Funeral Mass for Craig Kappel, 71, of Dickinson will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, December 29, 2023 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church with Father Brandon Wolf Celebrating. Burial will follow at St. Thomas Cemetery in Gladstone, ND.
Visitation for Craig will be from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursday, December 28, 2023 at Stevenson Funeral Home in Dickinson, with a Rosary and Vigil service taking place at 6:00 p.m.
He passed away on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at Sanford Hospital in Bismarck after a short battle with pneumonia.
Craig Anton Kappel was born to Joe and Vi Kappel on February 3, 1952 in Dickinson, ND. Their third child, he was sweet, intelligent, an excellent student, and a high achiever. He excelled in school at St. Patrick’s Elementary and Trinity High School. As a child, he loved sports, especially swimming and ice skating. After high school, he developed a strong interest in philosophy and social studies, which he pursued through classes at the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University.
Though he had the challenge of mental illness, he learned to understand and honor his limitations and began to focus his energy on his greatest love which was music. He obtained a music degree at Dickinson State University and became an accomplished musician. Playing piano, organ, clarinet, and violin were his interests, but piano was his greatest passion. He was a member of and performed with a city band for a number of years. He was a musician for a few churches in the Dickinson and Lefor areas and loved to visit nursing home residents, entertaining them with his talents. If you dropped by his house, you’d find him practicing and playing piano. He even enjoyed composing a few of his own pieces. His house was full of old vinyl records, and CDs, too numerous to count. He loved everything from country to classics.
An avid reader, Craig also had a passion for writing, composing a considerable amount of poetry, letters to the editor on topics of interest and concern to him, and even writing a book on scriptural meditation and encouragement called “Regret Not, Fret Not, Live Now”, a book designed to inspire you to live fully in the present.
Craig loved kids and this showed throughout his many years playing Santa in downtown Dickinson and at the Prairie Hills Mall. He drove a school bus and had a knack for balancing discipline with a love for those kids, and they respected and loved him in return. He especially loved spending time with his nieces and nephews, always providing special memories whenever they visited Dickinson.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and wanted to help others any way he could, always reaching out to the less fortunate. His faith was deep, his love for family and friends unwavering and his sense of humor contagious. Due to the progressive and damaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease, Craig spent the last three years at Hilltop Home of Comfort in Killdeer, ND.
He was deeply loved and will be missed by many.
Craig is survived by 5 siblings, Jeff (Diane) Kappel of Sierra Vista, AZ, Brenda (Steve) Juhasz of Denver, CO, Pam (Ernie) Maglischo of Denver, CO, and Mary Jo (Michael) Fontaine of Denver, CO; half-brother, Jace (Jan) Huenemeir of Visalia, CA; and several nieces and nephews.