Joseph ‘Joe’ Capozzi

January 4, 2016

Joseph ‘Joe’ Capozzi

JOSEPH “JOE” CAPOZZI- of Revere, formerly of Woburn, Monday, January 4th. Beloved husband of Maria O. Franco and her children, Javier Restrapo and wife Adriana (Mora) and Alejandra Restrepo all of Revere. Joe is survived by his first wife Gaetana “Tina” (Petrillo) Capozzi of Woburn and their children Domenic Capozzi and wife Mary of Wakefield, Antonietta “Toni” (Capozzi) Costanzo and former husband Frank of Burlington, Carmelina (Capozzi) Tortola and husband Robert “Bobby” of Woburn, Lia Capozzi of Wakefield and former husband Mark Sullivan of Reading, and Nancy (Capozzi) Albert and husband Vincent of York, ME. Dear brother of Anthony Capozzi of TN and Carmela DiGiovanni and late husband Ferdinando of NJ, and the late Ralph and Louie Capozzi. Brother in-law of Mary Capozzi of Woburn. Cherished grandfather of thirteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Joseph was also the beloved cousin of Tony DePalma, his wife Cindy and their three children of Randolph. A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday January 8th at 10:15 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street Woburn at 11. Interment in Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours Thursday, January 7th, 3:00 – 8 p.m. Remembrances may be made in Joseph’s memory to the American Heart Association, Founders Affiliate, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005. Late member of Local 22, Boston

OBITUARY:

Joseph “Joe” Capozzi, Revere, formerly of Woburn, passed away at Massachusetts General Hospital, Monday, January 4, 2016, after a long battle with heart failure which led to other health complications. He was 82.

Joe was born as Giuseppe in Pratola Serra, Italy to the late Domenico and Antonietta (Serino-Fabrizio) Capozzi. He was the eldest of five, followed by: Raffaele, Carmela, Luigi, and Antonio. As a child he also lived with his paternal grandparents: Carmela and Giuseppe Capozzi. He grew up during WWII amidst horrific living conditions. In 2010 he wrote a book entitled: When I Ate Leaves: Surviving Poverty and Bombs in Southern Italy, where he records many of his boyhood stories to share with generations to follow.

One of his biggest dreams was to come to America and live the American dream.

In June 1953 his dream would become a reality as he boarded The Independent and set sail for Ellis Island. He later would return to Italy to marry his former wife, Gaetana “Tina” Petrillo, and the two of them would settle and raise a family in Woburn, Massachusetts. They raised five children together: Domenic, Antonietta,

Carmelina, Lia and Nancy. Joe and Tina worked hard and sacrificed to put them all through college. As time went on, they enjoyed 13 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Joe was an incredibly hard worker and what he lacked in education, he made up for with his determination and unprecedented desire for a better life. When he first came to this country, no job was too small. Although he always remembered and respected his roots, he whole-heartedly embraced this country and its opportunities and was proud to become an American citizen. He did everything from working in a leather factory, to making doughnuts, to cutting trees. Construction became his ultimate skill, starting as a laborer for MDC, who would soon promote him to foreman. He later would work for L&R Construction and as General Foreman for Grande Brothers for many years. During these years he was also a member of Local 22 Laborers Union of Hanover Street, Boston. In 1977, he started his own business, Capozzi Construction, Inc., another long awaited dream-come-true. He left his mark with the many homes he has built, bricks he has laid, and stones he has placed. Eventually, he got into real estate development and established Capozzi Realty Trust, and weathered the market’s ups and downs.

On the rare occasion he wasn’t working, he enjoyed big gatherings and celebrations with family and friends, and often initiated family reunions. He was an unforgettable storyteller. He also loved to sing and for many years made the rounds at Christmas time to sing Italian Christmas songs and spread joy and cheer. He has also written many of his own songs, which he often shared at get-togethers. He even tried to learn a musical instrument. After struggling with the accordion and harmonica, he settled on the gypsy harp and the kazoo! He welcomed a good bocce tournament or game of cards and usually was on the winning team. After open-heart surgery in 2008, walking became his daily pastime and he made it a priority to walk 7-8 miles a day! He loved to hunt and has prepared and shared many pots of his venison stew and was also known for his specially seasoned steak tips. Whatever Joe did, be it work or fun, he did passionately.

Joe was a generous man, who enjoyed helping others and never wanted anything in return. As a father, he saw his main role as provider, but as his kids became adults and started their own families, he was always there for advice and guidance. He emphasized the importance of getting along and staying close as a family and also instilled many values including respect, hard work, determination and high standards. It brought him great joy to see his family self-sufficient and doing well.

Joe was a “fighter” throughout his life…He fought to survive the horrific living conditions in Italy before, during and after WWII; he fought for a better life when he came to this country; he fought many personal battles and obstacles along the way; and in his elder years he fought fiercely to hang onto life for as long as he could, as he battled heart failure and other health complications. He will be missed by all that knew him.

Joe was a former member of the South End Italian Club and the Portuguese Club of Woburn. In his retirement years he became an avid mall walker initially at the Burlington Mall and later at the Square One Mall of Saugus. Joe also frequented Café Napoli in Everett, where he would meet with friends and enjoy playing cards.

He is survived by his caring wife, Maria O. Franco and her children, Alejandra Restrepo and Javier Restrepo and his wife, Adriana (Mora) of Revere. He is also survived by his former wife, Gaetana “Tina” (Petrillo) Capozzi of Woburn and their children Domenic Capozzi and his wife Mary of Wakefield, Antonietta “Toni” (Capozzi) Costanzo and her former husband Frank of Burlington, Carmelina (Capozzi) Tortola and her husband Robert “Bobby” of Woburn, Lia Capozzi of Wakefield and her former husband Mark Sullivan of Reading, and Nancy (Capozzi) Albert and her husband Vincent of York, ME. Dear brother of Anthony Capozzi of TN and Carmela DiGiovanni and her late husband Ferdinando of NJ, and the late Ralph and Louie Capozzi. Brother-in-law of Mary Capozzi of Woburn. Cherished grandfather of Michael Capozzi and wife Rebecca, Caitlin Capozzi, Brian Capozzi, Kevin Capozzi and wife Cara, Michael Costanzo and wife Lauren, Christopher Costanzo, Tanya Napoli and husband Joseph, Katherine, Emily and Elizabeth Sullivan, and Hannah, Eli and Joseph Albert and great-grandfather of Lily Capozzi.

Joseph was also the beloved cousin of Tony DePalma and his wife Cindy and their three children Graziella “Gracie”, Alfonso “Nino” and Kira of Randolph.

A funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday January 8, 2016 at 10:15 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn at 11. Interment in Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. Relatives and friends are invited to calling hours Thursday, January 7, 2016 from 3 to 8 p.m. Remembrances may be made in Joseph’s memory to the American Heart Association, Founders Affiliate, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005.

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  1. Gina Franculli To Tina and Carmelina I am so sorry for your loss Joe was a great man he will be missed. Due to circumstance that I cannot help I will not be able to attend tonight, my thoughts and prayers are with the entire family again so very sorry

  2. To the entire Capozzi Family–You are in my memories and prayers. Joe has always been wonderful to my family. Love to all of you. Margarette Masotta

  3. With our deepest sympathy our thought and prayers are with you And your family from mattia genoveffa Luisa cubelli

  4. Deepest condolences to the entire Capozzi family. Uncle Joe was a wonderful man with many story and lots of wisdom. We will miss him very much. Love, Alicia DiGiovanni

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