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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Craig Kapp, RIP

Craig Kapp, RIP

Last week I lost a good friend to mesothelioma, a deadly cancer for which there is no known cure and that kills rapidly.  My friend and colleague went for a six mile run last August and afterwards coughed a few times.  He decided to see a doctor about it and within a very short time the doctors determined that he had mesothelioma, even though he had never knowingly been exposed to asbestos. 

Craig, a very strong and healthy man, put up a valiant fight, even receiving some very advanced medical treatment, but he lost his battle with this awful cancer last week.  He leaves behind a wonderful family – his wife, Susan, his son, Noah (fiancée – Tiffany), his daughter, Taylor, and his granddaughter, MacLean.

Craig joined our company about three years ago and he not only brought great talent and abilities, but also great enthusiasm and determination.  Craig was extremely creative.  His talent enriched our organization and was of great benefit to the clients he served, as well as to all of us.  He was innovative and successfully tried new approaches that inspired others on our team, as well as benefitted our clients.  Craig had the best success record in the agency for creating and mailing high performance fund appeals.

But as good as Craig’s talents were, that was not the measure of this man.  If I would praise Craig for some successful innovation or for doing some other thing that worked well, he had a simple response, “If it’s good it’s God; if it’s crap it’s Kapp.”  The first time I heard that it took me aback, but the more I thought about it, I saw the Godly wisdom behind those words.  

What Craig was saying to me and to all who heard it (and he repeated it daily) was that all his talents and abilities and drive and inspiration originated with God.  He was saying that “Every good and perfect gift comes from God above.”  (James 1:17)  That was Craig Kapp.

He unhesitatingly gave all glory to God for everything good he accomplished.  He was a humble servant of his Savior, Jesus.  He carried his Bible with him whenever he traveled and did so not only to read it, but also to witness his faith in his Lord.  He lived his faith.  He shared it unashamedly with anyone who had open ears to listen.

I had the privilege of participating in a Bible study of the book of Philippians with Craig.  His contributions to the study were often blunt but always insightful.  Some were put off by his blunt, straightforward approach to life, but unvarnished candor was simply his way.  What you saw with Craig was what you got. 

Of course, Craig was just like you and me – an imperfect sinner – but he strove mightily to serve the Lord.  I will miss him greatly.  He was one of those people that God brings into our lives who inspires us and who affects our outlook on life forever.  He would tell you that he was saved by the Grace of God.

My friend, Craig, was a proud American.  He served his country in the military and kept on serving it by supporting and working for groups that believed in traditional American values.  He revered our forefathers, believed in limited government, and sought to preserve individual freedom for his children and grandchildren.

Craig, of course, loved his family dearly.  When he spoke of his wife or his children his voice took on a special tone of love, care, pride and protection.  He talked of his wife and children with a smile on his face and a special glow in his eyes.  I know they find his loss immense and my prayers are with them.
The world was a better place because Craig Kapp was in it.  He was a friend, a colleague, a believer and a patriot.  He will be missed.

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