the 1980s, he was an adjunct faculty member teaching group process at Naropa Institute and directed the counseling program at the September School, a private high school, both in Boulder.
In 1988, he moved to Juneau, Alaska, where he continued his work with groups and where "Stories of the Soul" became the focus of his work. His creative focus turned to writing, and his books included Navigating the Tides of Change, Mountains of Light, A Voice on the Wind, A Hymn of Changes and The Storyteller's Mirror.
Married Shar Fox in Juneau, Alaska 1988- 93
He also had long-term relationships with companions Maggie Jacoby and, since 2003, Ananda Elise Foley.
Mr. La Chapelle is survived by his companion of six years, Ananda Elise Foley, of Silverton; his father's companion of 25 years, Meg Hunt, of Olympia, Wash.; and several aunts and cousins.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009, in Silverton. Regional services will are being held in Boulder CO, Ashland OR, Seattle WA, Sonoma, CA, Princeton NJ, Alaska, and in Yosemite National Park in California during August.
Memorial contributions to help pay for the medical expenses accrued during his care are gratefully welcomed by Ananda Foley, P.O. Box 542, Silverton, CO 81433