The Cappocks with their children, sister Leslie and her children, Selma, and future grandson.
Compassionate people are those that are willing to help others. Compassionate people are those that are able to put themselves in others’ shoes and really understand how they feel. Compassionate people are those that are thoughtful, giving and kind even to the meekest of God’s creatures. ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn.’ Ephesians 4:32
This week, Caroline Penrod Cappock was surprised by her kids with a new puppy. “I haven’t had a puppy in 30 years.” said Cappock. That’s because she’s one of those compassionate people who takes a few hours out of their day to volunteer at the local shelter only to leave a few hours later with a foster dog. “I’ve had as many as six dogs at one time. All were rescues or given to me.” One of her most compassionate rescues was Selma, a forgotten furbaby at the animal shelter.
One very cold Saturday morning, Cappock volunteered at the McCracken County Animal Shelter located near the McCracken County soccer fields. One of her first encounters was with Selma, a Pitbull mix who had been at the shelter for seven months. As soon as Selma received the first snuggle from Cappock, it was endless belly rubs for the remainder of the day.
That weekend, Selma went home with Cappock as a foster dog. “It was so cold outside the day I brought her home and the shelter wasn’t heated. Of course, she never returned. She’s the best dog ever!” said Cappock.
Cappock's love of animals doesn't stop at dogs. In elementary school, she, Mary K. Dyer Hinkle, and Shannon Green shared ownership of a horse boarded at Carson Park in Paducah. All three girls would head to the stables after school to ride and care for their horse. The trio loved inviting neighborhood friends to the park for a trot around the corral. They also welcomed any help with feeding, brushing and shoveling manure.
During her high school years, Cappock's extra-curricular activities included drill corp, golf team, and Spanish club. Cappock was part of the inaugural Paducah Tilghman High School girl’s golf team. The team’s coach was journalism teacher Vickie Russell. Fellow golfers included Marta Metzger Hoy, Roberta Friend Rhodes, and Stacy Dyer. “We had fun!” said Cappock.
After high school, Cappock went to college at Murray State University majoring in Business Administration. While there she was active in Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, one of several social clubs on campus. Freshman year, a friend introduced Cappock to future husband Mike Cappock. Two years after graduating, the couple married and life began.
Work life continued after marriage for Cappock at the Kentucky Transportation Department Hearing and Reinstatement Office. Anyone with a suspended license passed through Cappock’s door. She continued working for the state until taking maternity leave to give birth to identical twin boys. After the boys were born, she didn't return to a full-time paying job.
Mike Cappock started his career working for the Murray Drug Company in Murray, Kentucky. The couple and their two year old twins transferred to Chicago, Illinois after Murray Drug was acquired by a larger company. It was during their six month stint in Chicago that Mike called up a couple of buddies proposing a new venture. In 1993, the company, Quest Pharmaceuticals officially opened for business.
Quest Pharmaceuticals quickly grew and currently sells over 3,000 generic products nationwide. As the company continues to grow, the foundation remains customer service based always extending a handshake and an ever-present smile.
After starting the company, the Cappocks lived in Murray for six months before returning to Paducah. To this day, Mike still commutes everyday to Murray as he has done for almost three decades.
Living across the street from their church and the children’s elementary school was very convenient for the family. The family was perfectly content until a beautiful, spacious house was placed on the market. The Montgomery house in Heather Hill became available.
The owners, retired surgeon Dr. Wally Montgomery and former Mayor of Paducah Gerry Montgomery were ready to sell their family home. Cappock said they decided to go for it because she just liked it. The house and property sit on two acres of land, just shy of the average city block, with a grand home, swimming pool, gardens, and tennis courts. The interesting thing about the tennis courts is that it’s most often used for playing basketball.
Since the pandemic, the public courts have been closed. The tennis/basketball courts located in the back of the Cappock’s property have remained open. According to Cappock, it’s become the local hangout for kids young and old. She said, “There are days where cars are lined up on the street to play on the courts. As long as they keep it clean and respectful, they can play."
The pandemic has been hard on kids who miss shooting hoops and playing ball. Having a game on the court is one way to release energy. Cappock keeps a close eye though. She said, "I’ve been known to yell up there to watch their language.” Don’t mess with Cappock. She’s got a big heart but will scold you when you’re up to no good.
Cappock keeps herself fit by playing tennis, riding bikes, and playing pickleball. She said she’s been staying outside as much as possible since COVID-19. All of her outdoor activities are great cardiovascular workouts. In case you’re not familiar with pickleball, it’s a sport that uses a badminton size court, wooden paddle and a ball, much like a whiffle ball, that’s hit across a net. Two to four players may play at a time. If played aggressively, players could burn up to 360 calories per 30 minute workout.
Traveling and vacations are one of the family’s most favorite pastimes. Much of Cappock’s extended family lives in Florida. Her 95 year old Aunt lives in Deland, Florida and Cappock visits her often. Cappock’s Mom, Jean Penrod, is from Florida and passed away December of 2018. Her dad, John Penrod, retired from the FBI and was a former Mayor of Paducah. He passed away in 2009. Cappock has a sister, Karen, in Orlando, a brother, Kirt, in Tulsa, and another sister, Leslie, in Paducah.
The Cappocks have three children; identical twins, Chris and Penrod, 30 years old and Grace who’s 24. Chris and his wife Rachel are expecting in February. Cappock is over the moon. Both twins live in Paducah. Grace recently graduated from U of L and is living in Louisville.
Speaking of Grace, she showed up with the new puppy this past week. The children wanted to surprise mom with a new cuddly gift. Since August 2020, it’s been just Selma, the rescue dog, and Cappock (Mike's there too). Both the Basset Hound and the American Bulldog were put to sleep within months of each other due to cancer. “They both did chemotherapy for as long as it worked but then it quit.”
Since it’s been just the two of them most days, she and Selma have been making the best of it. Selma rides ‘shotgun’ and goes everywhere with Cappock. “We’ve got a pretty good routine going,” she said. Still, the kids decided to shake things up a bit and bought their animal-lovin’ momma a present. So enters 'Murray’ the white boxer puppy. Boxers are upbeat, playful, patient, and protective. A great companion as Cappock sets her sights on babysitting her future grandbaby while mom Rachel goes back to teaching at Clark Elementary School. There’s never a dull moment at the Cappocks.
Cappock opens up her heart to animals, her courts to local kids young and old, and more importantly her family. The Cappocks have been married for over 32 years and have three adult children, a daughter-in-law, a grandbaby on the way, two living family pets, five grand-dogs, and still plenty of room if there's a need. She’s a wonderful mother, wife, and friend to all.