December 30, 1923 – September 9, 2020
Obituary for John Cappelletti
John Cappelletti was born December 30, 1923 and at the age of 96, went to join his brothers and sister on September 9, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents Domenic and Annuzita “Nancy”, brothers Pete, Rosario “Ross”, William, Nick, Lee, Paul and sister, Antonette (Ann). His Wife, Kathleen (Kay), who was the love of his life. He is survived by several nieces and nephews.
He was always ambitious and entered the work force at 7 years old selling newspapers (then the cost was 2 cents each). At age 12 he got a job as a dental technician making $1.50 a week. To him that was a good income, so he quit school in his Sophomore year to apprentice at the dental lab.
At 18, he was the fifth son in his family drafted into the army. Although he had little formal education, his test scores and dental background induced the army to send him to medical battalion in Arkansas, then to surgical tech school in Missouri. There he completed what had been a one-year pre-med course that had been accelerated to complete in 2 months. On finishing the course, he was qualified to “scrub in” and assist during surgical operations. He spent almost 2 years overseas serving at field hospitals known as “MASH” units. His duty assignments included Algeria, India and China. He had many interesting experiences while overseas. He once gave a direct blood transfer to a critically wounded soldier. During a rickshaw ride in Hanoi, he was surrounded by natives armed with machetes. The natives threatened to kill him thinking he was an occupying Frenchman. Even then, John could talk his way out of any situation and convinced them he was an American. During his military career, he earned the Bronze star, the Combat Medical Badge, The Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, The European African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, The WW2 Victory Army Occupation Medal and the good Conduct Medal.
After his army discharge in 1946, he went to work in dental labs in Seattle, Washington until 1958. In 1958, he transitioned to a dental supply salesman for S.S. White, where he worked for 40 years. Throughout the years, he won many awards for being a top salesman. Johnny could talk the stars out of the sky and loved being around people. In addition to his career, he also enjoyed going to the racetrack. Over the years, he took his nieces and nephews to the racetrack where they enjoyed lots of laughter and good times. I am sure he’s calling the winning horses even now.
In his later years, he enjoyed skiing and playing keyboard. He learned to ski at age 55 and often took extended skiing trips with 12 dentists who were his very close friends and companions. Although he had to quit skiing in 2006, he was very proud of his adventures. He also decided to learn to play the keyboard at age 90. He took lessons and became a very accomplished keyboard player. He really enjoyed playing for people.
Special thanks to the staff of the Lodge at Eagle Ridge in Renton, where he was a resident for the last 6 years. No matter how many times he ran into something with his scooter, which he had set on jackrabbit speed or cornered a staff member for an Italian temper tantrum, they were nothing but kind and understanding with him. As his health declined, the staff took very good care of his needs and this was greatly appreciated by the family.
He will be laid to rest with full military honors next to his wife at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th St, Covington, Washington 98042.