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MONROE — C.D. “Al” Cappuccilli, who after a career in what he called the “human-care services field” served 14 years as Monroe mayor, died Tuesday in the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Care Center, Monroe. He was 83.
The cause of death was not yet known, but he had prostate cancer for several years, his daughter Heidi Webb said.
Mr. Cappuccilli took the oath of office for his final two-year term at age 75, sworn in by U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D., Dearborn), four years his senior and whose district included Monroe County for many years.
Mr. Cappuccilli did not seek re-election in 2007. He began his first term in 1992. He was re-elected five times, but was defeated in 2003 by recently elected city Councilman John Iacoangeli, whom he in turn defeated in 2005.
Mr. Cappuccilli took pride in work that led to the River Raisin Battlefield becoming part of the National Park system, for efforts that led to an affordable housing community, and for the city’s part in a program to connect nature trails in the county, his daughter said.
After his 2003 defeat, he said Monroe was leading the state in converting brownfield industrial sites to other uses and had improved the city’s relationships with neighboring communities. “He wanted a healthy, strong, good community,” his daughter said. “Dad has always had a desire to continue to help people. It wasn’t for the pay or the glory.”
And he saw he could do better, his wife, Octavia, said. “He just had that born instinct that things needed to be done better and faster,” his wife said.
As he returned to office, supporters packed council chambers and gave him a standing ovation as he took the gavel. “Those who knew him loved him,” said Jim Kansier, retired city fire marshal. “He was firm but fair. I had the utmost respect for the man. To me, he was one of the finest.”
Mr. Cappuccilli came to the mayor’s office just after retiring from the United Way of Monroe County, of which he’d been executive director since 1968. Earlier, he ran the Arthur Lesow Community Center and helped secure its first federal grant.
He said as he ended his sixth term as mayor, his career had been in the “human-care services field.” “It’s something that’s been close to me, working with people and people in need,” he told The Blade.
Corado Dominic Cappuccilli was born Oct. 5, 1930, in Monroe to Natalina and Dominic Cappuccilli.
He was a 1948 graduate of Catholic Central High School in Monroe and a Korean War-era veteran of the Air Force. He kept physically fit and for years took regular bicycle tours of the state, his daughter said.
He was a member of St. Mary Church, Monroe.
Surviving are his wife, Octavia, whom he married Aug. 11, 1951; sons, David and Craig Cappuccilli; daughters, Heidi Webb, Stacey Langton, and Darby Kolano; brother, Dominic Cappuccilli; nine grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Arrangements are pending at Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe.
The family suggests tributes to St. Mary Catholic Central High School or the retirement fund of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, both of Monroe.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.
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