Isabelle B."Babe" Chappus

December 20, 1925 - January 20, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI



Monday, January 25, 2016
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
2230 Lake Michigan Dr.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The rosary will be prayed at the church on Monday at 9:00 AM

Web Site


Monday, January 25, 2016
11:00 AM EST
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

The Midwest Jesuits, The Society of Jesus
2050 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Isabelle Blanche "Babe" Chappus was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, and child of God. Dedicated to her faith and family, she lived out her life with dignity, devotion, kindness, and joy.

Isabelle Blanche was born December 20, 1925, in the historic Canadian village of Sandwich (founded in 1794 and annexed by Windsor in 1935) in Essex County, Ontario. Her father, Leo Joseph Fredette, worked at a newspaper while her mother cared for nine children at home: Doris, Helen, Emily, Isabelle, Margaret, Leo, Arseline, Bernadette, and Noelle. Devout Catholics, the family leaned on their faith through times of prosperity as well as hardship.

In her youth, Isabelle lost her father and then her mother to death. She dropped out of school after the 10th grade to help care for the rest of the children. She worked in a munitions factory during the war. She also worked in the bookstore at Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario. Sorrow struck again when her younger sister Margaret died, yet through it all, Isabelle remained strong in faith, hope, and love.

After Margaret’s death, Isabelle married Ferdinand Chappus in 1956 at Assumption Church in Windsor, Ontario. In 1957, Isabelle immigrated to Detroit, Michigan, where she and Ferdinand made their home for many years. Isabelle and Ferdinand lived in Detroit, Melvindale, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. They also lived in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Isabelle and Ferdinand raised five children—Jarvis, Dennis, and Girarda, who were the children of the marriage between Ferdinand and Margaret, and Cheryl and Mary, who were the children of Ferdinand and Isabelle.

Isabelle nurtured all her children in multiple ways. Skilled as a cook, she made nutritious meals and further encouraged the family toward good health by taking long walks and keeping active. Isabelle also loved to read and play cards. She was an avid shopper at Goodwill and garage sales. She and Ferdinand kept the kids connected to their family by visiting relatives often.

Isabelle set an example of devotion and stewardship. She took vows and was professed in the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Anthony of Padua Fraternity, on April 20, 1986, in Dearborn, Michigan. After she and Ferdinand moved to Grand Rapids, she became a member of the Saint Clare Fraternity. She was also a long-time member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. She committed herself to simplicity, charity, prayer, and other virtues of a faithful life.

As a grandparent, Isabelle was a model of involvement. She helped raise many of the grandchildren, played basketball, baseball, and other games outside with them, attended numerous school functions, and celebrated special occasions with them. She never forgot their birthdays or other significant events in their lives. As a result of her love and attentiveness, Isabelle was always close to her grandchildren.

As Isabelle and Ferdinand grew older, they decided to move to a senior living community. At Marsh Ridge, they made many new friends, who likely knew all the same “crooners” that Isabelle so enjoyed—Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and more. Isabelle and Ferdinand cherished their lives together before his death on January 6, 2005.

Still in good health herself, Isabelle continued to live an active life and was able to do most anything she wanted. Then, on Saturday, January 16, 2016, she suffered a stroke at her home and was rushed to the hospital. When nothing could be done medically, the family surrounded her tenderly and faithfully. They were at her side when she died late Wednesday, January 20, 2016.

Isabelle Blanche "Babe" Chappus will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Isabelle “Babe” Chappus (Fredette), aged 90 of Grand Rapids, passed away late Wednesday night, January 20, 2016, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ferdinand Chappus. She is survived by her children, Jarvis Chappus, Dennis (Ann) Chappus, Girarda (Gary) Thack, Cheryl Bergan, Mary (David) Beach; her 17 grandchildren, Christina Chappus, Christopher Chappus, Angela Chappus, Robert Chappus, Christa Plante, Jennifer (Darrin) Connor, Dennis (Lydia) Chappus, Aaron (Cassandra) Neely, Jason (Maritess) Neely, Dusty (Eric) Meyers, Kelly (John) Conlon, Sarah (Peter) Behncke, David (Sela) Thack, Tristan Beach, Trevor Beach SJ, Victoria Beach, Travis Beach; 21 great-grandchildren; her sisters, Arseline (Leonard) Chittle, Bernadette (John) Beaugrand, Noelle (William) Caza; sister-in-law, Eleanor Fredette; many nieces, nephews, and friends. Isabelle was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and a friend to all who knew her. She was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Clare Fraternity. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday morning, January 25, 2016, at 11:00 AM at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Visitation will be held at the church on Monday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. The rosary will be prayed at the church on Monday at 9:00 AM. Procession from the church to Holy Cross Cemetery will be held following the luncheon. To sign Isabelle’s guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at Memorial contributions may be made to The Midwest Jesuits, The Society of Jesus, 2050 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614, or at