Placerville, CA – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is scheduled to install Memorial
Highway signs to honor long-time El Dorado County resident and rancher Eugene “Gene” Chappie, in
recognition of his four decades of service representing the citizens of the County of El Dorado and the State of
The Eugene “Gene” Chappie Memorial Highway signs will be installed at two locations along Highway 193,
within the Community of Cool, during the week of June 13, 2016.
The community is invited to attend a reception to honor Gene Chappie and recognize the installation of the
Memorial Signs, scheduled at the following time:
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Pilot Hill Grange, 1701 Hwy 193 in Cool, California
Gene Chappie dedicated his life to serving his country, his county and the American people. In 1941, after
graduating from high school, Chappie joined the United States Army and was promoted to the rank of captain
while serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He would again serve his country during the Korean
War. After the Korean War, Chappie returned to the family ranch in Cool, California.
In 1950, Governor Earl Warren appointed Gene Chappie to a vacant seat on the El Dorado County Board of
Supervisors. Supervisor Chappie represented the residents of the 4th Supervisorial District until his election to
the California State Assembly in 1964. As an Assemblyman, Chappie represented the residents of the 6th and
rd Assembly Districts until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980. As a Congressman,
Chappie represented the residents of the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts until his retirement in 1986, allowing
him to return full-time to the family’s ranch in Cool, California.
When leaving Congress, Chappie did not take his near $100,000 campaign war chest, for the use in future
campaigns, instead he set up a scholarship for local high school graduates.
His retirement would be brief. In 1987, Governor George Deukmejian appointed him to the California OffHighway
Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission where he would serve until 1992. In 1990, the State of
California recognized Chappie’s efforts as an Assemblyman, Congressman and Commissioner to create safe
and environmentally appropriate areas specifically for the use of off-road vehicles, with the dedication of the Gene Chappie/Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Management Area of approximately 50,000 acres located just west
of Shasta Dam near Redding.
In 1988, Governor George Deukmejian appointed Gene Chappie to a vacant seat on the El Dorado County
Board of Supervisors, returning him to the 4th Supervisorial District, where he would again serve the County
Gene Chappie was a member of the Pilot Hill Grange, Rotary Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American
Legion, Native Sons of the Golden West, El Dorado County Farm Bureau, Elks and Holy Name Society. He
was a founder of the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association and the Georgetown Divide Public
Utilities District, and was one of the original organizers and supporters of the Jeepers Jamboree.
Gene Chappie passed away on May 31, 1992 at age 72 at his home in Georgetown.
On June 17, 2014, in recognition of Gene Chappie’s four decades of service to the citizens of the County of El
Dorado and the State of California, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved a formal request to
State Senator Ted Gaines and State Assemblyman Frank Bigelow to submit legislation that would designate a
portion of State Highway 193 in honor of Gene Chappie. Senator Gaines authored, with Assemblyman Bigelow
as principal co-author, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2. The California State Legislature approved SCR 2
on July 13, 2015, authorizing the Eugene “Gene” Chappie Highway Memorial signs on Highway 193.