Dr. Victor Harold Appel
June 28, 1930 – September 15, 2019
Dr. Victor Harold Appel, 89, of Austin, Texas (recently living in Wilton, CT) died September 15, 2019, following complications of a hip fracture. Vic was born June 28, 1930, to Jeanette and Maximilian M. Appel, in Mexico City, Mexico. As a young boy, he lived in Texas and California before graduating from the University of California - Berkeley in 1951. As an Army lieutenant, he served as a military police officer in a POW camp in Korea from 1951-1953. Following his active military service, he earned his PhD in Psychology from The Ohio State University.
Vic married Jean Audrey McArdle in 1956. They were married 45 years until her death in 2001. They raised 3 children and delighted in their grandchildren. Vic taught psychology at the University of Texas, specializing in career counseling. He enjoyed mentoring his many graduate students. He authored many academic publications. In 2009, he married his second wife, Betty Purcell, with whom he enjoyed singing and attending church. They were married 9 years until Betty’s death in 2018. Vic was active in the American Psychological Association, the army reserves, the Austin/UT community, and especially the Congregational Church of Austin.
First and foremost, Vic was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Those who knew him best will remember his passion for teaching, gardening, fishing, wearing colorful Hawaiian shirts and iridescent ties, coordinating Easter Sunrise services on Mount Bonnell, helping others discover their path in life, and most of all for his larger than life, “never met a stranger” personality. We will miss his kindness, optimism, sense of humor, playfulness, creativity, and “can do” attitude.
We will smile when we recall how he would: approach strangers and greet them warmly with a friendly smile and firm handshake, sing hymns loudly and off key (but exuberantly and joyfully), frequently shout out “well done!” to affirm others, spontaneously recite poetry or speak Spanish to anyone who would listen, tell stories of flying to the moon to see if it is really made out of green cheese, affectionately hug his grandkids, dress up as Santa Claus or the Easter bunny and hand out flowers to the disabled, ask for seconds on desserts (especially if it was strawberry ice cream), hire homeless youth or immigrants in need to help with landscaping projects, introduce himself as “George Washington,” “John Quincy Adams,” “Sir Walter Raleigh,” “John Philip Sousa,” or “Don Fernando Rafael Arredondo” just to make people laugh, remember the name of anyone he met and greet them by name when they met again, give customer service advice, grammar lessons or career counseling to anyone (whether they asked for it or not), and enthusiastically take on expansive projects, because he felt they would embetter this wondrous world which he loved so much.
Vic is survived by his three children: Cheryl Appel, Debbie Appel Knowlton, and Gregg Appel, son-in-law, Robert Knowlton, daughter-in-law, Carolee Appel, six grandchildren: Katie, Jake, Josh and Abbey Appel and Emily and Samuel Knowlton, two brothers and their spouses: Bruce and Solveigh Appel and Craig and Phyllis Appel, stepdaughters Carol, Lisa, and Heather, his church family/friends, and his cousins/nieces/nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, older brother Jerry, first wife Jean, and second wife Betty.
Memorial services will be held at the Congregational Church of Austin, 408 W 23rd Street, Sunday, November 10 at 1:15, with burial following at 4:00 at Cook-Walden Capital Parks Cemetery. A visitation will be held Saturday, November 9 from 3:00-6:00 at Weed Corley Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N Lamar. Friends may also greet the family at the church and enjoy refreshments and a light lunch one hour prior to the memorial service.
Memorial contributions can be made to: The Congregational Church of Austin UCC, Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church’s program for dementia support “The Gathering,” the Royal B. Embree Jr. Presidential Endowment Scholarship (through UT), Habitat for Humanity, Mary House Catholic Worker of Austin, or to the charity of your choice.
- Memorial Visitation Saturday, November 9, 2019
- Memorial Service Sunday, November 10, 2019
- Burial Sunday, November 10, 2019
Dr. Victor Harold Appel
November 20, 2019
I am so proud to be your daughter. I am lucky that you and Mom raised us with such joy, playfulness, kindness, patience, wisdom, faith, and pure love.
I still miss you very much. I hope that you and Mom are doing well in Heaven.
Your loving daughter always,
November 5, 2019
We miss you, Dad. Love always, Debbie