Bryar Chappell Nettles

Bryar Chappell Nettles

Wakefield, VA
02.22.1959 - 04.24.2021
St. Louis, Missouri

Bryar Chappell Nettles, 62, died at her Wakefield, Virginia home on Saturday, April 24, 2021 after a long illness. Bryar was preceded by her parents, E. Carter Nettles, Jr. and Kathryn “Kitty” Chappell Nettles, and her brother, E. Carter Nettles III.

Bryar was born in St. Louis, Missouri but grew up in Wakefield, where she was a superb student and earned record test scores at Tidewater Academy while working after school. She continued this success while double majoring at the College of William and Mary and was accepted to the prestigious Tulane law school, where she made law review. She returned to William and Mary to finish her law degree, passed the bar, and accepted a position at the firm of Hunton and Williams in Richmond. Over the next thirty years she earned a national reputation as a bond attorney, facilitating the issue of bonds for roads, airports, and local governments. She was a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and received the coveted AV rating. She moved back to Wakefield and retired. 

Bryar worked until she excelled at everything she put her hand to. Well, maybe not golf. It wasn’t enough to cook mouth-watering meals; she also grew her own vegetables, butchered her own meat, and waded into the James River to harvest her crab pots. She sewed by hand and by machine, knitted and crocheted, plowed and tilled her garden, repaired gasoline engines, upholstered furniture, practiced carpentry, became a Civil War buff, and taught herself computers back in the early days. In twenty years, she missed only one Jeopardy! food-related question, and even then she insisted it had been worded poorly.  She was a vicious competitor at any game she played. If you were her partner in Spades, you’d best be prepared for her to “go nil” even if she was holding the King of Spades. Anyone who left a triple word score open for her in Scrabble was asking for trouble and usually got it. After she beat you at gin rummy, she could explain exactly why you should have known not to discard the seven of clubs. Her sense of humor was dry and snarky. She would joke that her middle name was Thorn. She did not suffer fools or incompetents. She had an uncanny ability to see and remark upon the oddities of life. 

She is survived by her husband, Chris Ogle; daughter, Sandy Johnson (Ian) of Fredricksburg, Virginia, and sister, Kathryn Nettles (Kristie Helms) of Nashville, Tennessee. 

A spark of genius, humor, and wit has disappeared from this world and now spends her time playing with dachshund puppies and eating seafood every day. Please consider donating to Crater Community Hospice of Petersburg, who provided her with outstanding care in her last few weeks. R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home, Wakefield Chapel is serving the family. Condolences may be registered at



I am so sorry to learn of Bryar's passing. I was at one time one of the incompetents she had to suffer when I joined McGuire Woods public finance section many years ago. Nonetheless, I enjoyed working with Bryar and very much enjoyed her sense of humor. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Stephanie Hamlett

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