Robert "Bob" Cappel
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Robert "Bob" Lewis Cappel, 70, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Tuesday, September 8, 2015, in Hospice care at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, at First United Methodist Church in Yankton with Reverend Ron Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Memorial Park Cemetery in McCook, Nebraska at a later date. A gathering of friends and family will be from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Monday, September 14, 2015, at First United Methodist Church with a prayer service at 7:00 PM. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the memorial service on Tuesday at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.

Honorary pallbearers will be Bob's nieces and nephews: Erik Karre, Leah Van Amberg, Abby Olson, Rich Cappel, Sean Cappel, Sara Langan, April Kendall, Tyler Cappel, Amanda Cappel, and Olivia Cappel.

Robert Lewis Cappel was born June 26, 1945, in Denver, Colorado. Bob was the son of Robert and Julia Cappel of McCook, Nebraska. Growing up in McCook, he excelled in high school and college baseball and developed a deep admiration and lifelong love of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Go Big Red! He graduated from McCook High School in 1964 and Peru State College in 1969. Bob began a lengthy career with the YMCA working in Lincoln, Nebraska, and St. Lewis, Missouri. After making his home in Texas, he became the assistant executive director of the Longview YMCA and later the executive director of the YMCA in both Orange and Big Spring, Texas. In 1992, Bob was appointed the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce in Lexington, Nebraska. He later moved to Yankton, South Dakota, where he served as executive director of the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce until his retirement in 2010. He married Carolyn (Chafee) Pawlitschek on May 22, 1999 in Yankton, South Dakota.

Bob followed his heart's calling and entered the ministry becoming the Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Yankton. Only God knows the number of lives that were touched and changed because Bob emulated the love of Jesus Christ. Bob's firm handshakes and hugs were a reaffirmation of his love. Bob knew no strangers. He deeply loved and cared for all humanity. Bob received many awards and numerous special recognitions during his lifetime, but he was most proud of his children and grandchildren.

Mr. Cappel was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Julia Cappel. Survivors include his wife, Carolyn Cappel of Yankton; daughters Angela Cappel and Carrie Cappel of Fort Worth, TX, and Meredith Cappel of New York, NY; son and daughter-in-law Aaron and Stephanie Cappel of Wylie, TX; stepchildren Nathan and Stacy Dahms of Melbourne, FL, and Katelyn "Kels" Pawlitschek of Winnebago, MN; sisters LaDonna (Tom) Karre and Christine (Dirk) Cappel; brothers Rich (Deb) Cappel and Charles (Jan) Cappel; grandchildren Brooke, Kellan, and Camden Cappel and Brandon Stevermer as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to First United Methodist Church, 207 W. 11th Street Yankton, SD 57078 to further Bob's favorite ministries and missions.

Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

The McCook High School class of 1964 send our condolances and prayers to the Cappel family. Our memories are many and they are cherished! Thank you Bob!


Dear Carolyn and Family, it is because of Bob that I found my way back to Christ. I am going to miss Pastor Bob deeply. He was always there in the time of need for my family. He will leave an empty spot in my heart. May you all Be Blessed.

Sherry Daugherty

Carolyn, know you and your family are in my prayers. I will remember so fondly the kindness of Bob, and you, over the years. I thought it was so cool the "chamber guy" went into preaching and ministry. Take care, and may Bob soar with the angels -

Andy Henrickson

Sorry to hear of one of my friends of a very long time. I met Bob when they lived near the train overpass and his father was the paper distributor. I had my route in town but had to deliver out on Ravenswood road one a week . I too will miss him and my best to all of his family.

Kenneth Mizell


We'll miss your smile and your sense of Grace you shared with everyone so freely. Blessings to Carolyn and family during this time.

Rev. Rick Pittenger, Pastor 1st United Methodist Vermillion, SD

My deepest sympathy to the entire Cappel family. I truly enjoyed visiting with Bob during my time living in Yankton, and I will forever cherish our visits and his calls in to KYNT when I worked weekend mornings. What a kind, caring, and genuine soul. Peace be with you my friend.

Matt Fischer

Carolyn, I have many fond memories of working with Bob and feel very fortunate that I was able to see him this past weekend. I will affectionately remember Bob for his generosity, positive attitude, and irresistible likeability. I especially enjoyed talking sports with Bob, however, as hard as I tried, I was unable to convert him into a Notre Dame fan; he was and always will be a true Husker fan. Carolyn, Marie and I will keep you in our thoughts and pray that God will grant you and your family comfort. Thanks for everything Bob!

Brian Steward

Dear Cappel Family -

I truly enjoyed working with Bob at the Yankton Chamber of Commerce. I looked to him for guidance as I began my Chamber career. He was always there to offer a huge amount of support or to be a cheerleader when I needed him to be. The only thing Bob and I didn't see eye to eye on was baseball. I am a die hard Red Sox fan and Bob being the ever loyal NY Yankee fan. We had many great conversations about baseball history in the office. May you cherish your memories of Bob and his big smile during this difficult time.

Lisa Scheve

Dear Cappel Family. I am so sorry to hear of Bob's passing. I was fortunate to know him as a fellow board member on the United Way Board, and I will remember Bob for his selfless care and concern for his fellow man. After reading his obituary I realized that his entire professional career had to do with serving others in one form or another, and I'm sure that his private life was characterized by a similar attitude and heart for service. I appreciate all that he did to make the community of Yankton a better place for all of us to live, and my heart and prayers are with you at this very difficult time.

Lindsay Hovden

Dear Carolyn and family: I knew Bob as an administrator, a gentleman, family man, dedicated Christian, co-worker, and friend. He loved his Lord, life, and people. It was a privilege to be a part of his life. His example of genuine love will be remembered by many. When Jesus took Bob's hand and walked him into heaven he said, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Jeanette Stark, Vista, California

I have known Bob for it seems like forever he was like a member of my family. I will never forget the way he smiled or the way that he made u smile if u where having a bad day. He will be missed by all.

anita langeland

Cappel family,

May you keep your memories of Bob in your heart forever. Sending strength and courage to the many grieving family and friends that Bob touched.

Jason and Brittany Benning

Bob was a class guy. i worked with him some (as a reporter for the observer weekly of yankton) when he was at yankton chamber of commerce. also, when at the methodist church. he seemed, to me, maybe, that he was doing some of his most important work at the church. not that the other was unimportant. but working with people spiritually was a "higher calling." he did it well, from what i heard. just as he did his chamber work. a class guy no matter the setting . . .

dan merritt

To the family of Mr. Cappel - especially Carrie & Meredith,

We love you so much and are keeping you close to our hearts during this time. I know you two were treasured daughters of your daddy and you will miss him dearly.

Love, Michael Anne, Price, Parks & Cannon Pritchard

I am so sorry for what you and family are going through just know he`s looking down on you now and knowing that you will be ok. He knows you have a heavenly Father watching over you. Love you.

Mary Uhrich

Carolyn and Family,

We are so sorry to hear about Bob passing away. Bob was very special Casey and I am glad that Casey had Bob in his life. We will continue to keep you and the rest of your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Terry, Dava and Casey Mier

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