Friday, April 1, 2011

Dr. William Kannapel - Danville

Dr. William Loren Kannapel

DANVILLE — Dr. William Loren Kannapel, 97, of Danville, passed away on March 21, 2011, at his home.

He was born on June 13, 1913, in Louisville, Ky., to Dr. Amzi Peter Kannapel and Grace (Yeager) Kannapel.

He married Betty Louise Fox on May 25, 1946, in Peoria. They met at an Epsilon Phi Alpha Honorary Science Fraternity Alumni dinner.

Bill is survived by his wife, Betty; and two daughters, Susan K. Misner of Indiana; and Jo Anne K. de la Vega, and husband, Dr. Raul S. de la Vega, of North Carolina. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Rachel Misner of Georgia, Karen Misner of Indiana, and Stephen, Richard and Sarah de la Vega of North Carolina; one sister-in-law, Betty Fox; and three nephews from Ohio.

His parents; brother, Dr. Lowell E. Kannapel; and sister, Alma I. Kannapel, preceded Bill in death.

We wish to express our deep and abiding gratitude to the wonderful, loyal and loving caregivers who have made it possible for him to stay at home for the past three-plus years and have become part of our family: Janet Wright, Christa Cunningham, Karon Rose, Judy Berglund, Brittany Shank and Amanda Geren.

Bill graduated from Peoria High School, earned his bachelor of science from Bradley University in Peoria, his M.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago and did a cardiology fellowship at New York Post-Graduate Medical School.

He served the country he loved in World War II from February 1943 to July 1946, as a captain in the Army Medical Corps. He was stationed in the South Pacific for three years, predominantly in Australia and New Guinea.

When he arrived home, he continued to serve those who gave much for this country as chief of medicine at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Dwight from 1946 to 1965, when it closed. He was transferred to the VA hospital in Danville where he remained chief of medicine until 1970, when he was elevated to chief of staff. He retired in 1986. During his tenure at the VA, Bill was instrumental in starting the University of Illinois, Champaign, medical campus.

Always a believer in civic duty and being a good steward on earth, he served as president of the Dwight School Board, member of the Masonic Lodge, member and past president of the Lions Club, founding member and past president of the Outdoor Heritage Foundation, Vermilion County Medical Society, past president and longtime board member of the Audubon Society, member and 2006 volunteer of the year of the Vermilion County Conservation District and member of the Danville Elks Lodge.

His hobbies included bird watching, gardening, wild flowers, photography, wood working, reading, travel and spending time with and telling stories to family and friends.

A celebration of Dr. William Kannapel’s life will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at First Presbyterian Church in Danville, with Revs. Drs. Jimmy and Katie Hooper officiating. Visitation will follow the funeral at the church. Military burial will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, April 4, at the Danville National Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Illinois Audubon Society, Middle Fork Chapter, Blue Bird Boxes — Dr. and Mrs. Kannapel Fund, P.O. Box 2547, Springfield, IL.

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