On Monday, October 25, 2021, Chad Bryan Sappenfield of Lake Lotawana passed away at the age of 38. Chad was born in Independence, Missouri, on October 28, 1982, to Sheryll Williams Thomas and George Sappenfield.
Chad was raised in Blue Springs, Missouri, and later moved to Grain Valley, Missouri, where he graduated high school in 2001. He served in the National Guard prior to transferring to active duty in the United States Army in 2002. He was decorated for his service during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Upon his honorable discharge in 2006, he enrolled in the Fire Science Academy at Blue River Community College. Immediately following, Chad received his paramedic license from Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust (MAST). Chad proudly served his community as a member of the Independence Fire Department. During his 13 years of service, he held multiple positions, including time as a Firefighter, and Fire Equipment Operator. Chad was a member of IAFF Local 781 Professional Firefighters of Independence and served on the Honor Guard, and Peer Support Teams. He was continuously recognized for his outstanding service and received the Chamber of Commerce Heroism Award in 2014 for extraordinary measures during a lifesaving situation.
Outside his service to the community, Chad was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing, hunting, trapping, and scuba diving. He was a Chartered Guide with Bill Collectors and received his Captain’s License in 2019 from the U.S. Coast Guard. Chad guided service-connected disabled veteran and youth hunts as a member of Pheasants Forever and for Wounded Warriors. Most recently, he added hockey to his list of interests. One of the three teams he played for is the KC Warriors, made up of service-connected disabled veterans. Chad was also passionate about cooking and grilling and he had a deep love for his dogs.
Chad struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for many years. He sought treatment but was faced with substantial adversity. The bureaucratic system designed to help him failed. Fortunately, the City of Independence and his fire family fought diligently for Chad. Due to their remarkable efforts, Chad was able to attend the Valor Recovery Program in 2020. His personal experience paved the way for veterans and first responders to gain easier access to vital treatment.
Chad was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Beverly Williams, and paternal grandfather, Frank Sappenfield.
He is survived by his mother Sheryll and her husband Jack Thomas, of Bates City, MO, father George Sappenfield of Hermitage, MO, sister Sara Sappenfield of Kansas City, MO, maternal grandfather Jack Williams Sr. of Blue Springs, MO, paternal grandmother Caroline Sappenfield of Independence, MO, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless friends.
For those who wish to continue Chad’s mission of helping others, please consider making a monetary donation in lieu of flowers. Funds raised will support underinsured first responders who are seeking help through the Valor Recovery Program. Please make checks payable to Valor Recovery Program, mailed to 2900 Clay Edwards Drive, North Kansas City, MO, 64116, C/O Sappenfield Donation Fund. You can send donations digitally via Venmo to @SappenfieldFund-Valor.