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Hundreds Gather To Mourn Death Of Rye Native, Video Editor Mauled By Lion

Rye police directing traffic on Friday evening outside the wake for Katherine Chappell, the video effects editor killed on Monday by a South African lion.
Rye police directing traffic on Friday evening outside the wake for Katherine Chappell, the video effects editor killed on Monday by a South African lion. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Calling hours resume on Saturday in Rye for Katherine Chappell, 29, who was mauled by a lion in South Africa on Monday.
Calling hours resume on Saturday in Rye for Katherine Chappell, 29, who was mauled by a lion in South Africa on Monday. Photo Credit: Family photo
A long line of well-wishers wrapped around Graham Funeral Home in Rye on Friday evening. Calling hours resume Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon, followed by a memorial service for Katherine Chappell.
A long line of well-wishers wrapped around Graham Funeral Home in Rye on Friday evening. Calling hours resume Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon, followed by a memorial service for Katherine Chappell. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

RYE, N.Y. -- Hundreds gathered in and around a Rye funeral home on Friday evening to mourn the loss of Katherine Chappell, the 29-year-old visual effects editor killed by a lion in South Africa on Monday.

Chappell, a Rye native, was about to start a volunteer mission at a wildlife preserve for elephants and rhinoceroses when she was attacked during a safari at a lion park near Johannesburg.

She was filming wild animals and had rolled her window down to take a photo shortly before a lioness lunged and dragged her from a car, according to South African police.

A long line of well-wishers extended outside of Graham Funeral Home off Boston Post Road in Rye shortly after Friday's wake for Chappell began.

Meanwhile, more than $30,000 has been raised by a GoFundMe account to help defray the travel and moving expenses associated with Chappell's death.

Created by the Chappell family, the account posted a quote from her sister Jen's Facebook page: "Katie was a brilliant, kind, adventurous and high-spirited woman. Her energy and passion could not be contained by mere continents or oceans. She was very much loved and shared her love for life with those she met."

Calling hours will resume at 10 a.m. on Saturday and continue to noon, followed by a memorial service at Graham Funeral Home.

Chappell is the daughter of Mary and Jonathan Chappell of Rye. She also is survived by her brother, Ryan; two sisters, Lauren Chapell and Jen Ringwald; her brother-in-law, Steve Ringwald; and her boyfriend, Grayson Hoare.

Chappell planned to produce a film about the dangers poachers pose to wildlife. She had been living in Vancouver, Canada, while working for a special effects company that won an Emmy award for HBO's hit television series "Game of Thrones," and she was involved in an upcoming film "Pan," about Peter Pan.

Chappell also worked on the 2014 episode "The Children," which won a Primetime Emmy for outstanding special and visual effects.

She was a 2004 graduate of School of the Holy Child in Harrison. She received her undergraduate degree in 2008 from Hofstra University in film studies and production.

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