Marie José Kapoor 1943 – 2016 It was only 19 short years ago that Marie Kapoor was given a terminal diagnosis of ovarian cancer and a life expectancy of six months. Her response was confident and composed, “It is not yet my time.” Daughter of the late Victor Gaule and Julia Plainchamps Gaule, Marie was born on January 31, 1943 in Namur, Belgium. After receiving her master’s degree in business administration, she moved to Germany and accepted a position teaching French at a university. Marie met her future husband Raj Kapoor at a weekly dance hosted by the university, and the two waltzed their way to the altar within a year. The couple married in Belgium with Marie’s closest family present and shortly after moved to Arkansas where Raj pursued a master’s degree in engineering. While in Arkansas, they were blessed by the birth of their twin daughters, Catherine and Sabine. The next three years were spent in Kansas where Raj completed his PhD and finally after years of relocation the young family settled in Granby, Connecticut. The Kapoors cherished 43 wonderful years in Granby and consider it home. Learning English was a challenge for Marie. A brilliant woman who was proficient in many languages, Marie did not feel comfortable with her English upon arrival in the United States and dedicated herself to learning both the spoken language and culture. She spent countless hours watching television and reading books, especially the dictionary. Her mastery of the English language has made her the champion “Apples-to-Apples” player at all holiday events. Marie was eager to reenter the workforce and was hired as an administrator at Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford. In a relatively short period, she had proven herself repeatedly and became a valued asset. Her beautiful smile and French accent complemented her magnetic personality and her natural ability to engage people and resolve conflicts. Marie was promoted to Risk Manager and was routinely called upon to settle disputes and clarify complicated situations when away from the office. After her diagnosis in 1997, Marie began her long journey of treatments and healing while maintaining a very active career. That same year and in 1998 she was deemed a “Super Responder” after successfully completing not one, but two stem cell transplant trials administered by Yale New Haven at Saint Francis Hospital. Marie was determined to survive and endured each day with grace and poise. She set a goal to continue sharing her life with her loved ones, colleagues, and patients. The birth of her first grandchild, Kelly, came in 1998 and motivated her more than any other force imaginable. Marie was an active and engaging Grammy to her three little ones and was always ready for trips to the library, board games, and sing-a-longs. Marie managed her illness privately and continued to work taking each challenge in stride. After Mount Sinai Hospital merged with Saint Francis Hospital, Marie saw an enormous opportunity and once again rose to achieve more responsibility within a larger Risk Management Department at the new location. Saint Francis became her new “home” and after years of dedicated service she retired in 2008. In recent years Marie frequently returned to Saint Francis for treatments and was always touched by the special care and consideration she received from the physicians, technicians, nurses, aides, and staff. Throughout her journey she was supportive of those around her and made sure to lessen the burden of others with gentle reminders, “I can fight this fight¿please do not be sad for me.” Marie constantly reminded her husband Raj and family that she was going to be okay no matter the outcome and that their love and presence were healing in and of themselves. Marie became a mentor and guide for women battling cancer, even her own daughter, and would counsel those new to this disease providing both education and encouragement. Marie did not lose a battle, she did not finish a race¿her time came and she elegantly exited the party. She is forever cherished by her husband Raj Kapoor of Granby, two daughters Catherine Garber and her husband Frank of Burlington and Sabine Zell and her husband David of Simsbury; three grandchildren, Kelly Garber, Jennifer Garber, and Nicholas Zell. She also leaves a brother, Ferdinand Gaule and his family of Belgium. Her family wishes to thank Dr. Susan Rabinowe and Dr. Beth Nelson for being ever present friends and champions. Marie’s services will be privately held and memorial donations in her honor made to Saint Francis Hospital by visiting http://www.saintfrancisdonor.com/Giving/Ways_to_Give/
**Information provided by Catherine and Sabine and written by Wendy Smith Thames, funeral director of Carmon’s Funeral Home in Windsor, CT.