Eulogy for Joseph ‘Joe’ Capeloto
By Hazzan Isaac Azose
We are here to celebrate the life of Joseph ‘Joe’ Capeloto. Joe was born on September 15, 1928 and passed away two days ago, early on Sunday morning, May 1, 2010. He was 81 years old.
He was born to Nissim and Miriam Capeloto. Joe attended Horace Mann Elementary School, Washington Junior High School, Garfield High School and the University of Washington, where he graduated in 1953 with a B.A. degree. While at the UW, Joe was in the Air Force Reserve, and, because it was during the Korean war, he served with the regular Air Force for a time near San Francisco.
Joe married the love of his life, Eleanor “Ellie” Davis in October of 1954. Ellie gave birth to three children; Steve, Jeff and Mimi.
Joe worked in the Pike Place Market for a time selling fruits and vegetables for Yom Tov Mizrahi and Leon ‘Yeuda’ Rousso. For a time, he worked in the Treasurer’s office of the City of Seattle. During this period, he worked at part-time jobs at night in order to help out the family financially. Later, he worked for Ike Gamel at an Everett furniture store. Then, he found his niche. His brother-in-law, Bob Mezistrano, owned Hiline Furniture in Burien. He loved the interaction with people there. In fact, many people who had been helped by Joe before and were looking for another piece or pieces of furniture, would ask for Joe by name. When he wasn’t in the store and Bob, or one of the other workers indicated they could help them out, they would always say, “No thanks, we’ll come back.”
When the store computerized all its accounts and ordering system, they had to count on Russell, their truck driver, to enter all the computer entries, because both Joe and Bob were computer illiterates.
At approximately 40 years of age, Joe had a minor heart attack. This was a call to action. Joe started walking, every night, usually up and down the same three blocks near his home. Then he started swimming five days a week in Burien so that he could go straight from the pool to work. Joe worked at Hiline Furniture for more than 40 years. In approximately 2001, Joe contracted Parkinson’s Disease, which was manageable for the first few years. A good friend and neighbor, Til, would drive Joe to the same Burien pool even after he got sick.
During the early years, the family enjoyed annual trips to Seaside, Oregon, taking in the fresh ocean air and all the activities that Seaside is famous for.
Joe had a love of sports, particularly baseball, basketball and football. He loved the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics and Huskies basketball and football. Steve tells me that Joe forced him to watch football, basketball and baseball. Steve didn’t want to listen at first, but then became what the word “fan” stands for, a fanatic.
Joe doted on his grandchildren; Jennifer from Steve and Geri, Michael and Sam from Jeff and Maureen, and Joey and Allie from Mimi and Dick. He involved himself in all their school activities, whether it be sports or school plays.
Joe had a huge vegetable garden in his back yard where he grew every imaginable type of vegetable, particularly zucchini, of which there was always an overabundance.
Last year, the Parkinson’s became progressively worse and Joe was admitted to the Kline-Galland Home in May, 2009. The family would like to thank all the staff at Kline-Galland that was involved in caring for Joe with so much love while he was there.
There was not an individual who didn’t think that Joe was the nicest person in the whole world.
Joe is survived by his wife Ellie, his children Steve, Jeff and Mimi, six grandchildren Jennifer, Michael and Sam, Joey and Allie, and two sisters, Sylvia Mezistrano and Rachelle Mezistrano.
May his soul be bound up in the bond of life eternal, Amen.