The letters JLC appear on all Corner Ballpark team jerseys. These letters stand for Jerry Lee Chappell. Here's a brief biography of just why these initials appear on our uniforms and also why Field 1 is named after him.
Jerry Lee Chappell was born on June 6, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama. His parents were Enola and Fred Chappell of Warrior, Alabama. Enola and Fred also had a daughter, Debbie. Jerry attended Corner High School, Warrior, Alabama and played varsity baseball. In 1972 Jerry graduated from Corner High School. After graduation, Jerry went to work with Altec. Shortly thereafter, he married the love of his life, Rita Stover on November 19, 1976. During their marriage, Jerry and Rita had 2 wonderful sons, Jeremy and Shane.
Who Was Jerry Lee Chappell?
Jerry Lee Chappell was a very UNSELFISH man. Jerry was active in the Corner Community since his grade school years. Once Jerry had children of his own, he became more active in the community and was an advocate for a local place for the children to participate in sports. In 1987 Corner Community Park was established. For 22 years Jerry was either a committed coach, board member, president of Corner Community Park, or a “behind the scenes” participant. After Jeremy and Shane grew up and was no longer a part of Corner Community Park, Jerry remained in full force to help with the needs of the Corner Community. Jerry was a man of character, dedication, loyalty and integrity and a great leader in the Corner Community. The growth of Corner Community Park partially came from Jerry Lee Chappell’s leadership. Jerry worked side by side with several of the surrounding parks for many years preparing schedules, working out boundary questions and issues, rules and regulations. The fact that Corner Community Park is a non-profit organization, meant someone had to put their own time into this project. Jerry did just that along with a few others in the community. Jerry helped develop Highway 31 North organization for scheduling purposes and also helped develop the scheduling process for all parks involved. He also helped coordinate umpires for all parks, and basically was the best problem solver of his time. He was very dedicated for all sports to be treated fairly. The idea of all children, in the Corner Community, having a place to play their chosen sport was a vision of Mr. Chappell’s.
What life meant to Jerry Lee Chappell
Family and friends meant so much to Jerry. Rita, Jerry’s wife, became ill with a chronic blood disease during the teenage years for Jeremy and Shane. This devastating news did not stop Jerry from having faith. Jerry believed God had a plan and he was obedient to God’s word. Jerry was a Christian man and was also a leader in his church. He was a deacon as well as a Sunday school teacher. Jerry stood firm on his beliefs and would not waiver. God defined his life. Rita lived over 15 years with her condition and at times would have to have extensive blood transfusions and long stays in the hospital. Jerry was the personal care giver Rita until the last year before her death. He worked at Altec, took care of his wife, 2 sons plus pouring any extra time into Corner Community Park.
He could disagree with you in a very kind, respectful way. This is how and why Jerry had so many friends and was respected by so many. Jerry believed that if you treat people the way you want to be treated, you should not have many disagreements. His most notable phrase was: “if you keep all of the children’s best interest, as a whole, first; while making decisions, you will always make the right decision.”
Jerry Lee Chappell was a man of integrity, dedication, respect, leadership and honesty. Corner Community Park has produced many great athletes over the last 2 decades. Corner Community lost a great pillar of our community on July 12, 2009. In his remembrance, Corner Community Park has chosen to place his initials on all park apparel so his legacy will continue.