Guillaume Thomas Kapeller | News, Sports, Jobs

SANDS TOWNSHIP, MI – William Thomas Kapeller, 84, of Sands Township left this world on August 17, 2022 to join and play cards with his 56-year-old wife, Joan, who predeceased him in 2016 .

Bill was born March 24, 1938, in Iron Mountain, Michigan, the son of William Thomas and Rosebud (Bissig) Johns, and grew up there until his early teens. Following a divorce, her mother married her second husband, Nathan Kapeller, and the family moved to Dearborn. Nathan then adopted Bill. Bill graduated from Edsel Ford High School in 1957, where he competed in running. After high school, Bill joined the U.S. Air Force, serving from 1957 until his honorary discharge in 1964. While stationed at KI Sawyer Air Force Base, he met former Joan “Jo” Rasmussen and they were married on September 15, 1959. For the next seven years, until his honorable discharge, Bill was posted to various assignments, including overseas, while Joan remained at home. For a time they resided in Antigo, Wisconsin and Milwaukee before moving to the Upper Peninsula in 1967. In 1972 they purchased land in Sands Township where they settled. Over the years, the couple raised two beautiful daughters, who were the loves of their lives.

The family enjoyed traveling every summer, camping, creating memorable fishing trips with the girls, and several trips to Alaska. Together, Jo and Bill operated B and J’s Clock Repair and Upholstery from their home for several years, and both traveled extensively throughout England, Canada, the United States and Alaska, visiting nearly all 50 states. , spending their 50th birthday in Prince Edward. Island. Bill and Jo simply enjoyed creating family memories.

Bill was employed for many years as a heavy equipment mechanic for UPPCO, retiring in 2001 with 24 years of service. The retirement gift Bill gave himself was a hunting trip to Hudson Bay, where he hunted caribou with his friend Terry. After retirement, Bill enjoyed keeping busy and volunteered with Sands Township. For many years, Bill was a volunteer firefighter with the Sands Township Fire Department at Station 1, serving as Chief from 1991 to 2003, occasionally serving as Acting Chief thereafter. He was named Firefighter of the Year in 2008 and was also honored as the state’s longest serving volunteer fire chief in 2015. Bill’s hobbies and interests included collecting coins and watches, deer hunting, fishing, visiting auctions and flea markets, and nothing to do with antiques. He was also a beekeeper and cultivated orchids. Bill was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Bill is survived by his daughters, Marie (Andy) Ward and Heather (Jon Wisniewski) Kapeller-Wisniewski; grandchildren, Brandon (Rachel) Ward of Knoxville, TN, Elyse (Kevin) Hawkins of Neenah, WI; many nieces and nephews and special friends, Ruth Mattson, Pat Francis, Everett Shaw, Terry Wald and Tom Gardyko.

In addition to his biological parents, Bill was predeceased by his wife, Joan; a sister, Margaret Bruette and an adoptive father, Nathan Kapeller.

Friends can call Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services on Wednesday, August 24, from 11 a.m. to noon. A Celebration of Life rally will follow at Sands Township Hall at 1:30 p.m. Private interment will be in Sands Township Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be addressed to the Sands Township Fire Department, 987 State Highway M553, Gwinn, MI 49841.

May the fish always bite and a 15-point whitetail deer always be in sight, Dad.

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