On Tuesday, September 27, 2022, Don Chancellor returned home to his Lord and Savior. Donald Paul Chancellor was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, in 1937, to Elmer Mack and Dortha Mae (née Hart) Chancellor. Don and his brother, Harry, lived with their parents in Shawnee and on the Hart family farm where Don developed a young man’s appreciation for living off the land. When he graduated high school, he chose to attend Oklahoma A & M, where he met his future wife, Delores McConnel. Don and Delores were married while still in school, and Don was hired by JCPenney upon his graduation from OSU. Don and Delores lived and worked in Ardmore, Shawnee, McAlister, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, before moving to Texas with his job working for the Federal Government, from which he would retire after 37 years.
Don rode into Texas with a bullet in his leg and a love of Oklahoma State in his heart. After stints in Austin and Irving, he and Delores settled in Oak Leaf in North Ellis County to raise their family. For 30+ years, this gentle man was the Federal Government’s regulatory hammer, instilling fear in the hearts of non-compliant nursing care facilities across the Southwestern US.
With a camcorder in one hand and a telephoto lens in the other, he chronicled our lives on film. However, like the mythical bigfoot, only a handful of blurry photos and glimpses on video exist of the man, as artist rarely became subject.
Don passed on a love of the Dallas Mavericks and Cowboys, the art of researching and negotiating a car deal, and the practicality of a short drive that bounces down the center of the fairway versus the 350-yard one in to the trees. He reminded us of the joys to be found in life’s simple pleasures like a cold Dr. Pepper, a strawberry Whataburger milkshake, or a chunk of Government cheese.
Our Papa was a soft-spoken man whose voice only boomed when singing hymns to praise the Lord he loved and spent a lifetime serving. He lived as an example of character rooted in faith and steadfast commitment to always do what is right. His quiet words loudly spoke with extensive wisdom, relentless positivity, and a servant’s heart. For 64 years he served as loving patriarch of our family, guiding us as one the kindest, most decent men God has ever made.
Don is preceded in death by his parents. Don is survived by his wife, Delores, daughter Kim (and her husband, David Slape), and sons David (and wife Monica) and Eric (and wife Erika). Their grandchildren are Christopher, Cody, and Casey Slape, Chelsea Land, Colton, Calvin, and Cassidy Chancellor, and Alex and Ashlyn Parsons. Their great-grandchildren are Kynzie Land, Eli, Blaise, and Damien Slape, Nathan Carpio, and Drew Harrison. Don is also survived by his brother, Harry Chancellor (and wife Lynn) and their family and a large extended family with many cousins.