Francis “Fran” Theodore Kappel, age 88, of Winsted passed away Thursday, April 16, 2020, at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.
A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial for Francis “Fran” Kappel will be held at a later date at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted. Concelebrants will be Father Tony Stubeda and Father Paul Schumacher.
Interment with military rites will follow at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Winsted.
A visitation will be held at a later date at Holy Trinity Catholic Church two hours prior to Mass.
The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted is serving the family. Online condolences may be made to www.chilsonfuneralhome.com
Francis was born Nov. 14, 1931, in Winsted, the son of Alfred and Isabella (LaMothe) Kappel.
He honorably served his country in The US Army from 1952 to 1954.
July 23, 1966, Francis T. Kappel and Carol A. Pothen were joined in marriage at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted. God blessed their marriage with four children.
Fran retired from Advance Machine Company after more than thirty-one years of employment. Upon retirement, he worked with his wife, Carol, in Kappel’s Daycare until the time of his passing. Fran’s love for kids was evident to everyone he interacted with.
He was a faithful, lifetime member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted, where he was baptized, confirmed, and married. Fran also belonged to The Catholic Order of Foresters (50-plus years), The Knights of Columbus Council #8253 (31 years), and the American Legion Post #407 in Winsted (50-plus years).
Fran received the Don C. Guggemos Community Service Award from the city of Winsted in 2018 for his many years of volunteerism. For more than 18 years, Fran delivered Meals on Wheels to the elderly and homebound. A few weeks before his passing, he donated his 23rd gallon of blood to the American Red Cross. Fran and Carol also volunteered for many years at St. Mary’s Care Center and the Garden House in Winsted.
Fran’s passion for the community paired with his love for Minnesota Amateur Baseball, of which his involvement spanned returning from the Army in 1954 up until the time of his passing.
In 1989, Fran was proud to be inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, of which he was very deserving. Two of the big reasons for Fran’s induction included his work with the Winsted Wildcats and youth baseball. One of Fran’s fondest memories of Winsted baseball was attending the winning 1949 State A championship game in Shakopee with his father when he was 17.
Fran shared his love of baseball with his wife Carol, and together they went on 12 trips with Jay Buckley’s Baseball Tours. They visited many major and minor league ballparks. They also toured notable sites and landmarks such as the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
The highlight of these trips occurred in 2007 while in Cleveland, Fran got to meet one of his heroes, Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame pitcher, Bob Feller. Carol took a picture of the two Hall of Famers, which later appeared in the Herald Journal alongside an article.
Family meant everything to Fran. He attended all events in which his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren participated. He loved playing cards, Scrabble, watching Gunsmoke and Matlock, and spending time with his family.
He is survived by his loving wife of fifty-three years, Carol A. Kappel; children Terre (Dave) Petersen of Lonsdale, Dan (Audrey) Kappel of St. Michael, and Dennis Steele of Winsted; eight grandchildren Alyssa, Shayna, Sydney, Mason, Brady, Zachary, Jeremy, and Olivia; five great-grandchildren Easton, Sawyer, Eloise, Jensen, and Edison; a brother Gervase (Donna) Kappel of Winsted; a sister-in-law Glorian Kappel; other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Isabella Kappel, his daughter Connie Frances Kappel Sather, his brothers Gilbert (Brother Theodore) Kappel, and Marvin Kappel, and by his sister Delores Schweiger.