Remembering Mary Kapper

Some people are more than they appear . . . .

About 10 years ago I meet a woman at church. Her name was Mary Kapper.  She was small, demure, and looked like a really nice old Grandma.  But when we started talking, my opinion changed quickly.  Looks can be deceiving.  She was a powerhouse, opinionated, feisty, and not afraid to put in time volunteering for a cause she believed in.  (And there were many). She had such a peaceful ease about her - between that and her social activism I immediately liked her and we became friends. We weren't the kind of hang out and talk on the phone friends, but we were "glad to see you" kind of friends.  She was a mentor and a role model for me.

On November 25th she died at 86 years old.  It was so sad to get the news.  I went on line to read her obituary and I read an amazing story.  I knew she was something special, but I didn't know the half of it.

Mary earned a degree in English Literature in 1947 from St. Joseph's College.  She got married and raised 10 children!  In the 60's she worked for civil rights causes and women's issues.  She helped establish the Akron Women Against Rape in 1974.  In 1978 she earned her Master's Degree in Social Work from Case Western University and became a dialysis social worker.  Then in 1988 she moved to California and received her Master's Degree in Divinity from Starr King School for Ministry.  She became an ordained Unitarian Univeralist Minister in 1989.  She was pastor at a church in Minnesota and then Chaplin for Pathways Hospice in Oakland California.  In her 70's she returned to Akron, Ohio to retire and be closer to family.

That's when I met Mary.  I knew some of her history, but not all.  I knew she had 10 children and she was a retired UU Minister but . . . . who knew!  As I read her story I was overcome with gratitude for having known this amazing woman.  She was a small, unassuming woman who showed her family and all that were lucky enough to know her that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.  She was as real as they come and always ready to speak her truth.

Thanks Mary for being an example of faith in action. As a guide for living a full, meaningful and authentic life.  And teaching us that anything is possible and age is no boundary.

You will be remembered,


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