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Joseph A. Capece Eulogy Speech Written by Walter Swift May 15, 2010 There is not enough time allotted here to discuss this man Joseph Capece. We have all shared stories over the past couple of weeks and the few I am going to share with you now are based on bits and pieces taken from all of us. The Swift boys called Joe by his name and that was out of respect. This happened early on when my mother and Joe got married. He introduced himself as Joe making it very clear to us boys that he had the highest regard and respect towards us boys and our continued great relationship with our own biological father. That he did not want to interfere with. And he did not. But it soon became apparent that the Swift boys had two fathers and one of them was called Joe. Thanks Ma for bringing Joe, Debbie, Nick, and Brian into our lives. About 33 years ago my mother introduced us boys. Now keep in mind, we were just kids. Think about it for a minute. What kind of man gets married to a woman who has three kids? Who takes on that kind of responsibility? I’ll tell you who. Joseph Capece. Of course we three boys didn’t know what to think at first. Remember this was the mid 1970’s. It was a bit confusing, as I will now try to explain. My mother was getting married to this Italian guy who had a dark tan, curly black hair style, wore gold jewelry around his neck, liked country and western music, belonged to a square dance club, wore cowboy hats and boots, was an avid golfer, had a CB radio in his car, had one installed in my mothers car, belonged to a CB radio club. His handle, or CB name was Prairie Dog and my mother was now known as Prairie Chick. Think about it, I’m surprised none of us kids are in therapy. Soon after they were married us boys discovered what I will only describe as the awakening. My sister Debbie, brother Nick and Brian can relate to this one having experienced it long before the Swift boys. We used to be sound asleep, the kind of sleep kids look forward to on a Saturday or Sunday. Then it happened. The Awakening. I thought I was having a bad dream, but it was not at all a dream. 7:00am Saturday morning, and it was Joe with the vacuum cleaner going up and down the hall and throughout the house. All the time, hooting and hollering singing country music in that deep baritone voice as his eight track cassette player jumped from track to track. The noise woke you up but you soon learned not to get out of bed because that is when the project began. And if you didn’t get out of the house fast, you were stuck all day, lugging wood or building something. Isn’t that right, Debbie, Nick, Brian, Tom + Bill? You know what I am talking about but it is because of Joe that the Swift boys will be forever tied to the three of you as our sister and brothers. Joe was proud of all of us, and never showed favoritism, except maybe to his little girl Debbie. But that was ok, because she was the only girl, and they had a special bond. As for us boys, we were all treated equal. At times, individually all of us boys were called something I can’t say in church, but we deserved it. But mostly, he was proud of us. You could see it in the way he told you something. And all of us kids knew what the other was up to, because he enjoyed sharing that news about all of us. We all have fond memories. Nick remembers how Dad taught him to catch a baseball. Dad would have Nick stand with his back to the house. Then, Dad would fire the ball toward Nick as fast as he could. Nick had no way out, you either caught the ball, or else. Then there was the time that Nick arrived from Oregon earlier than expected. So Brian drove Nick down to the golf course to find Dad. They spotted him getting ready to putt on one of the greens closest to the parking lot. There, Brian and Nick sat and watched as Dad sunk the putt in one calculated stoke. Just as the ball dropped into the cup, Nick and Brian screamed and applauded. Dad really couldn’t see who was applauding and he raised his hands in the air as if he was on the PGA tour. Dad wasn’t fooling around, he was serious in his triumph and actually thought he had a real audience following his game, but soon realized it was his boys. Joe was so proud of Debbie and her husband Paul. And this was especially true when she gave birth to his Grandson, Matt. As Matt got older, he took Joe’s lead and became a Hopedale Police Cadet which put Matt on the path of wanting to help people. As a young adult, Matt later joined the Army, serving in Iraq. Joe was so proud of Matt, and when Matt was home on leave in full uniform, Joe proudly paraded his grandson all over town. Matt now has his own child, Angelina, Joe’s great granddaughter, who loved to talk to him on the telephone. Jonathan will always remember his grandfather’s pink Speedo bathing suit. Personally, Jonathan, I think he had more than just a pink Speedo bathing suit, I think he had one in every color. And it’s a vision I try to forget. When it comes to cooking as Brian and Jonathan tell it, Dad makes beef stew with a special ingredient. There was one time that Joe meticulously cut up all the vegetables, meat, and mixed the ingredients together and added just the right amount of flour to thicken the gravy. But, it wouldn’t thicken, so he added more, then a little more, and yes, some more until he realized that it was not flour, but confections sugar. Now this simple mistake brings me to appoint that all of us can relate to. Joe is never wrong, and Joe does not make mistakes. Brian, I will have to talk to you and Jonathan later about this one, because if he infact ate the beef stew after all of that, then in his mind, he didn’t make a mistake. However, if he tossed the stew out, then he did something I never saw him do and that is to acknowledge that he had made a mistake. And Debbie he ever admit that he did something wrong when the propane gas exploded blowing the doors of the camper and singing his hair. You can tell me later. Little Billy loved to ride in Tatu’s golf cart and when he was younger, Tatu used to joke with him by pulling out his false teeth and saying “Go Ahead Billy, let me see if you can do that!” On many occasion, I would catch little Billy trying to remove his own teeth. I can’t say enough about his second Home, the Hopedale Country Club. All of you golfers and his friends are second to none. And Al Landry, we all have a special place in our hearts for you. You are a great friend. It takes a special man to help feed and to give drink to another man and I witnessed you do that. It was touching and it was a sight that will always be a fond memory to me. When it comes to Joe and his relationship with all of us, the words of the day are there are no regrets. If it wasn’t said, it was felt. For the emotions one sometimes feels are often much stronger than any one word can express. The love we all expressed toward Joe whether said or felt will last in our hearts forever. And remember one thing; he took that love with him. There are no regrets here. We love you Joe/Dad, and as Debbie would always end her conversations with Dad, she would close by saying “I Love You”. And dad would respond by saying, “Me to You”. Now that I have been doing all the talking, it is time for all of you. I am going to say a few words that I would like you to say on the count of three. These words are “We Love you Dad”, or “We Love you Joe”, which ever fits you. All you are ready. 1, 2, 3. “We Love You Dad”. Now listen, listen real hard. For if you concentrate you are going to hear it. It may not happen now, or later today, but it will happen. You just have to listen for these three words: “ME TO YOU”.
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