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Dennis Victor Caprara
1946 - 2021
Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
41 West San Luis
Salinas, CA
Dennis Victor Caprara, 74, a revered industry leader and farmer in the Salinas Valley and beyond, passed away suddenly from a heart condition on April 12, 2021. He was born on Aug. 5, 1946, in Salinas to Victor and Anne Caprara of Gonzales.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Janice, of 51 years; children, Brian (Nikki) Caprara, Leslie (Fred) Lombardi, and Sheri (Ryan) McMurray; grandchildren, Devon (Josh), Chayse, Ashleigh (Cody), Jenna (Justin), Brittni, Erick, Allison, Jase, Vince, Gio, and Annabella; and he was excitedly awaiting his first great-grandson. Dennis is also survived by sisters, Loraine Farmer and Dolores (John) Billman; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins in the U.S. and Switzerland.
Dennis attended Gonzales Elementary and was a proud Gonzales High School graduate. He was active in 4-H and FFA, where he found his passion for agriculture. During summers and after school, Dennis spent his time working on many farms in the Gonzales area learning to do various jobs from working ground, planting, irrigating, harvesting, and shop work.
Dennis and Sonny Rianda started RC Farms in 1971 and RC Packing in 1986. In recent years, he had turned many of the responsibilities of managing the business over to his son, Brian, leaving the day-to-day accounting to Janice and their daughter, Leslie. He spent his days checking fields and talking to his employees who he valued – without their dedication, RC Farms and RC Packing wouldn't be what they are today. Dennis was considered a role model by many, known as a professor to some, and always gave his time and knowledge to share his "tip of the day."
Dennis was a past Chairman of the Grower-Shipper Vegetable Association, as well as past Director of the Salinas Valley River Coalition. Over the years, he received many honors and awards, such as: CSUMB Distinguished Fellow-Ag Businessman of the Year, Salinas Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Leadership Award, and Future Farmers of America Honorary Chapter Farmer.
When he wasn't working, Dennis spent his mornings cooking breakfast and playing Pedro with his friends at the well-known "House of Nnowledge." He was President of the Monterey County Swiss Rifle Club, where you could find him barbecuing the perfect "Caprara Steak." He was a proud supporter of 4-H and FFA and enjoyed going to the county fairs, where he was a Salinas Valley Fair and Monterey County Fair Livestock Auction Honoree and a member of both Heritage Foundations.
The most important time Dennis spent was with his family and friends. True to his nature of putting others first, he was constantly checking in on those in his life, stopping to see them, and dropping off fresh vegetables. Dennis was always proud of his kids and grandkids with their school, sports, and work. As an avid hunter, he loved sharing the hobby with his family. Dennis always enjoyed a good prank and retelling stories, where his laugh was often funnier than the joke. He couldn't get through one family dinner without discussing politics or one day without pushing his wife's buttons.
Dennis, a great husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend will be truly missed by all that knew him and forever be known as "Asen" (jackass).
He gave to all and didn't ask for anything in return. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation (P.O. Box 942, King City, CA 93930) or Monterey County Swiss Rifle Club (P.O Box 275, Gonzales, CA 93926).
Private family services will be held, and a Celebration of Life will follow at a later date.
Funeral Arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home.
Online condolences to
Published by Salinas Valley Tribune from Apr. 21 to Apr. 27, 2021.
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Funeral services provided by:
Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
Sponsored by Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel.
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17 Entries
Dennis was a long time client of my taxidermy business. I also come from a long time Salinas Valley farming family. I was honored with all he did to keep farming in the hands of farmers, and not politicians or government regulatory agencies. He was a true advocate for farmers in this valley. His passing creates a large void in the industry, hopefully someone can step up to the plate, but they will never compare to Dennis. He loved hunting and was really quite good at it. Had the honor of mounting several of his trophies for him, it was my honor to do so. He will truly be missed by the farming community in the Salinas Valley.
james silva
May 14, 2021
Dennis will always be the man I remember as a kid. He was the hardest working, most kind and most generous man I ever met. He was bigger than life. I always looked forward to my summers working in the fields with my aunt Mary Ramirez.
My whole family loved and respected Dennis and we give our sincerest condolences to his entire family.
God Bless.
Manuel Ramirez Perea
April 22, 2021
I am honored to have known Dennis a true Mentor in Agriculture to our Ag Industry in Growing/Farming techniques, People support with a good sense of humor. I told my kids as we drove by his home and viewed his board potrait that while I had a formal education from a University my real Professor was Dennis Caprara. Thank you Dennis for your time while managing busy farm schedules.
Manuel Jimenez
April 21, 2021
Janice and family my most sincere condolences on the loss of Dennis. From mornings at The House of Knowledge to the Grower Shipper annual Gala being with Dennis was a privilege. When he invited me to tour your home and attend events at the Swiss Rifle Club even more so.
Vincent Guarino
April 20, 2021
Dennis was a kind and generous man. He never said NO to anyone or anything. He gave with his heart. He was famous for his dry aged rib eye steaks and seasoning which he shared with all his friends. He will be missed...he was one of a kind!
Margaret C DArrigo
April 19, 2021
Dennis was great friend and mentor in the produce industry. He was leader agriculture in the Salinas Valley and generously helped youth whenever asked without hesitation or reservation, especially with agricultural and educational endeavors. You will be missed.
laura dietrich-smith
April 17, 2021
Such a friendly and kind person. May the the Lord embrace Dennis as he journeys with our Lord. May the Lord surround Janice and family with Love, compassion and comfort as they suffer with their tremendous loss and grief.
Evelyn Lopez, Robert, Richard, Alex and Rebecca
April 16, 2021
Thank you for all your kindness to my son Ben and his family. Your kindness will never be forgotten
Sonja Velez
April 16, 2021
At the conclusion of every meeting
with Dennis, I would always with great anticipation look forward to the beginning of our next meeting.

Although generous with his time among other things, one could never get enough of his great accompaniment and positive energetic spirit.

Blessings to all.

R. Garrett
R. Garrett
April 16, 2021
Thank you Dennis for having been a good friend. You will be missed but never forgotten. My deepest condolences to the family. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Simón Salinas
April 16, 2021
"A heart of gold stopped beating, two shining eyes at rest. God broke our hearts to prove He only takes the best!

I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences to Janice and the family!

RIP Dennis,

Angie Ortega and Brian Ziemann
Angie Ortega
April 16, 2021
What a good guy Mr. Caprara was!!!!!!! Our beloved valley was made so much better by his life. Another good and faithful servant has returned home to God.
Jan Snow Mirassou
April 16, 2021
Gone but never to be forgotten. Sincere condolences to all of Dennis’ family & friends.
Carol Rodoni Yates
April 15, 2021
Rest In Peace a great mentor and friend to so many in the produce business. Sending Prayers to all of his family at this difficult time.
The Fulton Family
April 15, 2021
RIP Dennis

A true leader of the Salinas Valley

Steve Claassen
Claassen Weling &Fence
Steve Claassen
April 15, 2021
Dennis was smart and had a wicked sense of humor. He was insightful and his loyalty and generosity seemed boundless. My sympathy to Janice, his entire family and all of Salinas Valley. Dennis will be sorely missed, even by those of us who knew him only for a short while.
Phoebe Helm
April 15, 2021
This is a beautiful picture of Dennis. He was smart and had a wicked sense of humor. He was insightful and demonstrated loyalty and generosity beyond words. My sympathy to Janice, his entire family and all of Salinas Valley. Dennis will be missed, even by those who only knew him for a short while.
Phoebe Helm
April 15, 2021
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