Thomas Kapral ’74
Thomas Andrew Kapral, loving husband, father, and grandfather passed away on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the age of 68. He passed at his home in Pearland, Texas, in the care of his wife and family.
Thomas was born on January 13, 1953 in Abington, Pennsylvania to Sonia (Vaught) Kapral and Joseph Kapral. He grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, as a dedicated Boy Scout, active musician, and occasional bread thief. He left Pennsylvania to attend Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where he met his chemistry lab partner and the love of his life, Jane Johnson. Besides bothering Jane, he spent his college years slinging breakfast as a short-order cook, spinning records as a radio DJ, and spending time with his Alpha Phi Omega fraternity brothers. He even found time to attend class occasionally and received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Hope in 1974, and married Jane later that year.
Thomas had a long career as a sales executive in scientific instrumentation, traveling the world while living in the Chicago suburb of Libertyville, Illinois, where he and Jane raised their only son, Andrew. Nothing was more important to Tom than taking care of his family. He worked tirelessly to support Jane and Andrew in their academic, professional, and personal pursuits. He was the head, heart, and funny bone of his family.
Thomas loved rock-and-roll, funny movies, science fiction novels, and cooking for his family. A certified pilot and flight instructor, Thomas shared his passion for the history, science, and skills of flight with his many students. He was known for his quick wit, his excellent people skills, and was always ready with a dad joke. He was well loved by many friends across the globe; everyone knew they could always turn to Tom for help or great advice. He adored his family, loved being a Gumpa, and genuinely cared for everyone he met. His loving, empathetic nature and silly sense of humor lives on in his son and granddaughters.
Thomas was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Kapral, and his mother, Sonia (Vaught) Kapral. He is survived by his wife Dr. Jane Kapral, son Andrew Kapral, daughter-in-law Jennifer Stephan Kapral; granddaughters Eleanor and Josephine; siblings Wayne Kapral (Stephanie Kapral), Karen Morrison (James Morrison), and Richard Kapral (Diane Kapral); Uncle Graydon Vaught (Judy Vaught), Aunt Sharon Vaught; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.