Physiology and Neurobiology Professor William Chapple Dies

William Chapple, professor of physiology and neurobiology. (Shannon McAvoy/UConn File Photo)

William Chapple, professor of physiology and neurobiology. (Shannon McAvoy/UConn File Photo)

Professor of physiology and neurobiology William Chapple died on Wednesday, July 9, at the age of 77.

A faculty member at UConn since 1966, Chapple taught thousands of students in subjects ranging from human anatomy and physiology to neuroscience. Students and colleagues alike admired him for his sense of justice and fair play.

Chapple received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1958, an MA from Syracuse University in 1960, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1965.

He was recognized for his contributions to the understanding of the neural control of motor systems, specializing in hermit crabs as an invertebrate model system. He was a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of Neurosciences, and the Society for Comparative and Integrative Biology. He received support from NSF and NATO both for his research and for his sabbatical leaves.

Beyond his professional life, Chapple enjoyed time with family and friends on Pagoo, his Cape Dory sailboat. He often sailed single-handed on the Sound and beyond. He was a talented guitarist, who also sang and played the concertina with equal skill and vigor.

Bill is survived by his wife of 50 years, Wendy Deborah Wood; his son and daughter-in-law, Samuel and Jamie; and his granddaughter, Alison. His parents; his sister, Marjorie Chapple Hinawi; and his nephew, David Hinawi, predeceased him.

A celebration of Chapple’s life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the UConn Alumni Center in Storrs.