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George M. Kandels, age 94, of St. Paul passed away peacefully on June 4, 2020.
Memorial Mass will be at St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Cottage Grove, MN and Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
George was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.
George was born at home in Avon, Minnesota, delivered by his maternal grandmother. They lived on a farm with no electricity or indoor plumbing. They plowed with horses. They lost this farm during the Great Depression.
When George was 12 years old, he and his dad survived getting hit by a train in their Model T. George flew through the chicken wire roof and landed many yards away in a field. The conductor stopped the train and drove George and his dad to the nearest hospital, where George was hospitalized for a week with a concussion. His dad was not injured. Soo Line paid their hospital bill and replaced their car. It was a handshake deal.
George was a self-taught man, after being forced to leave school after 8th grade to help on the farm in Holdingford, MN, while his father worked in St. Paul during the week to make ends meet. At the time, he thought it was great getting out of school, but not graduating from high school becamse one of his biggest regrets. He loved farm like and often spoke of how, even though nobody had much money, the neighbors all looked out for each other and helped each other with whatever they needed. He was the jack of all trades, acquiring skills as an electrician, plumber, auto-mechanic, and carpenter. He could fix anything. After he retired, he took up wood working.
George served in the U.S. Navy during World War II from May 1944 until May 1946. He shared the story of when his ship was lost at sea in a typhoon and they were all presumed dead, only to reappear in Australia. His family received a letter from the Navy saying he was dead. They were shocked to find out he was alive.
George met Florence at Brown & Bigelow, where they both worked. They were married for 60 years when Florence passed away. George never stopped missing her.
George retired from Firestone after 32 years. Retirement didn’t come easy, and he kept busy working at various part-time jobs.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years, Florence; siblings, Barbara, Aggie, Alois, Donald and Joseph.
George is survived by his children, John (Vicki), Jim (Mary), Jean (Larry) Capecchi, Joyce(Dave) Beatty; grandchildren, Andrew (September), Sheila (Joseph) Goetzke, Christopher Capecchi, Matthew (Aubrey) Capecchi, Gina (Hunter) Julien, Amber (Jeremy) Cornell, Jessica (Kyle) Schultz, Christine (Eric) Korlin, Derek Beatty and Dylan Beatty; 14 great-grandchildren; sisters, Theresa Houdyshell and Mary Lou Oman.
Special thanks to the caregivers at White Pine Assisted Living – Cottage Grove, Olive Grove Hospice, Good Samaritan Society – Inver Grove Heights, and Ecumen Hospice for their attentive care.
To protect the health and safety of all, services are currently being limited as required by state and local authorities and the CDC. Expressions of sympathy during this time can be left on the condolences page available on the obituary portion on our website. We also encourage you to view the video tribute or complete the HeartStrings online sympathy page with the link below. Check the funeral home website for the latest COVID-19 update or changes to the service schedule.
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