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Obituary Stories

Hard work, love of family drove Korean War vet

Jacob Tierney
| Monday, May 21, 2018, 4:51 p.m.

Joseph Kapura's life was characterized by hard work, even when there was no work to be had.

“When he first came out of the service, there was no work around. He'd go door-to-door from United to Greensburg, offering to cut grass for 50 cents,” said his son, Joseph Kapura Jr.

Later, when he was employed at Elliot Co. in Jeannette, the workers went on strike. He traveled to Cleveland to find a job to support his family until the strike ended.

Even in his free time, and after his retirement, he wasn't one to sit around the house.

“He was always trying to find ways to make our house nicer,” his son said. “That was one of the ways he showed the love for his family.”

Joseph M. Kapura, 85, of Greensburg died Friday, May 18, 2018.

He was born Jan. 17, 1933, in Mutual, to the late Joseph and Mary (Lesko) Kapura.

His father died young, and Mr. Kapura helped raise his three sisters.

He bought his sister, Dolores Ulishney, her first bicycle and walked her down the aisle at her wedding.

As a young man, he owned spiffy cars and cared for them meticulously.

“All the girls who lived in United still remember that pink and black Crown Victoria,” his sister said.

He was drafted into the Army during the Korean War.

“I remember when he was going back to the service I tried to get in his duffel bag to go back with him,” his sister said.

He met his wife, Alice, after returning from the military and proposed by giving her an orchid with the engagement ring hidden inside.

He enjoyed spending time working in his garden, often chatting and swapping tips with his neighbor, Jim Fetsko.

“I'm really going to miss him. We just had a good time, every time we were outside,” Fetsko said.

After he retired, Mr. Kapura visited Slovakia several times, meeting cousins he'd never seen. His grandparents immigrated from Slovakia to the United States, but Mr. Kapura didn't visit his mother country until he was older.

“These customs and these traditions that he grew up with, it put them all into context,” his son said.

He is survived by his wife, Alice Kapura; children Karen Davis of Greensburg, Mary Biagini of Greensburg, Jacqueline Samek of Jeannette, and Joseph Kapura of Mammoth; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

Armbrust veterans will gather at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Jay A. Hoffer Funeral Home, Norvelt, followed at 9:15 a.m. by prayers of transfer.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Florian Church in United.

Burial will be in the parish cemetery immediately following the Liturgy.

Military rites will be accorded by the veterans following interment.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, jtierney@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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