Eugenia M. 'Jeanne' Kappler, nurse-midwife

October 06, 2008|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,liz.kay@baltsun.com

Eugenia M. "Jeanne" Kappler, a nurse-midwife who delivered many babies during nearly four decades in Maryland, died Tuesday of lung cancer at Brakeley Park Care Center in Phillipsburg, N.J. She was 83.

Miss Kappler, a native of Oxford, N.J., was the youngest of seven children. She served in the Army Cadet Nursing Corps from 1943 to 1946 and graduated from St. Francis School of Nursing in Trenton, N.J., in 1946. A decade later, she received a nursing degree from Villanova University.

Miss Kappler also studied to be a certified nurse-midwife at the Johns Hopkins University, graduating in 1958, and earned a master's degree from the University of Maryland in 1959, said her niece, Mary Alice Bockman.

She worked as a labor and delivery nurse at several hospitals, including St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. Miss Kappler later became a nursing educator at Harford Memorial Hospital as well as at the Harford County Health Department, and eventually worked as a consultant to the department.

She loved to travel. After she returned to New Jersey following her retirement in 1997, she went windjamming off the coast of Maine as well as to Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

"I never saw Jeanne in a bad mood," her niece said. "She never got up on the wrong side of the bed."

Miss Kappler was a member of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Oxford, where she often attended daily Mass.

She enjoyed reading, especially murder mysteries, and was an active member of the Oxford Red Hat Ladies, the Oxford Young at Heart Club and the Washington Senior Social Club.

"Nobody would realize how old she was because she didn't act it and didn't look it," her niece said.

She drove a lavender Toyota Celica convertible with roses painted on the doors and a rebus puzzle on the trunk - an apple between the letters "K" and "R" - to signify her last name.

Being well-groomed was important to her as well. Miss Kappler was always buying wristwatches, eventually owning more than 100, and her watch always matched her outfit.

"She wasn't a fancy dresser, but she always looked just right," her niece said.

Miss Kappler, a Maryland football fan, also collected turtles because of her love for the Terrapins.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Rose of Lima at 10 a.m. today.

She is survived by 24 nieces and nephews, as well as more than 100 relatives in the second and third generations.

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