David W. Appel, 92, Antigo, died Friday, May 12, 2017 under the care of his family and LeRoyer Hospice. He was born July 23, 1924 in Washington DC, the son of the late William D. & Harriet (Fleisher) Appel.
David graduated from Leheigh University, Bethlehem, PA and later from the University of Iowa with a masters and P.H.D. in fluid mechanics. On June 8, 1949, David married Julia Anne Stimson in Grinell, Iowa.
Along with their three children they became sailors. In 1957 they went down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, and returned via the east coast and the Erie Canal in a 32 foot auxiliary sailboat. Later they built their own 35 ft sailboat from a bare fiberglass hull. Dave obtained a captain’s license and took passengers on a voyage from Wisconsin to Lake Champlain. They also ventured into unfamiliar waters in the Virgin Islands, Sweden and Wisconsin on chartered sailboats.
David taught fluid mechanics and engaged in research for eight years at the University of Iowa and later the University of Kansas. He then moved to Wisconsin and was employed by Kimberly-Clark, Neenah for over fifteen years in paper research. His title was Senior Research Associate. During his employment, Kimberly-Clark established the Ernst-Mahler Award which is given to an individual for excellence in research. David was the first recipient of this award.
David and Julia have always loved the outdoors from rock climbing, sailing and skiing to hiking. David liked carpentry and woodworking. Through the years he built the couple’s dining table and chairs along with several bookcases and a bureau. When he retired in 1980, the couple purchased a farm in the Wittenberg area and raised calves for five years. Meanwhile David felled trees, and helped saw them into boards. He used many in the third house he built, to panel the walls and the kitchen cabinets.
In 1998, at the age of 73, David volunteered his summers at the Bears Den Trail Center which is located on the Appalachian Trail in northern Virginia. During his time there he helped fellow hikers with information and guide groups on the trails. He would also help with any repairs that needed to be done as well as gather wood for the winter months. The couple was also instrumental in reviving the interest in the Trail Center to help become a flourishing place for hikers and families to learn about the trails and to enjoy the great outdoors.
Survivors include Julia Appel, David’s wife of 68 years, one brother, James (Marjorie) Appel, Durango, CO, three children and their spouses, George (Toni) Appel, Appleton, Janet (Michael) Snyder, Rochester, MN and Raymond (Marsha) Appel, Townsend; five grandchildren, Shane, Jeri, Alice, Ryan and Stephen; two great-grandchildren, Lucas and Brianna.
Per Dave’s wishes no services will be held. The family wishes any financial memorials to be sent to the Bears Den Trail Center, 18393 Blueridge Mountain Rd., Bluemont, VA 20135.