Joseph Francis Cappello Jr., 80, of Ewing passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at Capital Health Hopewell on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Born and raised in the Chambersburg section of Trenton, Joseph resided in Ewing Township since 1972.
He was an incredible man with a lifelong passion for learning and teaching. A true pioneer in the field of Special Education in NJ, he believed that every child had the right to a good education. Joseph retired in 1992 as the first Superintendent of the Mercer County Special Services School District. The Joseph F. Cappello School of the MCSSSD is named in his honor.
He was previously employed as a Special Education Teacher for the Trenton Public Schools, as a Coordinator of Special Education for the East Windsor School District, as a Regional Coordinator for Special Education with the NJ Dept of Education; and as an Adjunct Professor at Georgian Court College.
He was an alumnus of Newark State Teachers College (Kean University) and Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey) where he received an MA. He was an Honorary Board member of the Association for the Advancement of Mental Health; a retired member of the NJ Association of School Administrators and the International Council for Exceptional Children. He also served as an office holder and member of numerous educational and civic groups.
Joseph was a veteran of the US Army. He served with the First Cavalry Division, 8th Regiment in Japan from 1953-55. He was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.
He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph F. Cappello Sr. and Carmela Ruberti Cappello, and two sisters, Mary Lucas and Eleanor Muscente.
He is survived by his wife of almost 54 years, Joan Wolliard Cappello and five daughters and their spouses: Kathryn and Michael Clancy of Ewing; JoAnn Cappello of Hopewell Township and her companion, Alberto Garnier; Carolyn and Mark Burns of Arnold Md.; Margaret and Francis Piliere of Bordentown; and Karen and Robert Kent of Hopewell Township. Five grandchildren: Zachary Burns, Julia Burns, Kevin Clancy, William Kent and Chelsea Kent.
A brother and spouse, Anthony and Estelle Cappello of Pennington; a sister, Loretta Brophy of Hamilton; two sisters-in-law, Sister Lorraine Wolliard of Watchung and Teresa Wolliard of Hamilton Square; his aunt, Mary Angelucci of Mercerville, five nephews and their spouses: Richard and Paulette Cappello, Dennis and Kathy Brophy, Kenneth and Celeste Brophy, Brian and Suzanne Lucas, and John and Karen Cappello, and several great nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. at St. James Roman Catholic Church, 115 E. Delaware Ave., Pennington. Friends may call Saturday from 8-10 a.m. at the church. Interment will be private.
Arrangements under the direction of the M. William Murphy Funeral Home, 935 Parkway Ave., Ewing. Please visit www.murphyfh.com for additional information. Donations in Joseph's memory may be made to: Mercer County Special Services School District Foundation, 1050 Old Trenton Road, Trenton NJ 08690.