Henry “Hank” August Kappelman, 81, was escorted to heaven at 6:13 a.m. Saturday (December 4, 2021) at his home surrounded by his family who loved him so much. Born on December 27, 1939, in Gasconade County, Missouri. Hank was the second son of Elizabeth (Borlish) and Milford Kappelman. He attended school at Biggsville, IL and later Coal Valley Schools. He was raised on a farm and at a young age realized that his life’s goal was to own a farmstead as his father before him. He married his high school sweetheart, Carol Sue Follin, on June 7, 1959, at Coal Valley First Presbyterian Church. She had found her true cowboy on his palomino horse and they couldn’t wait to begin their life as one. Together, they fulfilled Hank’s goal, beginning with owning some acreage in Andover, IL and later purchasing his Cambridge, IL farm. It was on this farm that he built their house with his own two hands in 1964, along with assistance from his father-in-law, Fern Follin. Hank and Carol continued to build their dreams by adding five children to that house, making it the home that to this day is still full of love, laughter and memories.
Hank was hardworking in every sense of the word. He worked full-time at John Deere for 34 years, retiring in 1992, and was very involved in the UAW 434 where he was a committee man. During this time he farmed the land he loved while also raising cattle. He gradually took over the family farm as well outside of Orion, IL, and he continued to oversee both farms even when he was no longer able to physically be a part of the running of them. He gave his all to everything he did, including being the helping hand to any family, neighbor or stranger that was in need. Sometimes that need was just a cup of coffee around the table or on the porch, but whatever it was he always took the time. To Hank, his farm was his little piece of heaven and there was no other place he would rather be, always with a beloved dog at his side. His heart was content in the life he had built.
Being a daddy, grandpa and great-grandpa were his favorite titles and with that came making memories. These included the yearly family traditions of weiner roasts in the woods, the big Thanksgiving meals with his delicious homemade gravy, watching fireworks on Richmond Hill with LaRoma’s pizza to follow, but perhaps the most important to him was Christmas. Christmas to him was cutting down a real tree and decorating every doorway with greenery and lights and having a candle in every window. Even when his children were grown, he continued to make home a place everyone wanted to come back to. His laughter and humor would fill the walls. His sayings of, “Ain’t you something?” and “Good Job!” made everyone want to relish in his presence. Each one in his family circle would describe him as “my biggest fan,” regardless of what skill or talent was possessed.
Hank was a member of the Osco Community Church, accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior in 1965. Even as his health continued to decline these last few years, he never once complained. He handled each trial with strength and grace. He was thankful for each day that God had given him.
His tenderness and love will be cherished by those left behind including his beloved wife of 62 years, Carol Sue; four daughters, Christina (Roger) Gunther of Edwardsville, IL, Lisa Kay (David) Swartz of Michigan City, IN, Dena Rhea Kappelman of Cambridge, IL and Candy (Wade) Snook of Cambridge; one son, Scott (Mary Jo) Kappelman of Orion; 18 grandchildren, Joshua (Jordan) Gunther, Angela (Blake) Ferando, Emily (Aaron) Brakhane, Kati (Elijah) Watts,Trevor (Janee) Kappelman, Megan Swartz, Kristin (Jonny) Schult, Amber (Alex) Laux, Regina (Clint) May, Juliun August Cocquit, Victoria Cocquit, Carter Snook, Victor August Snook, Taylor Snook, Tucker Snook, Gunner Snook, Dustin (Tiffany) Stees and BJ (Linley) Stees; twenty-one great-grandchildren, Lileigh Barton (Gunther), Kinzie and Dawson Ferando, Titus, Evalynn and Guinevere Brakhane, Keali, Evea and Ezekiel Watts, Hadleigh, Gretchen and “Baby Genesis due in May” Kappelman, Hunterlynn, River and Chandler Laux, Charlie May, Nathan, Gavin and Madilyn Stees, Kane and Rosalie Stees; brother-in-law, Larry Roach; nieces, Stephanie Wittenauer and Sue (Mike) Schmick; nephews, Nathan (Holly) Roach and Timothy (Emily) Roach; other nieces and a nephew; best friend, Tony VanDerSnick; and his faithful dog, Max. Those who welcomed him into heaven were his parents, Milford and Elizabeth Kappelman; his in-laws Fern and Esther Follin; brother, John Kappelman; sister-in-law Cathy Roach and his grandson, Noah Snook.
Services will be held at the Osco Community Church Saturday, December 11, 2021, at 1:00 with a luncheon and burial at Rosedale Cemetery following. Rev. Paul Henschl will officiate. Visitation will be prior to the service from 10:00 to 1:00 at the church. Memorials may be made to the Osco Community Church and the Henry County Humane Society, Geneseo, IL