A longtime churchgoer, Margaret DeNapoli Capobianco did not allow health problems deter her from praying. The lifelong Inwood resident kept a spiral notebook full of the names of staff and other people she met at Oceanside Care Center in her eight years as a resident at the nursing and rehabilitation facility.
“She was a big prayer and prayed for their intentions,” said daughter Fran Galante, a Woodmere resident. “We teased her, who are all these people? Her mind remained sharp.”
Capobianco died at Oceanside Care Center on June 18. She was 94.
Born in Rockaway Beach, she was the oldest of four siblings. “[She] adored the beach, just as her mother did, whose family originated on the Adriatic Sea near Bari, Italy,” daughter Peggy Capobianco said in her mother’s eulogy.
She worked as a hall monitor for the Lawrence School District for 41 years, retiring in 2011, the year before she was presented with a certificate honoring her for 40 years. Capobianco worked at the Number Four School, the high school with a majority of her time spent at the middle school.
“It was nice that her grandchildren saw their grandmother at work,” Galante said, adding that Helen Basile (who died in 2015) and Capobianco were considered the two most dedicated workers by district personnel.
Meeting Michael A. Capobianco at a her cousin’s wedding, they had their own nuptials after World War II ended and were married for 59 years. The couple raised six children and lived at 227 Wanser Ave., Inwood, all that time, becoming homeowners after renting the upstairs, the house was expanded to accommodate a growing family. He died in 2006.
In her eulogy, Peggy recounted the years at home when Aunt Val and Uncle Dom lived in the upstairs apartment after they were married. “Aunt Val told the story of my mom calling up the stairs almost every Monday, ‘Val do you have an extra onion, or carrot, or celery for the soup’ because Monday was soup day and she never seemed to have enough supplies. Our mom also went upstairs every evening after dinner to have coffee with her brother and sister-in-law, while we three sisters argued in the basement about whose turn it was to do the dishes. Much like church, this nightly routine gave her a few minutes of peace and quiet to herself.”
She was a devout member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, also in Inwood, and its Rosary Society. “What us children realized when we got older was that time, especially Wednesday for Novena was her ‘me time,’” Galante said.
Waked at Meserole Five Towns Funeral Home, in Inwood, a Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on June 21 at Our Lady of Good Counsel by Monsignor Paul Rahily, the retired pastor of St. Joachim’s Church in Cedarhurst and a family friend.
“It was a beautiful service and a grandson, Michael Capobianco, a music minister [at Sacred Heart Church in Cambria Heights] and his son, [also] Michael, played “Ave Maria” during the meditation, it was a beautiful send off,” Galante said. The father played the organ, the son the violin. Capobianco was interred at Greenlawn Cemetery.
She is survived by children Michael Capobianco (Patti) of Rockville Centre, Peggy Capobianco of Clifton Park, Frances Galante (John) of Woodmere, Anthony Capobianco (Sandy) of Clifton Park and Richard Capobianco of Oceanside. Marie Capobianco, her oldest daughter, predeceased her in 2009. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, who she cherished, family members said.
Donations in her memory can be made to Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 68 Wanser Ave., Inwood, NY 11096.