Mary Louise Kaping

Mary Louise Kaping on her wedding day.

Mary Louise Kaping, who worked as a nurse, also took care of her family — an aging mother and, late in life, an ailing husband. She died on April 23, 2016. She was 86.

“Mary was comforted with love and care as she passed away at home in Talent, Oregon after a long battle with cancer [Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia],” her family wrote in a tribute. “She led a vibrant and energetic life.”

She was born on Oct. 27, 1929 in Albany, to Clarence Joseph and Mildred Vanderbilt Fisher.  Independent, she started working while she was still in high school.

On April 5, 1952, she married the love of her life, Edward Walter Kaping.  They settled in Santa Cruz, California, raising their four children.  They attended Star of the Sea Church.  Mr. Kaping worked roofing with his brother Bill and later bought “Dan Murphy roofing.”

“Dad got called ‘Dan’ a lot then and we did get used to it!” her family wrote. “Mom worked hard and ran a well-organized household.  There were lots of picnics, barbecues, and camping trips.  She was there for us when we needed her, stood up for what she believed in, and resented oppression. She was a dedicated friend and second mother to many. She was not a shrinking violet.”

Mrs. Kaping took classes at Cabrillo College, obtaining her Licensed Vocational Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse nursing license in 1967.  She worked as a nurse at Community Hospital, and cared for her family, for her aging mother, and finally for her ailing husband.

“In 1981, Mary and Ed contracted traveling fever,” her family wrote.  They sold their house and bought a fifth wheel, traveling around the country (and parts of Canada and Mexico) more than 10 times, touring, visiting, and lending a hand to family and friends while making many new friends.

Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” was played on board to launch their new adventures.  In 1988, Ed and Mary took their dream road trip, spending six months touring all around the Australian continent in a Toyota camper van.  They adored the country, scenery, wildlife, and especially the people.

“Mom kept a detailed journal and gave us copies,” her family wrote. “Reading it is like taking a trip with them.  She was a writer, an artist, a designer, and an excellent cook.  She made clothing and invented wonders on her sewing machine, painted watercolors, worked many stitch-crafts, and could kick your butt at pinochle.”


Mary Louise (née Fisher) Kaping is survived by her Aunt Marguerite Vanderbilt Mason; cousin Linda Moats; brother Joe Fisher and family; children Tim Kaping and his wife, Sue, Mike Kaping and his wife, Nina, Valerie Dean, and Nancy Stokes and her husband, Joe; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; goddaughter Elaine Bryson and her husband, Mel; and countless friends near and far.

“Our regards to her neighbors, caregivers, and the women’s pinochle club,” her family wrote. “Our deepest appreciation to Cheryl, Jim, and all you wonderful people who supported her passing. We’d fill many pages naming you all.  Thank you for sharing Mom’s life with us.

“Until we meet again, farewell. Ed and Mary are ‘On the Road Again.’”

Please contact the family for arrangement information.

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