Kay Ellen Capo

49 entries
  • "Several days before Kay's death, I had the gift of spending..."
    - Susan Nicholson
  • "St. Patrick's Church Otisco, NY November 8, 2014 ..."
    - Julie Young
  • "You gave us such special, wonderful memories that we will..."
    - Maria Swanson
  • "Kay Ellen's smile would light up the world...such a..."
    - Ronald Shields
  • "What wonderful sentiments by so many folks! Thanks for..."
    - Paul (Joe) Merriman
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Service Information
Riverside Memorial Chapel
180 West 76th Street
New York, NY

1947 - 2014
Kay Ellen Merriman Capo, beloved wife, mother, daughter, professor, and dear friend, died on October 31st, 2014. She spent her final weeks among family & close friends at her home of 29 years in Manhattan's Upper West Side, after a courageous 6-year battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was 67 years old.

Kay Ellen was born May 14th, 1947, in Syracuse, NY. She earned a BA from Le Moyne College and moved to Chicago with her husband of 45 years, Jim Capo. She earned an MA and PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University in 1978. She was the first in her extended family to earn a graduate degree.

Her teaching career of 42 years included academic positions at Northwestern, Loyola of Chicago, SUNY Oneonta, and Purchase College. She retired from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts faculty at Purchase College in 2013. Her son Jamie was born in 1982, two years after she began teaching at Purchase.

In her academic career she was a dedicated & passionate teacher, completely devoted to her students and love for literature, especially poetry and theater. Over the years, she received a Danforth Foundation Associate award, as well as various grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities, United University Professionals, SUNY, and Purchase College. She served in editorial positions for Text and Performance Quarterly & chaired the Performance Studies Division of the National Communication Association. She developed an extensive portfolio of poetry.

Immediately after 9/11, she devoted extensive attention to the production of audio pieces about its aftermath. Since 2002, she has focused her scholarship and teaching on guiding students in the creation and performance of wartime narratives based on diaries, oral histories, and interviews with veterans. As part of that work, she took three trips with her father (a World War II veteran, now age 98 and still a resident of Syracuse) to the beaches of Normandy, other regions of France, Holland, and Luxembourg, retracing his path through Europe in 1944-45.

Friends and family remember her vitality, creativity, encouraging & welcoming spirit, and ability to help people believe in themselves. She is survived by her husband Jim, son Jamie of Washington, DC, father Paul F. Merriman of Syracuse, brothers Paul J. Merriman of New Bern, NC and James J. Merriman of Seattle, WA, sister Julie Young of Charlotte, NC, two aunts, eleven nieces & nephews, and beloved cousins throughout the United States.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday 11/5 from 2:30-4:30 PM & 7:00-9:00 PM with a memorial service held Thursday 11/6 from 9:30-11:00 AM at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W 76th St, New York, NY 10023. Calling hours will also be held near Syracuse, NY on Friday 11/7 from 4-7 PM at Ryan Funeral Home, 44 E. Main St, Marcellus, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday 11/8 at 10 AM at St. Patrick's Church in Otisco, NY. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the hospice program of the Visiting Nurse Service of NY (212-609-1525; http://www.vnsny.org/community/supp
Published on NYTimes.com from Nov. 3 to Nov. 4, 2014
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