Gene H. Capen

April 11, 1946February 1, 2019

Gene H. Capen, age 72, passed in his sleep on February 1, 2019 at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Gene was born April 11, 1946 in Carthage, NY and raised in Brattleboro, VT from an early age. Gene graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1964 went on to attend Dean Junior College as well as the University of Southern California.

Mr. Capen is survived by a wife, Heather, his daughter Catherine J. Lyman of Fairlee, Vermont and son Christopher J. Capen of Colorado Springs, CO, he also leaves behind five grandchildren, Alexander R. Pond, Caleb and Zoe Lyman, Riley and Keira Capen and one great grandchild, Reesa Pond. Mr. Capen is a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving as a helicopter pilot completing two tours from 1968 to 1969 and 1971 to 1972, serving first with the 120th Aviation Company “Razorbacks”, 1st Cavalry Division and the 1st Aviation Brigade earning several medals and awards to include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart W/ OLC, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Service Medal, Army Overseas Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ Palm, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Senior Army Aviator Badge. As a result of his service in Vietnam, Mr. Capen had a lifelong struggle from the wounds he received.

Upon his completion of military service Mr. Capen lived and worked in Denver Colorado as a commercial pilot and then moved back to Brattleboro where he worked for the US Postal Service. Mr. Capen was a coach for the American Legion Post 5 baseball team for many years, winning a State Championship in 1986. Mr. Capen was a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Eagles and the Elks organizations volunteering time on many projects, especially those in the service of young adults.

There will be an internment ceremony for family at the Pikes Peak National Cemetery, Colorado Springs, Colorado and a remembrance and celebration of life at the VFW in Brattleboro, Vermont starting at 1:00pm on the 16th of February. In Lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of Gene Capen to The St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Donations Link:

1301 North Main Street Chamberlain, SD 57325 1-800-341-2235


  • Heather Capen, Wife
  • Chris Capen, Son


  • Memorial services will be held at a later date.

Gene H. Capen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dan Savard

February 8, 2019

I was anew arrival in the razorbacks One evening when flying Joe Potter late at night Gene went down. We landed and picked up Gene and his crew There he was with a big grin on his face. I did not see him again until a reunion in 2017.
That same grin on his face. I like all you know his was a real leader and a good man. Will miss him

Peter Bugbee

February 7, 2019

I've had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Gene well and spend time with him the past five + years. While classmates in high school, we knew each other. But not that well. A "hi" in the hall between classes was about it. It took a common love for Colorado and the Denver Broncos to bring us together. I first saw Gene again after high school in the Fall, 2013. He took up my invitation to attend a Broncos game here in Denver. We had a ball reminiscing. Broncos won that day. We hit it off and started communicating a lot. In 2015, Gene and Heather came out and did some "community shopping"...looking for the best place to land if they were to move here. Picky, picky, picky. Geez. They both wanted to see half of the state in order to BEGIN to make up their mind on a location. And they wanted food, drink and commentary during the several day tour! AND, Gene wanted me to find the old apartment house he lived in while here in Denver in the mid 70s (we did.) Since moving to Colorado Springs in 2016, Gene and I have shared some great lunches and even better conversations. I usually bought :-) Some days he was happy, greeted me with a smile and shouted, "Hey ugly. You look even worse than the last time I saw you." Other days, I had to pry words and thoughts from him. Those days, I got to know a deeper Gene. I heard about his struggles, his inner thoughts and feelings and the highs and lows of his life by...just being patient. I'm going to miss ALL those times together, my friend. 'til we see each other again... Heather, Chris, Ann, Cathy and extended family, God Bless.

Scott Nadeau

February 7, 2019

It was with great sorrow that I heard of Coach Capen's passing. Coach Capen was a great leader and wonderful person to play baseball for. I had the pleasure of playing for him the first two years he was coach of the Brattleboro American Legion Post 5 baseball team, and in our second year we won the 1983 Vermont State Championship, which was the first of two he would win. What wonderful memories of that summer, and we talked often over the years about that team, which was know more aptly as the Lumber Company because of our hitting abilities. My respect for him as a coach is only superseded by my respect for him as a soldier. Knowing the sacrifices and hardships he endured, he will always be one of my heroes. My thoughts and prayers will be with all the Capen family during this difficult time. RIP Coach! You will be missed!

Earley and Sharon Watkins

February 6, 2019

Gene flew as my peter pilot on his first combat mission in Viet Nam. He always said that I taught him everything he knew and that is why he didn't know anything.
Our hearts go out to Chris, Heather, and all his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.
Much love from Earley and Sharon

Ron Pickering

February 6, 2019

I have known Gene since we were kids playing Little League Baseball, him on the Yankees, and me on the Lions. We grew up in Brattleboro, graduated from BUHS in 1964. I went in the US Air Force, Security Police, he went in the Army. We have both served in Vietnam. Geno is not only a friend, a classmate, but he is my "brother". You will be missed by many, but we do have the memories of you and the many lives you touched. God Bless you Heather and your family.

Tom and Marcy Cooper

February 4, 2019

I was a crew chief/ doorgunner with the Razorbacks in 68/69. I had the pleasure to have Gene (Razorback 41) as my aircraft commander many times. Gene and I became very close friends and have continued our close relationship for all these years. Because of our closeness, I was given the moniker of Razorback 41B, which I have been proud of. Gene and I went through many treacherous days together with our varied other crew members and he always brought us back alive, including one day he had to rescue me from the wreckage. I will always cherish our friendship and camaraderie until I join my Brother again. The family will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

Brian and Yun Lower

February 4, 2019

I met Gene at the Razorback reunion in Guntersville, Alabama during October 2018. We were Razorback brothers although we were from different times. I had the pressure of having dinner with Gene, we talked for about 45 minutes, and it seem like we had known one another like we were neighbors. Yes Gene had a lot of sarcasm, but I admired him, great personality. He will always be remembered and never be forgotten. Our prayers are with his family. Brian and Yun Lower

patricia green

February 4, 2019

I grew up in the neighborhood near Gene. Many memories. I am so glad my husband and I got to visit with him when he was in Brattleboro this past summer. Also, glad he got to spend time with his son and those precious granddaughters he was so proud of. A great guy gone too soon. He served his country well.

Beverly Sowerby

February 4, 2019

So sorry to hear of Genes’ passing. He was a great coach for our son John and many boys on the Brattleboro Legion Baseball Team in the eighties. He had just written a post to me about John playing at USM.

Al Bross

February 3, 2019

Heather Gene came after I had left the RAZORBACKS but I met him at the reunions and admired his demeanor Nora and I learned to love this man over the years He will always be remembered and we hope you have peace Our prayers are with you. Al and Nora Bross