May 28, 1926 - July 7, 2020
The funeral service for Doug Kapphahn of Bertha will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday July 17, at the New Life Church of God in Bertha, with Pastor Dave Seaton of the Faith United Church of Christ presiding. Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. and will resume on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service. Doug, age 94, passed away on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at the Central Todd County Care Center in Clarissa, MN. Douglas Eugene Kapphahn was born May 28th, 1926 in Hudson Township, Douglas County, Minnesota to Francis and Maude (Meyers) Kapphahn. In 1940, at the age of 14, Doug’s family moved from the Alexandria area to the farm West of Bertha. After graduating from high school in 1944, Doug enlisted in the army and was stationed in Japan and the Philippines. Following his honorable discharge in 1946, Doug married Kathryn Marie Franklin at the Church of God in Bertha on June 5, 1947. Together they farmed and raised their family: Gene was born in 1950, Vicki in 1952, and Candy in 1956. Doug worked at the Bertha Creamery driving milk truck for years while also farming. He eventually worked road construction and was a scraper operator. He took great pride in building roads throughout Minnesota. In July 1979, he and Kathryn purchased the Bertha Cafe and renamed it Kapp’s Kafe. Kathryn held down the fort until Doug retired from road construction a few months later. Kapp’s was popular with the school kids, especially after practice or between ball games. There were many burgers fries, and malts prepared. No kid ever went without as there was always an extra plate made by mistake and given away to a kid who did not have the money. Doug was very generous. There were many free candy bars tossed to the customers or handed to the kids as they went out the door. After serving the Bertha community for 28 years, Doug and Kathryn retired from Kapp’s in 2007 at the ages of 79 and 81. After leaving the cafe, he had more time to spend on one of his favorite hobbies, woodworking. He spent many hours out in his shop with his scroll saw, whittling out hundreds of nameplates and his specialty wooden crosses. He gave everything he ever made away, never expecting pay. Doug donated many of the crosses he made to families who had lost a loved one or to the Funeral Home to be given to a family as a keepsake. Doug loved the outdoors. He talked many times of how he, as a kid, would ski every day 5 miles to school and back home. He loved to fish and one of his favorite things to do was to float the Wing River fishing for Northerns. The old river-bottom hill, where he lived, was a great place for the local kids to spend Sunday afternoon sliding in the winter, after which his mom would treat everyone to hot chocolate and fresh bread. The roller-skating rink in Bertha was a popular spot on Friday nights for young and old alike and he was an avid skater. He spent much time hunting and enjoyed deer hunting, bird hunting, and just being out in nature. Doug was a lefty and was gifted with beautiful handwriting. He liked to draw pictures and shared his talent with his family. Music was also always important to him. If you happened to walk past his shop during the day you would hear his radio playing. He preferred old time music and the waltz was a favorite. He never quite got the hang of the polka though, although he tried to learn. At the age of 65, with no musical experience, he began taking concertina lessons from George Servatius of Melrose, and learned to play for his own enjoyment. He was always willing to share a song he had learned with his kids or grandkids. Doug enjoyed riding his 4-wheeler up the railroad tracks with his dogs Sparky and Purdy checking on the many birdhouses he had made and nailed to the trees up and down the tracks. Doug loved his family. If any of his kids or grandkids needed anything and he if he could, he was there and always willing to help out. One thing he always told us as we left either Kapp’s Kafe or their house, “drive careful and call when you get home”. He was a good grandpa and his grandkids have lots of good memories and funny stories about time spent with “Grandpa Bertha”, AKA “Grandpa French Fry”. Doug loved animals probably to a fault. He had a special place in his heart for those that were homeless or hungry. At the Rainbow Bridge, there will be many little souls waiting to greet him. Doug enjoyed his life. He was a very social person who loved to visit with people about anything and everything. He was a selfless man, more giving to others than himself. He felt what he had in life was enough. Throughout his life he made many friends and enjoyed life to the fullest. Doug was immensely proud of his military service. He was a member of the William Larson Post #366 of Bertha for over 70 years and a long-time member of the Wadena VFW. He and Kathryn were members of the Bertha Church of God and Faith United Church of Christ in Bertha. He became a resident of Central Todd County Care Center in Clarissa in the fall of 2017 and resided there until his death. His passing has left a huge void in the lives of the people who knew and loved him, but we know he and Kathryn are together again and probably dancing to their favorite, The Saturday Night Waltz. Preceding Doug in death were his wife Kathryn on November 30, 2017; parents Francis and Maude; son-in-law, Rick Hansen; great-grandson, Cooper; and in-laws Charles and Grace Franklin. He is survived by his children Gene (Sandy) Kapphahn of Hewitt, Vicki (Wayne) Hansen of Browerville, and Candy (Jim Blake) Hennagir of New York Mills; 9 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandsons; and brother Darrel (Betty) of Eagle Bend. Serving as pallbearers will be all of Doug’s grandchildren Burial will be held at a later date in Woodside Cemetery, Wrightstown, MN. Military honors provided by the William Larson American Legion Post #366 of Bertha and Minnesota Army Guard Honor Guard (MNAGHG).
The funeral service for Doug Kapphahn of Bertha will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday July 17, at the New Life Church of God in Bertha, with Pastor Dave Seaton of the Faith United Church of Christ presiding. Visitation will be held at the church... View Obituary & Service Information
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