Jerry R. Kapalin, 91, formerly of Green Bay, passed away at Dominion Senior Living Home in Crossville, Tennessee on Saturday, October 10, 2020, with his loving children by his side.
Jerry was born March 21, 1929, in Cleveland, OH to the late Joseph and Mary (Friedrich) Kapalin who immigrated from Prague, Czechoslovakia in the early 1900’s. Jerry was always proud of his Czech heritage, teaching his family simple Czech words and listening to Czech music on his record player. Jerry attended Messenger Creek Elementary School and graduated from Oconto Falls High School in 1947.
It was at the ballpark in Klondike, Wisconsin that Jerry came upon the love of his life, Donna Mae Van Laanen of Green Bay. During their courtship, Jerry was drafted into the US Army and served two years during the Korean Conflict where he was awarded the Purple Heart. Upon returning to Wisconsin, Jerry and Donna were married on June 27, 1953, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Bay Settlement. She preceded him in death on August 16, 2016.
Jerry was a proud resident of the Green Bay area for over 50 years. In 1976 Jerry founded Kapalin Plumbing which he operated until his retirement. Jerry was always known as a hard worker who was not afraid to get his hands dirty. His love of baseball influenced both young and old, as a coach and mentor, on and off the field. Jerry could always be found watching his beloved Cleveland Indians with a cold beer in hand. He had numerous hobbies (baseball, horseshoes, and golf), but his priorities were always his children and grandchildren, teaching them the importance of greeting everyone with a quick hello and a genuine smile. He will be remembered by his family as a kindhearted, loving man, who placed emphasis on faith and family. He will be missed greatly!
Jerry is survived by four children: Michael (Lynne) Kapalin, Crossville, TN; Jerilyn (Carl) Laurino, Union, KY; Susan (Bob) Saari, Minocqua, WI and Larry (Melissa) Kapalin, Crystal Lake, IL; nine grandchildren: Danny Kapalin, Andrew Kapalin, Sara (Shane) Nitzche, Nicholas Laurino, Hali Mae Laurino, Jordan Saari, Taylor Kapalin, Samuel Kapalin and Sabrina Wallace.
Jerry was preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years and his six siblings as well as several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 3009 Bay Settlement Rd, after 10:00 am Saturday, October 31, until time of Mass. Memorial Mass at 11:00 am Saturday at the church with Abbot Gary Neville, O’Praem officiating and Fr. Peter Renard, O’Praem concelebrating. A private burial will follow in the Holy Cross Church Cemetery. In lieu of floral expressions a memorial fund has been established for Holy Cross Parish and the school athletic program. Online condolences may be sent to the Kapalin family at www.prokowall.com. Due to COVID restrictions please wear a mask when entering the church.
Jerry’s family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff at Dominion Senior Living Home in Crossville, TN. The loving family, friends and neighbors who assisted Jerry with his care while living in Green Bay on Nicolet Dr. Also Dr. Mark Kroll, Dr Erich Quidzinski and Dr. Dan DeGroot for their compassion and care as well as always finding a little extra time to talk baseball!