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Willard Brian Capshaw

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Willard Brian Capshaw Obituary

Willard Brian Capshaw, 53, died Saturday, December 5, 2015 at Manchester Memorial Hospital surrounded by his devoted family. Brian had demonstrated miraculous fortitude in the face of many serious medical challenges since being paralyzed in a car accident in September of 1994. Despite having convinced us all that he could overcome anything, recent complications sadly proved insurmountable. Brian was the third of four children born to Ann Brett Crowley Capshaw and Terry S. Capshaw. Growing up on Whitewood Road among many kids his age, friendships were formed that have endured to this day. Countless hours, frequently past dusk, were spent playing every outside sport or game you could imagine. Brian was a graduate of Newington High School Class of 1980, and Nichols College earning his degree in Accounting in 1984. He was on the high school tennis team and continued playing at Nichols College as captain of his team. Brian eventually earned a Master's Degree in Accounting in 1994 at Indiana University. Brian was transferred to Indiana with his job at Bentler Industries. He then worked for AM General for many years. In 2007, Brian's health complications required more daily care and assistance from family than could be provided in Indiana. He returned to Connecticut via medical transportation generously donated by AM General. He became a full-time resident of Haven HealthCare of East Hartford and, after regaining much of his strength and passion for life, devoted his energies to the cause of advocacy for nursing home residents. Brian was President of the Greensprings Health Care Center Resident Council, initiating a variety of programs to enhance the quality of life for his fellow residents. He served on the Executive Board of CT's Presidents of Resident Councils. Brian lobbied for and testified at legislative public hearings on a wide variety of issues related to improving nursing home care, including staffing, video monitoring, and the Personal Needs Allowance. Representative Cathy Abercrombie said that, for her "Brian is the face of all the residents." He was active with the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and for the past year has held the position of Chairperson of the National Leadership Council. Brian was the only nursing home resident invited to the President Obama's 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Brian was frequently interviewed by and quoted in the press. He was an inspiration to other residents and advocates, and to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Legislators knew him by his first name, respected his opinion, and looked to him for answers about life in a nursing home. Brian was a passionate and articulate voice for the residents of CT. He aimed high and made others do the same. Brian was also an avid sports fan, supporting Notre Dame, UConn and Indiana football and basketball. Influenced by his late brother Brad, Brian became an enthusiastic follower of both Formula I and NASCAR racing. His sports passion including an extraordinary collection of baseball cards. Brian was a Baltimore Orioles fan since childhood, embarrassing the rest of the family while dressed in Orioles gear at Fenway Park. He was very happy to have finally made it to a recent game at Camden Yards. He was also Dragonfire's #1 fan. Brian enjoyed playing poker and participated in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in 2007. He was a die-hard rock n' roller at heart who was always up for attending a live music event, especially the weekly summer concert series at Elizabeth Park and Evergreen Walk. Brian was a remarkable person. He had the perfect combination of personality traits to meet the daily challenges encountered by people with disabilities. He was doggedly determined, unphased by his physical limitations, stubborn, generous, and good-humored about life's challenges, a valuable lesson for all of us. Brian is survived by his mother and his father, his sister, Brett Capshaw and her husband Mark Statchen, his sister Laura Capshaw and her husband Russ Kramer, a brother, Sean, his step-mother Betty Ann Marsland, as well as his nieces and nephews, Michael Statchen, Madeleine, Ellery and Laine Capshaw, Jack Kramer, and Liam and Declan Capshaw. He was pre-deceased by his hero, Brother Brad. Brian also leaves many friends, especially his lifelong buddies Mark Bryant and Jeff Stewart. His funeral service will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. at the Newington Memorial Funeral Home, 20 Bonair Ave., Newington, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial celebrating Brian's life at 11:30 a.m. at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 183 Church St., Newington. He will be laid to rest in West Meadow Cemetery, Newington. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Tuesday, from 4-7 p.m. at Newington Memorial. Donations in his memory can be made to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis PO Box 016960 (R48) Miami, FL 33101 or to The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care 1001 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 425 Washington DC 20036, theconsumervoice.org/donate-to-consumer-voice. To share a memory with his family, please visit us at www.newingtonmemorial.com.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Dec. 6, 2015
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