June 27, 1929 - June 29, 2020



Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 3, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in St. Joseph for Rudolph “Rudy” A. Gapko, 91, of St. Joseph. Rudy passed away on Monday, June 29, 2020 at Mother of Mercy Care Center in Albany. Reverend Jerome Tupa, OSB will officiate. Burial with military honors will be in the parish cemetery.

Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Joseph.

Rudy was born on June 27, 1929 in Cudahy, Wisconsin to the late Andrew and Stephania (Kondolka) Gapko. After high school, Rudy proudly served in the US Navy on the USS Tolovana during the Korean Conflict. Rudy relocated to Minnesota to attend St. John’s University where he obtained his teaching degree and met his future wife. He married Leona M. Simon on May 29, 1961, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in St. Joseph and they resided all of their married lives in St. Joseph. Rudy was employed as a Junior High Social Studies Teacher in Albany for all of his teaching career. He also coached wrestling for many years and helped with track events. Rudy spent his summers painting homes in the St. Joseph community. Rudy retired from teaching in 1992 and began working with the College of St. Benedict during his retirement years. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Parish, the St. Joseph American Legion Post #328, volunteered at the St. Cloud Hospital, St. Benedict’s Monastery, and with RSVP.

Rudy was an avid golfer, spending 30 + years golfing the Albany golf course with friends. He also enjoyed biking with Leona around St. Joseph (putting hundreds of miles on each summer and riding until he was 89). Rudy spent many hours in his flower and vegetable gardens and was known for sharing his produce. He loved to go fishing and enjoyed fishing with his grandsons and family.

He is survived by his daughter, Lisa (Jason) Barker of Richmond; grandsons, Jordan and Jake; sisters-in-law, Marlene Kucej and Judy Kucej; and many nieces, nephews, and relatives.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Leona in 2014; son, Brian in 2017; and siblings, Mary Gapko, Andy Gapko, John Gapko, Stephanie Heinz, Frank Kucej, David Kucej and Paul Kucej.

A heartfelt thank you to the staff of the St. Cloud Hospital, St. Benedict’s Center, Mother of Mercy Campus and CentraCare Hospice for their compassionate care.