Francis Capen

Francis H. Capen

1928-2014 WARDSBORO Francis H. Capen, 85, known by many as Franny or Fluffy, of Route 100 died unexpectedly Saturday evening, January 18, 2014 at his home. Mr. Capen was born in Jamaica, VT on October 20, 1928 the son of Alfred and Rachel (Griswold) Capen. He attended Townshend Elementary School and was a graduate of Leland & Gray Seminary, Class of 1946. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force enlisting in May of 1948 serving in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operation during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge from active service in 1952 he returned home to the West River Valley area. He was a tax preparer for over 50 years, assisting area residents with their yearend tax filings. He had been employed by the former American Optical Company for over 21 years and also worked at his father-in-law's mill, Bills' Lumber Company in Wardsboro. Mr. Capen also worked as a rural postal carrier based out of the Jamaica Post Office, later working part-time as a substitute mail carrier. He also served as treasurer for the Windham County Court. Active civically, Mr. Capen served Wardsboro as a selectman, lister and was a longtime director on the Wardsboro School board. He also served as a trustee for Leland & Gray High School and chaired the Leland & Gray Alumni Parade. He was a trustee for Grace Cottage Hospital and also ran the Bingo tent for Grace Cottage Hospital Fair Day. He was honored by each organization, receiving the Leland & Gray Alumni of the Year Award and the Grace Cottage Hospital Auxiliary Member of the Year Award. He was a longtime member and Past Master of Blazing Star Lodge #23 F&AM, a member of the V.F.W. Brattleboro Post #1034 and the West River Valley American Legion Post #16. In his leisure time he enjoyed trips to Mohegan Sun with his gambling buddies Mary, Jackie and Terri, going to BINGO with Debbie and sitting by a campfire with many nephews or under his apple tree at home. For the past five years it was his great pleasure to invite family and friends to his birthday parties at the Stratton Town Hall, where everyone who attended had a wonderful time. He attended the Wardsboro Yoked Parish with his family. Franny was a steadfast supporter of West River Area sporting events attending most of his nieces' and nephews' events. Mr. Capen also enjoyed trips to Pennsylvania and attending family gatherings. He was known for his easygoing nature and wonderful sense of humor. On July 17, 1952 in Wardsboro he was married to Beverly Bills who survives him. Besides his loving and faithful wife of 61 years he leaves two daughters, Cindy Capen and Carleen Capen both of Wardsboro, an 'adopted son', Erhan Oge of Putney, his 'little sister', Carleen Otis Pelsue of Newfane, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Mr. Capen's personal and longtime physician Dr. Robert Backus was considered more of a son than a doctor to him. One brother, Herman Capen, and sisters Ruby Bristol, Lottie Lawrence and Laura Capen predeceased him. Graveside committal services with Masonic Rites and Military Honors will take place in the spring in West Wardsboro Cemetery at a date and time to be announced by the funeral home. Memorial contributions in Mr. Capen's name may be made to Grace Cottage Hospital, P.O. Box 216, Townshend, VT 05353, Attn: Dr. Backus or to the Wardsboro Vol. Rescue Squad, 49 Main Street, Wardsboro, VT 05355. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence to the Capen family please visit


Funeral Home

Atamaniuk Funeral Home
40 Terrace Street Brattleboro, VT 05301

Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Jan. 25, 2014