Obituary: Vid Rapsys

We learned today that IACAC President in 1968, Vid Rapsys, passed away last weekend. On a personal note, he worked at Kintetsu alongside my father back in the 70's. I remember Vid by name and reputation even if I don't remember him by face. Visitation and services are this weekend.

Vidmantas "Vid" Rapsys Died February 19, 2017, in his home in Naperville, IL, ten days short of his 77th birthday. Lived long years in Chicago and Downers Grove, IL, and lately by Paw Paw lake, Coloma, MI. He was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, on Feb. 29, 1940--a Leap year baby. Vid and his family came to the United States in 1949, after witnessing the horrors of WWII in Germany. The family settled in Chicago, where two uncles and an aunt awaited them. Vid graduated in 1958 from the prestigious Marianapolis Academy in Thompson, Connecticut, then attended the Illinois Institute of Technology for two years. Vid was a pioneer in the then emerging air cargo industry. He started his career in 1960 with Circle Airfreight Corp. in Chicago. Later, also in Chicago, he worked many years for the Japanese corporate giant Kintetsu, as chief air cargo representative in the United States. He also supervised air cargo agents in West Germany, Hong Kong and South Africa. In 1973 Vid almost singlehandedly set up the highly successful Kintetsu pavilion at the international air cargo expo at Navy Pier. In 1977 he opened his own air cargo agency: Amber Air International, Ltd., with warehouses and offices next to O'Hare airport in Rosemont, IL. His air freight ranged from small packages of life-saving drugs to gigantic machinery for gold mines. He was a member of the International Air Cargo Ass'n of Chicago and Rotary Int'l, under whose auspices he was invited to lecture on air cargo themes worldwide. In business travel alone, he visited more than 60 countries. For a time, he worked enthusiastically with Boy Scout troops in Chicago and was a graduate of the renowned Gilwell program for Scout leaders. (He became a Cub Scout in Germany, back in 1946.) Vid was also a lifelong golf enthusiast. Visitation Friday, February 24, from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Petkus & Son Funeral Home, 12401 S. Archer Ave., Lemont, IL. (1-800-994-7600).

After 11:00 a.m. funeral Mass on Saturday, February 25, Divine Savior Church, 6700 Main St., Downers Grove, IL, Vid will be laid to rest next to his wife, Anne Dunne, and his parents in the St. Casimir's Cemetery, 111th St. and Pulaski Rd., Chicago. Surviving in grief are son, Vidmantas Thomas and family (wife, Laura, son, Michael, daughter, Jessica); son, Ryan; brother, R. John Rapsys; nephews, Anthony Rapsys and family, Aldis Rapsys; niece and goddaughter, Ramona (Rapsys) Toner and family; nephews, Ryan and Robin Rapsys and their families; nephews, Steven and Brian Krieger and their families; niece, Laura Krieger; three cousins in Michigan; and two cousins in Lithuania.

Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Feb. 23, 2017