Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

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Base654
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Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by Base654 »

I don't have much info, I picked this up from Facebook. It seems that Capt. Don has passed away after a month in the hospital.

http://www.keweenawreport.com/obits/obi ... d-kilpela/
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Re: Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by Midwest Ed »

Very sad news. My condolences, thoughts and prayers for Don's family.
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Re: Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by TopCarrot »

In all my trips on the queen Don was never the captain. But I called up one time right before a trip just to verify my tickets and the weather for the next day. He answered and said the computer was being too fussy to check reservations instead gave me the capt Don guarantee. “If they give any trouble, you tell em Captian Don says you are getting on da Bote.”
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Re: Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by treeplanter »

I haven't used the Queen in years, but do recall talking to him briefly sometime back in the 90's. Sad news. Condolences to the family.
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Re: Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by dcclark »

Sad to hear about Don's passing. This must have been quite a difficult year for the family.

I met Captain Don on my very first trip to the island. He did *everything*... When I drove in to the Queen's parking lot, some guy took my info and very vigorously told me where and how to park. The same guy helped load everyone's packs up top. Then there he was again, standing at the door of the Queen, introducing his crew! That crossing was also the smoothest, easiest boat ride I've ever had on Lake Superior.
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Re: Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by Midwest Ed »

I thought maybe these two Queen history articles written by Captain Don's father, #1 and #2 , dating back to before the origins of the first Isle Royale Queen might be part of a memorial and tribute.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013
Midwest Ed
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Re: Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by Midwest Ed »

Captain Don's full obituary is now posted online.

He and I used to chat during all my Queen trips as he enjoyed doing so with many passengers. I knew from these discussions that we both had lived in Livonia, Michigan but only now, after reading the full obit, (and doing some research) have I discovered that we attended high school together. Capt. Don was a year ahead of me and Capt. Ben was a year behind. As they say, it's a small world but it also indicates we need to pay better attention to life, else we risk it passing us by.

I'm hoping others here will have a favorite Captain Don (or Queen) story to share.

Rest In Peace, Captain Don.
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Re: Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by treeplanter »

Midwest Ed wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:04 pm....I'm hoping others here will have a favorite Captain Don (or Queen) story to share.

Rest In Peace, Captain Don.
My story dates back to the early 90's. I have a Klepper folding kayak which, when disassembled, is carried in two bags, one golf-bag sized bag for the frame, and a duffel-bag for the hull. As I was loading my Klepper, he glanced at the golf-bag sized bag and asked me where on the Island I'd be playing golf? Actually he was aware of folding kayaks, having transported many on the Queen, and i think this was his standard "fun folding kayak" question. Whatever, we both laughed.
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Re: Capt. Don Kilpela (Isle Royale Queen IV) has passed away

Post by hooky »

So sorry to hear this. 66 is still so young. RIP Captain Don.
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