Anna May Chappell is the Chiefs biggest fan, at least that’s what her family says. The 89-year-old has been following the team since 1963 when they went from being the Dallas Texans to the Kansas City Chiefs.
As a season ticket holder of 30 years, Chappell remembers attending several games at Municipal Stadium, and she’s made a point to go to Chiefs training camp every single year. For Chappell and her nine kids, 27 grandkids and 38-plus great-grandkids, the Chiefs mean family.
“I’ve never known a Sunday during football season when we’re not wearing red for the Chiefs around grandma,” her granddaughter Tearany Hendrix said.
“We have a few Raiders fans in the family, and even they will wear Chiefs gear around grandma.”
While Chappell loves the team even more than she loves Willie Nelson, her family says this may be the last year she can attend Chiefs training camp because of health issues.
“Last year after attending Chiefs camp, she had a great time and got home, got really sick and ended up in the ICU,” Hendrix said. “This past month, she’s been in the hospital two times; with dialysis, she’s going on her 10th year. The Alzehimer’s is progressing, so we are just enjoying every moment we can with her and just trying to keep her happy and keep her smiling.”
On Friday morning, Chappell was definitely smiling when she was able to meet several former Chiefs players through the work of her family, Mosaic Life Care and the Chiefs Ambassadors.
“Ann is an incredible lady,” said Ken Kremer, former defensive linebacker and Chiefs Ambassador. “She’s 89 years old, she’s had Chiefs season tickets for over 30 years and she’s been to virtually every home game for a long period of time. To be honest with you, just looking at her, I think she looked great and felt great. I’m hopeful that she’ll get some more life because she’s a wonderful person.”
Along with Kremer, several other Chiefs alumni met Chappell, including cornerback Trent Bryant, long snapper Kendall Gammon, running back Ted McKnight, offensive tackle Jerry Cornelison, lineman Chris Bober and wide receiver Chris Penn. As the men shook Chappell’s hand, the woman beamed, joking and laughing in the ornery way her family has come to expect.
“They were amazing with her,” Hendrix said. “I don’t think she’ll forget this.”
Along with Chappell, the group of Chiefs alumni met several patients and workers at Mosaic Life Care, visiting with patients battling cancer, mothers who were waiting for their babies to be born and several newborn future Chiefs fans.
“It’s special to come over here because I know that there’s a lot of people that would like to be over at training camp and they’re hospitalized, they’re over here,” Kremer said. “So I think, if we can make them smile a little bit, I think it’s a great day.”