The Rev. Charles Augustus Kapps, Ph.D., of Brecknock Twp., Berks County, quietly passed away Sunday morning, February 10, 2013. He was at home surrounded by his family.
Born in New York, NY to Charlotte and Charles Albert Kapps, he was raised by parents dedicated to public service, intellect, and hard work.
Charley graduated from Trinity School in Manhattan, and went on to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. A member of various honor societies including: Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Tau, he held degrees in Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, and Computer and Information Sciences from a time when computers were in their infancy.
He assisted in the development of computer architecture and languages that would shape the future of all computer technology.
While in graduate school, Charles accepted an intern position for Raytheon. He would later come to realize he was calculating re-entry trajectories for the Apollo project. Among the earliest of computer programmers, he had access to NASA and Pentagon computers.
He later served in the Army and was promoted to rank of Captain, during the Vietnam War. Assigned to the Defense Communication Agency, established by President Kennedy, he worked as an advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff developing shared communications protocols for inter-agency communication.
Upon his Army discharge, he returned to Philadelphia to teach at Temple University in what would later become the department of Computer and Information Sciences.
He wrote numerous journal articles and co-authored 5 textbooks on computer architecture, programming, and languages dating back to 1973. He would eventually retire in 2010, and receive the title Professor Emeritus.
A lifelong active church member, Charles eventually answered the call the priesthood. He was ordained as Deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1987, and then as priest the following year.
He held various positions throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, beginning as assistant in his home parish St. Mary's, Hamilton Village. He would later be called to serve All Saints Darby, Grace and the Incarnation, and All Saints Fallsington. In retirement, he served as assistant at St. Thomas, Morgantown.
A man of humility, leaving the laurels to the people around him, he was most likely to be found promoting and supporting the careers of his students and colleagues, and fostering the religious life of his parishioners.
In 1995, he was honored with an invitation to serve on the Committee on Science and the Arts of the Franklin Institute. He served there actively even throughout the last years of his life, promoting other great artistic and scientific contributors. In 2012, he was recognized with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award.
Charley loved a far-off vacation and was a gifted photographer. He will be remembered for his unique sense of humor, his unmatched intellect, and his deep wisdom.
One week shy of his 74th birthday, Charles finally lost a 19 month battle with metastatic cancer and is survived by his wife Marcia of 47 years, their daughters Christianne and Sarah, and one granddaughter, Cassidy.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, February 25th at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 38th Street between Chestnut and Market Streets. There will be a family visitation at 10:00 a.m. and a Requiem Eucharist at 11:00, with lunch to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Episcopal Community Services or The Committee on Science and the Arts of The Franklin Institute. Charles would pray, "Let us be ever mindful of the needs of others."
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Giles & Yeckley Funeral Home and Crematorium, Inc., of Mohnton. To offer the family online condolences, please visit us at www.gilesandyeckley.com.