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November 14, 1931 – April 16, 2020

Francis “Fran” Theodore Kappel, age 88, of Winsted passed away on Thursday, April 16, 2020, at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.

Visitation:   Sunday, June 7th, 2020 4-8 P.M. at Chilson Funeral Home-Winsted, MN


Further visitation 9:30-10:30 A.M. Monday, June 8th, 2020 at the funeral home

Mass of Christian Burial: Monday, June 8th, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church – Winsted, MN


Interment with military rites at Holy Trinity Cemetery, Winsted, MN

He was born on November 14, 1931, in Winsted, the son of Alfred & Isabella (LaMothe) Kappel.

Francis honorably served his country in The United States Army from 1952-1954.

On 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 over 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 the kids was evident to everyone with which he interacted.

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 + years), The Knights of Columbus Council #8253 (31 years), and the American Legion Post #407 in Winsted (50 + years).

Fran received the Don C. Guggemos Community Service Award from the city of Winsted in 2018 for his many years of volunteerism. For over 18 years, Fran delivered Meals on Wheels to the elderly and homebound. A few weeks before his passing, he had 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, he was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, of which he was very proud and 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 their winning of the 1948 State A championship game in Shakopee that he and his father attended 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 when 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.






13 Guestbook Entries

  1. Marietta Neumann

    My sincere sympathy to the entire family. Fran was such a very big help to all that had baseball in their hearts. He helped so many people. He will be greatly missed by all the little kids he helped Carol take care of.

  2. Dan Gueningsman

    Condolences to the Kappel family. May God Bless and be with you.
    Dan Gueningsman

  3. Deacon Mike Thoennes

    So sorry to hear about Fran today. Will keep him in my prayers.

  4. Kathy Bogatzki (Quast)

    Sending Prayers and Strength to All. May He Rest in Peace.

  5. Barb Fasching

    Carol and family,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. Will keep you in my prayers. May he rest in peace.

  6. Ginny Schuelke

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  7. Chuck, Aaron,Cully Schultz families

    We are so sorry to hear about Fran. Sending prayers and sympathy.

  8. Gerard E Stifter

    Carol and family.
    I’m sorry to hear about Fran. Sending prayers for you and your family

  9. Patty Fleischacker

    Carol and family, our deepest sympathy to you all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May God bless and comfort you.
    Patty & Alan Fleischacker

  10. Tanner schroeder

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sending my thoughts and prayers to the family.

  11. Alan Wiederholt (family)

    Carol & family, Our deepest sympathy to you all.
    Sending prayers & hugs to you and the family.
    May he rest in Peace.

  12. Sean Mahoney

    I’m copying here what I posted on Facebook the other day:

    A very good man left this life yesterday. Francis Kappel was the modern personification of the idea often attributed to St. Francis — Spread the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.

    Fran was such a great example of servant leadership, as he was always working, always looking after others, and never complaining about his own circumstances. His constancy and his diligence are, in my mind, the reasons he was honored as a member of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame many years ago. But although baseball was his love, he generously applied those same traits to give so much through other ways (K of C, military service, lifelong blood donor, etc.).

    Because of my friendship with his son Dan, Fran was like a surrogate father to me during my formative years, since I grew up in a single-parent home. The Kappel home was always open to me, no matter what. Fran was always available to coach, hit balls, or take us to a ballgame. He was always patient and kind with me, even if I didn’t deserve it.

    My heart aches for Carol (his wife of 50+ years), Terre Kappel Petersen, Dan, and Dennis, and all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I will miss Fran, but I am comforted knowing he is in Heaven and reunited with his daughter Connie. And I’ll be saving a seat for Fran next time I’m at a town ball game.

  13. Trudi Porter

    My sincerest condolences to the Kappel family. I’ll never forget Fran. He would bring his kids and his beautiful wife to church every Sunday. The kids were always so well behaved. He sure loved his family as it was so evident. He showed it everyday. I remember him at the Winsted Wildcat baseball games. Us kids would chase down the foul balls and take them up to the concession stand at the baseball field and get a quarter a piece for them. Fran would just smile at us and tell us girls to keep beating the boys whom we were racing with to get the foul balls 🙂 I thought I won the lottery when I got to be a bat girl for the team and travel with them. He truly had a passion for the game and he did so much for town team baseball. He was a very good man…one of the BEST !! We need MORE like him. God Bless him and his entire family.


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