Josefina Garces Kapral
Josefina (Pepita) Mercedes Garces-Kapral (91 years) passed away peacefully surrounded by family on February 7, 2023 at The Atrium of Aurora. Devoted wife of 20 years to Michael P. Kapral. She is also survived by her daughters: Connie Perney (Thomas), Catherine Gehrke (Frederick), Carmen Gobble (Thomas), and Carol Donohue (Robert); 13 grandchildren: Nicole Burrowbridge (Michael), Aaron Gobble (Dana), Jayson Gobble, Joseph Gobble, Alexis Perney, Nicholas Gehrke, Andrea Perney, Chloe Gobble, Christopher Gehrke, Aricka Perney, Julia Gehrke, Ana Donohue and Elisa Donohue; and siblings: Carmen Del Aguila Cabrejos de Zumaeta and Jorge del Aguila; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 32 years Cesar A. Garces (d. 1991), her precious granddaughter Olivia Hope Donohue (d. 2013) and siblings Manuel del Aguila (d. 1996) and Nora del Aguila (d. 2020). Josefina was born November 13, 1931 in Iquitos, Peru to Nemecio and Carmen del Aguila. As a child and young adult she was especially close to her older brother Manuel and many first cousins. She also strived to be a good role model to her two younger sisters Nora and Carmen and youngest brother Jorge. The family eventually moved to Lima, Peru where she worked at a bank and enjoyed dancing and playing piano for friends and family earning the nickname Pepita for her lively and fun-loving personality. She married Cesar Garces in 1959 and together they emigrated to the United States and settled in Bedford, Ohio in 1961. She often humorously recalled those early days in the U.S. — before she could read and write english — when she shopped by looking at pictures on labels at the grocery store but once at home would discover a can of tuna was actually cat food. Eventually she became fluent in English and a proud U.S. citizen. Josefina and Cesar had four daughters while living in Bedford. In 1980 they moved to the home they built in Bainbridge Township where they were founding parishioners of Holy Angels Catholic Church and where she lived for 40 years. One of her favorite things to do was host a party and more than once she would return home from a dance at a party center after midnight followed by a caravan of friends — including the band, where she would host the afterparty until dawn. She was the type of person who not only pulled people from their chairs to join a conga line — she led it. An accomplished pianist, she often capped off a party by performing Gerardo Matos Rodriguez’s famous tango anthem La Cumparsita — from memory — to great applause, for her guests. Josefina was an accomplished seamstress. She designed and made many wedding, formal and bridesmaid dresses, prom gowns, first communion dresses and baptism gowns. She was known for deciding to create a new dress for herself the day of a party, working on it all day and adding the finishing touches while walking out the door. She had an extensive collection of fabric and sewing supplies that was all donated after she was unable to sew any longer. A graduate of El Colegio Sagrado Corazon in Iquitos, Peru, she did clerical work and data entry for several companies in the Cleveland area. She was a vocal anti-smoking advocate and worked to ban smoking in her workplaces in the early 1980s — more than 20 years before it became law in Ohio. She left work to care for her husband Cesar full-time while he fought and eventually succumbed to cancer. Josefina was blessed to meet her second husband Michael in 1992 and after a friendship and courtship of 10 years, they married in 2002. Together, they spent their retirement years traveling to the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Las Vegas as well as taking many road trips in their VW Vanagon minibus camper. With her love of shopping at Nordstrom and her extensive collection of high heels, you would never guess how much she enjoyed packing up their gear in the minibus and “roughing it” for a few days. She was glamping before the term had even been coined. She devoted much of her time to caring for her grandchildren and especially loved all babies. She also had incredible culinary skill and taught many traditional Peruvian recipes to her daughters under the condition they not be shared with anyone else. She never wrote recipes down and measured all the ingredients with her heart. If she was invited to an event, she was always asked to make her famous Peruvian Flan. She was always right and never wrong and consistently giving the best advice whether you knew it or not and whether you wanted it or not. She liked things done her way — the right way— and that was that. She wanted only the best for herself and her family and stood up for herself and her loved ones fiercely. She believed if there was music playing, you better be dancing, or she would have something to say about it. She was a force to be reckoned with and will be remembered always and lovingly by those who knew her best. Family will receive friends at Steinbauer Funeral Home, 33375 Bainbridge Rd., Solon on Monday, February 13, 2023 from 4-8 pm. Mass of Christian Burial 10am Tuesday, February 14 at Holy Angels Church, 18205 S. Chillicothe Rd, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023. Interment All Saints Cemetery, Northfield. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Angels Church.