Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Robert A. Capell, 67, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 13, 2013, in Roane Medical Center after an extended illness.
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He received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from SUNY in Buffalo, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and a master's degree in industrial hygiene from the University of Pittsburgh. He proudly served his country for 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, stationed throughout the U.S.A. and Thailand, and was chief of the Bioenvironmental Engineers in Washington D.C., Surgeon General's Office and Air Force Material Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Upon his retirement in 1998, he began service to others through many volunteer organizations in Roane County, including United Way board of directors, Roane County Cooperative Ministries and Crystal Cove Property Owners Association. He was instrumental in establishing Roane's Emergency Management Office and chaired the Local Emergency Planning Committee for several years. As a faithful member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Harriman, he was a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus. While a Knight, he led the Tootsie Roll Drive, which assists Michael Dunn Center each year and assists the mentally challenged. He will be fondly remembered as "Papa Luigi" each year during the Super Bowl Sunday Sub Sale. He always treated others with dignity and respect and offered a helping hand to all. His family and friends will remember his kindness, integrity and humble spirit. He was so very proud of his "Lights of Love" award from Amedysis, which honored his spirit of inspiring those who cared for him during his treatment for quadriplegia. He was preceded in death by his mother, Kathryn Capell; and his father, Russell Capell.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Barbara Capell, Rockwood; sons, Jeff Capell, Cincinnati, and Chris Capell, Knoxville; and sister, Janet Butera, Rochester, N.Y.
Visitation and funeral arrangements are as follows: Sunday, June 16, the family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. in the chapel of Evans Mortuary, Rockwood. The funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Harriman, at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 17, with Father Michael Sweeney officiating. Concluding services and burial with full military honors by the U.S. Air Force Honors Deployment Unit will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery, Rockwood. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to either the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Building Fund; or Michael Dunn Center, Kingston.
An online register is available at www.evansmortuary.biz.
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Published in Roane County News from June 14 to June 17, 2013