RAPID CITY | Ronald Ray Kappelman, 71, went to be with the Lord on Friday May 10, 2019.
Ron was born on February 26, 1948, the first-born and only son of George and Vernice (Schlaht) Kappelman. He graduated from Winner High School in 1966 after playing football and track for four years, as well as starring in the junior and senior class plays. He was appointed to West Point, where he played football.
Ron left West Point after one year and moved to Vermillion to attend the University of South Dakota. He first earned a degree in history followed by his Juris Doctorate in 1975. He took time off between undergraduate and law school to work in Alaska as a firefighter and surveyor. Alaska forever held a special place in Ron’s heart.
Ron married the love of his life, Janice Boen, on April 5, 1975, in Colton, SD. He began his career as a law clerk for the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in Rapid City, followed by the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office.
For the past 40 years, Ron was a trial attorney, practicing most recently at Banks, Kappelman, and Strommen until the time of his death. A highlight of Ron’s career was having his case argued before the United States Supreme Court in 2014.
Family meant everything to Ron. He adored his six grandchildren and they adored their “Baba, “ including frequent FaceTime sessions. He coached midget football for eight years and was proud that his teams went undefeated in his last three consecutive seasons.
Ron was a constant figure at his sons’ sporting events, where you could always hear his deep voice bellowing from the bleachers. Additionally, Ron was an avid tennis, Post 22, and Yankee fan. Ron officiated multiple weddings including two of his sons, as well as a nephew and brother-in-law. He was known in the family as Reverend or Rabbi Ron.
Ron was a devout Christian and was actively involved at Trinity Lutheran Church. He served on the Trinity Foundation, sang in the choir, served communion and was a lector.
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Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Janice; a son, Barry, his partner Brittney and grandchildren Bianka and Brixtin, Los Angeles, CA; a son Alexander, his wife Sarah and grandchildren Esther and George, Portland, ME; a son, Mark, his wife Kimberly and grandchildren Grayson and Wesley, Chicago, IL; two sisters, JoAnn Borst and daughter Emily, Dallas, TX and Caryl (Bob) Hesslink, Verona, WI, and many Boen in-laws, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Ray Borst.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, May 14, from 5-7 p.m. at Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be on Wednesday, May 15 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rapid City with a lunch to follow.
Burial will be in Mt. View Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church Radio Broadcast, VFW or Christian Life Ministries.
Because Ron loved the color red, the family encourages you to wear red to the visitation or funeral.
Friends may leave condolence wishes in his online guestbook at osheimschmidt.com.