Yesterday was grandpa Evan's 100th birthday. His daughters Jane, Harriet, and Catherine set up an open house reception for all of his family and friends to come wish him a happy birthday. The weather in Susanville was perfect, blue skies and cool dry temperatures not common for the high desert of Eastern California. Today I flew home with Allena after dad and Evan drove us out to the airport. He looks pretty good for someone who is 100 + 1 day.
Evan grew up on the Chappuis Ranch near Susanville, became a CPA and had his own accounting firm until he retired. He also, along with his brothers, operated the Chappuis Ranch until they all needed to retire. To service his customers all over Northern California and Oregon, he used his airplanes to get efficiently to them to do business and get home. He also used the planes to help spot cattle grazing on BLM and leased land so that he and his brothers could go out on horseback to move them. Evan first owned a Stinson, a Cessna 170B (my first airplane ride), and then finally a 1952 Beech C35 Bonanza. He totaled over 6000 flying hours, 4000 in the Bonanza. Besides business flying, he had many fishing trips to Baja California and to visit friends and family all over the west. In Susanville he was a School Board member and used his plane as an award to high performing kids at Lassen High School. When the EAA Young Eagles program started, he was one of the first to fly kids and has credit for flying 45 Young Eagles. A couple of these kids have gone on to become airline pilots. My daughter Allena was one of his last Young Eagles.
In 2005, I purchased Bonanza 44D from my Grandfather and am trying to carry on the traditions of education and community service that he has used it for. To say that grandpa Evan has been and is a large influence in my life would be an understatement.