Born May 23, 1936, in a farmhouse near Berlin, Wisconsin, during the depression, Bud had a
challenging early life. An absent father meant he was raised largely by his grandparents, Tom and Edith Dowell, whom he loved very much. When Bud was three his mother, Pearl Dowell Kapell, moved to Chicago to be with his father, Henry Carl Kapell, and Bud didn’t see his parents for over a year. During that time his brother, Dick, was born and Bud was brought to Chicago to join them. For the next several years the family moved from place to place in the Channel Lake, Illinois, area and finally settled at their longtime home next to the channel on Poplar Street. Bud’s sister, Lynn, was born in 1942 and was struck with polio at age five - another challenge for the family. They were poor, but as Bud said, everyone he knew was poor. Despite all the challenges, Bud had the discipline and natural smarts to excel at school and graduated valedictorian from Antioch High School in 1954. He went on to attend the University of Illinois and worked his way through college, constantly pursuing any scheme to earn money. He joined Theta Chi Fraternity and became treasurer, managing the finances and physical operation of the entire fraternity. He joined the Army Reserve in 1958 and attended Reserve Officers summer camp at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In February 1959, he graduated
from college with honors with a degree in chemical engineering and immediately began his 37-year career at 3M in Minnesota.
Bud married his first wife, Lorna, in 1961 and shortly after was called to active duty due to the Berlin Crisis. The couple were dispatched to Fort Polk, Louisiana, where son, David, was born premature with significant health issues in May 1962. This ultimately resulted in Bud’s early release from active duty after a call to Senator Hubert Humphrey. Bud resumed his career at 3M and in May 1964 daughter Becky was born. In 1969 the family moved to the big red Dutch Colonial house that Bud designed and helped build with army buddy Stretch Tuma. Bud and Lorna divorced in 1980. Bud met Leslie Hamilton Albers at a class called “Single Again, Where Do We Go from Here,” and after a short courtship, they were married in the fall of 1981. Leslie’s three children, Mike, Darcey and Kimberly, rounded out the new step-family of seven. In 1985, Bud was transferred by 3M to Austin, Texas, where they lived until he retired in 1996. Bud and Leslie moved back to Minnesota in 1998 and built a home on North Center Lake in Center City, which became a haven for family feasts, dock fishing and pontoon rides with his growing family.
Bud had a deep love for many things in life. He was fascinated by the natural and scientific worlds (he could tell you why the sky was blue), history (especially family history and genealogy), music (even though he was tone-deaf), sports (Go Vikings!) and people in general. He was an outdoorsman and naturalist who could name every bird and tree. He was an excellent photographer. He was a world traveler. He was civically engaged, serving in several local government roles throughout his life. Bud was a family man: a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He had lifelong close friends. He was quick to laugh (he could be a goofball) and he was smart. He was, as Becky puts it, “a capable man.” Bud Kapell was well-loved and he will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
He is survived by friends and family: wife, Leslie Kapell; children, David and Becky Kapell; siblings, Richard (Ginny), Lynn Kubicki; step children, Michael Albers (Kim), Darcey Holloway (Mike Parker), Kimberly Morgan (Richard); grandchildren, Sam (Lorena) and Maddy (Adam) Hickel, Eli Kapell, Ethan and William Holloway, Emily and Abigail Albers; Natalie and Jake Morgan, great- granddaughter, Irene.
Bud will be laid to rest at Fort Snelling and a Celebration of Life will be held at 12:00 NOON at
BRADSHAW CELEBRATION OF LIFE CENTER (2800 Curve Crest Blvd. Stillwater, MN) on August
3, 2023 with visitation one hour prior and a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to: Family Means (Caregiving and Aging) Lakeview Hospice, and Boutwells Landing (Neighbors helping Neighbors)