James Bruce Cappio
July 24, 1941 – March 7, 2018
James (Jim) Bruce Cappio, aged 76, passed away on March 7, 2018 surrounded by loving family after years of struggling with Alzheimer's disease.
Born July 24, 1941 to Jildo Elmo and Anne Bruce Cappio in Montpelier, Vermont, Jim was the oldest of three children. With sisters Jill Anne and Jane Linda, he spent his formative years in the Washington, D.C. area, graduating from Fall Church High School in 1959. From there, he followed in his father's footsteps (Dartmouth ’32) to attend Dartmouth College, where he was a renowned bridge player (including playing with John Kemeny, co-inventor of BASIC and future Dartmouth president) and a member of the Phi Psi fraternity. He continued to support the school throughout his life, conducting alumni interviews and serving as an ambassador to interested candidates from around the world.
After college, Jim earned his master’s degree from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in 1967 where, as one classmate once said, when he came into the room “things happened.” Just as with his undergraduate alma mater, Jim displayed a passion for the school throughout his life, staying intimately involved through recruiting and support for numerous school initiatives. Over four and half decades, Jim also served as the Class of 1967 Secretary, a record of service for which he was recently honored when his classmates renamed their class gift the “Class of 1967 Jim Cappio Scholarship Fund”.
During graduate school, Jim enlisted in the Air National Guard, and while working at the Pentagon, he met the love of his life, Claire McCorquodale of McLean, Virginia, whom he wed on September 9, 1967. Jim deployed to Vietnam after his unit was called to active service following the Pueblo incident in early 1968. A proud, yet often conflicted veteran, Jim would spend the rest of his life trying to prove that a handshake and a joke would get you much farther than any alternative during contentious times. After his military service, Jim embarked upon a successful business career in marketing, brand management, and consulting that spanned four decades, numerous industries, and four continents. One of the things of which he was most proud in his professional life was his company at the time, W.S. Tyler, being one of the first to begin operating in the former Soviet Union in the early-1990s. Over the next decade and, despite no formal language or cultural training, Jim forged lifelong partnerships and friendships with people in countries he had been told his entire life were the enemy. In recognition of his contributions, he was eventually named honorary president and chairman of Mekhenobr, a company which he helped privatize and which operates to this day.
Towards the end of his professional life, Jim transitioned to a career of teaching business as an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Born with the gift of gab and a lifetime of knowledge and experience, he was a dedicated teacher who captivated his students and helped a number of local businesses launch formal management training programs.
In retirement, Jim became very involved in his church, St. Philips Episcopal, devoting his time to helping build the new parish and lending his less than angelic, but nevertheless inspiring, voice to the choir. During his free time, Jim was a terrible but enthusiastic golfer, a voracious reader, and a stranger to no one. He built and maintained lasting friendships with classmates, work colleagues, neighbors, and fellow parishioners.
Above all, Jim was a devoted husband and father. During their 50 years together, he and Claire raised four sons, Jim, Adam, Matt, and Clay, while spending time in New Jersey, Connecticut, Memphis, and Chicago, before finally settling in Greenville, SC. He was additionally blessed with three daughters-in-law, Gretchen, Tracey, and Kelly, and six beautiful grandchildren, Beatrice, Julia, Allison, Courtney, Peter and Georgia, to whom he was affectionately known as “Banda”.
Jim's family and friends will gather to remember his life at Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville, SC on March 24, 2018 at 2:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association through Jim’s team, “Capp’s Crusaders”, a participant in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s, by copying this link into your browser http://bit.ly/2HhZhEg
Christ Church Episcopal
10 N Church Street
James Bruce Cappio
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March 23, 2018
Claire, Jill, Jane and the entire Cappio family:
So sorry for your loss. Sending our condolences, since we are not able to attend his service. We will be keeping you all in our prayers. My Mom tells me he was a wonderful man and I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to meet him.
March 23, 2018
It is with sadness that our dear friend Jim has departed this world. However he has left many people with a plethora of fond memories which will continue to fill our lives for many future years.
He was a “traveller” in every sense of the word. My Claire was always amused by Jim arriving in Scotland from some far flung place and disgorging the contents of his suitcase into the washing machine before setting off on another adventure! The family always looked forward to Uncle Jim's visits.
Working with Jim was always stimulating. It took hard work to keep up with his multitasking brain. A commensurate professional. A pleasure to have him as a colleague. But an even greater pleasure to have him as a dear friend.
Lots of adventures! So many memories! But the longest lasting will be the joy of his wicked sense of humour and his infectious cackling laughter.
We are sorry not to be able to join you in SC to say farewell to Jim. Our thoughts will be with Claire and Jim's “boys”.
March 23, 2018
Claire and family,
My deepest condolences on the passing of Jim. I am sure he will be a great addition to and enjoy the afterlife. We had a great time at WS Tyler and Jim made working their fun! I will miss his insights and his passion. May God bless you all.
Steve and Kathy Wilson
March 20, 2018
Dear Claire and Cappio Family,
The Cappio and Wilson friendship goes back nearly fifty years. We will certainly miss Jim, but we look forward to many more good times with the Cappios.
Jim was an extraordinarily bright, creative, caring person and a dear friend. In his professional pursuits, as well as in his volunteer and social relationships, he put a high premium and value on having FUN in the process. He loved people and treated them well, regardless of their status in work or life. Consequently, people loved Jim and enjoyed working with and/or for him.
Jim had boundless energy, and an appetite "to keep a lot of balls in the air at one time". It has been very sad to follow Jim's decline with Alzheimer's. We join your family in your pursuit and commitment to find a cure to stem this tragic disease.
Our love to the Cappio Family
Steve and Kathy
March 17, 2018
WITH LOVE & PRAYERS,
March 16, 2018
You are my mentor and u changed my life........
Thank u, Claire, for being Jim’s rock, and I am honored to call u my friend.....
I celebrate both of u!
Ps. Jimmy, Matt, Adam and Clay.....ur mom and dad are awesome!
March 15, 2018
Dear Claire, dear friends,
We are deeply saddened by the news and mourn together with you over Jim’s untimely death.
Jim has always treated us with his enormous kindness and huge sincerity both while doing business and in personal relationship.
We will always remember how Jim’s wise advice helped us reframe Mekhanobr to meet the demands of the new format of life and encouraged each and every member of The Mekhanobr Board of Directors to grow professionally.
Jim Cappio’s life is a perfect example of that of a real man’s, he was an outstanding businessman, a brilliant mentor, a strong, kind and loving head of a big family. That is the way we will think of him and remember.
Much love from all of us,
The Vaisbergs (Leonid, Natasha, Leeza)
March 15, 2018
I am so sorry about Jim. Jim was a very special person (as are you, St. Clair) and I have very fond memories of him. I learned more from Jim than any other boss I ever had. I’ll never forget his admonishment to always keep a memo to one page. I will also never forget my one page (okay maybe 1 ½ pages) memos coming back to me with green marking all over it. He definitely made me a better writer and helped me communicate my ideas more clearly and succinctly. I know Jim was a major contributor to my later success.
While I was never ever able to win the various crazy bets we would have about many things, like which elevator would come first, I think I eventually earned his respect as a co-worker . Our time together in the Downbeat bar on the first floor of the Chanin Building after work was invaluable to me.
I'll always cherish the great times we had together playing bridge, drinking, laughing and enjoy each other’s company.
Maggie Smith Roedema
March 13, 2018
I could sit here and write for an entire afternoon about Jim Cappio. Jim and Claire were among my very first friends as a grownup, when I was right out of college. I worked with Jim at American Chicle. We shared wonderful memories with them -- Jimmy's birth, a feezing cold Dartmouth football game in Princeton, Shakespeare in Stamford (I think that's right), their move from an apartment into a home, and so much more.
Jim was one of those rare people who was just exactly who he was pretty much all the time. No pretenses, he pulled no punches -- he was his outrageous, smart, generous, funny, sometimes-ridiculous self. And I suspect he had the very first friend he ever made. He was just that guy.
He adored Claire and his boys, he loved his work, he had an opinion about nearly everything which he was eager to share. He was a force to be reckoned with.
Jim and Claire moved away years ago, but somehow they have always, will always, feel like "my people." We moved to NC about 11 years ago, which afforded us a few fun times together in recent years.
I am so sad to know that Jim is no longer among us, but he has made his mark on the world and so many people. I am super grateful to have called him my friend. He will be in my heart for good, as will his whole family.
Much love to you all.
March 13, 2018
Any of us who worked with Jim at WS Tyler remember his unique style when dealing with difficult situations or our outrageous or impractical suggestions. Jim would pause, lean back, widen his friendly wide-eyed look. He would wait for a pause, never interrupt, then lean slightly forward with a grin, cock his head, chuckle, and say something such as, “Have you thought about…….?” Or sometimes, “What you say if ……?” Jim absorbed and dissipated stress. He never amplified difficulty or discord.
Jim was a joy to work with because he delighted in the differences among everyone he worked with. His natural goodwill and charm were contagious. What a joy to have known Jim!
March 12, 2018
Jim worked with me at Vick Chemical Company (later RVI), first in NY City and later in Wilton CT. I was one of the people who recognized his marketing talent and worked hard to recruit him to join the company. Jim contributed his creative talent, great business sense, and genuine friendship from day 1. He earned positions of increased responsibility and had a great run, even after I left the company in 1977. Jim was always fun to have time with -- jokes, tall stories, and "crazy" ideas. He and Claire were a terrific pair. I send condolences to Claire and their sons. I am sorry to have lost touch with him over the years, and saddened to learn of his passing. I see that he has been singing in his church choir as do I. So when my time comes, I'll be able to be with him among the choir of angels.
Maddy Sidelnik Duerr
March 12, 2018
Great memories of working with Jim at RMI-RVI in CT, and even a trip to California when the business expanded out there in the early 1980's. He had a creative mind and was always a good guy. Deepest sympathy to Claire and the Cappio family.
March 12, 2018
It seems like such a short time ago when Jim decided to leave Upstate. He was loved here for his warmth, dedication and commitment to students. I was very surprised when he decided to leave, as he clearly loved his job. I really enjoyed working with him teaching the Spinx management teams. He was so helpful and giving of his time. He truly helped me understand the needs of these very busy adult learners. I am so very saddened by the thought he is no longer with us. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends at this time.
March 12, 2018
TO THE CAPPIO FAMILY
SORRY TO HEAR THE NEWS
WHAT A GREAT MAN AND A TRUE FRIEND. WORKED WITH JIM AT RVI. JIM WAS ALWAYS READY TO HELP HIS FRIENDS
IN ANY REGARDS. I WILL THINK OF HIM OFTEN
March 12, 2018
Jim & my husband became friends at Evergreen Place. They had a lot of fun together and went as far as to try to escape with suitcases in hand. Through them I met Claire. What a blessing to be able to support each other. We shared many laughs and tears. Now we can know that Jim and Peter are at peace in a happy place. I am blessed to have had Jim in my life. He was a great man.
March 11, 2018