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Joseph “Joe” Kaptur, age 94, passed away on January 29, 2024, surrounded by his loving wife and children. He was born on April 9, 1929, to the late Joseph and Mildred Kaptur. After losing both his parents at an early age, he was raised by his aunt and uncle, the late Phyllis and Thomas Kaszuba. He graduated from St. Casimir Catholic Grade School and Hammond High School and attended Purdue University Calumet.
Joe carried a deep love for his country and was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in France and Germany from 1951 to 1954. He also was an active member of American Legion Post 369 throughout his life and relished picnics, parades, and activities at the Legion.
Joe met the love of his life, Isabelle “Izzy” Kulasa, and they were married for 67 years. Together, they were blessed with 6 children. Family was the cornerstone of Joe’s life. He was a devoted father and instilled upon his children the value of hard work and commitment. He gave generously of his time to many organizations at Our Lady of Grace Church and School. He was a regular usher and involved in the Holy Name Society as well as being active in Cub Scouts and the Home and School Association. Joe treasured opportunities to gather his family together and was always the photographer at family events. He was incredibly proud of his children and loved watching them start families of their own. Joe never stopped taking care of his family, whether it was babysitting duties or any home project.
His work career spanned more than 40 years. He started as a lab technician at the Whiting Refinery of Standard Oil. He subsequently worked in various positions for Cargill (formerly American Maize Products) where he was very involved in the management club, golf club and company picnic planning committees. He retired from Cargill in 1993. Following retirement, Joe enjoyed traveling the country with Izzy and playing nearly daily golf rounds with his brother and their Wicker Park foursome, rain, snow or shine.
He is survived by his wife Izzy; his children, Jim (Sue) Kaptur, Paulette (Doug) Pauley, Larry Kaptur, Judy (Keith) Hendryx, Don (Jaci) Kaptur and Renee (Mark) Rotatori; his grandchildren Brad and Morgan Kaptur, Erika (Alex) Mendez, Rachel Pauley, Liana and Alex Kaptur-Guzman, Brandon (Aisha) Hendryx, Nicholas Hendryx, Mark (Kelsee) Hendryx, Lauren (Justin) Hnatio, Brittany (Mike) Phalen, Matthew (Nicole) Hendryx, Dustin (Courtney) Kaptur, Tim and Chris Kaptur, and JP, Thomas and Kellen Rotatori; 8 great grandchildren; and his brother Henry (Nila) Kaptur.
Visitation will take place at Fagan Miller Funeral Home Highland from 4:00pm to 8:00pm on Friday, February 2, 2024 and a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30am on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at Our Lady of Grace in Highland. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Our Lady of Grace School or Wounded Warriors Project in memory of Joe Kaptur.