INDIAN LAKE — Michael R. Capozzi, 76, of Cleveland Road, passed away Wednesday evening, June 11, 2014, at Glens Falls Hospital.
Born Aug. 15, 1937, in Clintondale, New York, he was the son of the late Tobia and Mary (LaManna) Capozzi.
Michael was a graduate of Highland High School.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1960 to 1966. He earned the Certificate of Achievement, the Good Conduct Medal and the Army Occupation Medal (Berlin). Following his honorable discharge from the Army, Michael enrolled in the Student Art League in Woodstock and New York City. He worked at Dutchess Bank.
Michael married Edna M. Bloom on Aug. 27, 1972, at St. Mary’s Church in Indian Lake.
He came to Indian Lake to purchase a patch beagle from Willet Randall and never left. He then worked at Johnsburg Central School, first as a custodian and later as a bus driver. He retired from the school in 1996 after 25 years of employment.
Michael was an avid gardener. He enjoyed hunting, his patch beagles and creating numerous oil paintings on canvas. He was an accomplished man whose down-to-earth, straightforward nature earned him the respect and love of many people.
He was a member of the American Kennel Club and a past member of Upper Hudson Kennel Club.
Michael was predeceased by his parents; two brothers, Lawrence Capozzi and Angelo Capozzi; and one sister, Louise Capozzi.
Survivors include his loving wife of 41 years, Edna Capozzi; three children, Mary Peace and her husband, Major, of Castleton, Tobia Capozzi and his wife, Holly, of Greenville, and Michael Capozzi and his wife, Karen, of Averill Park; eight grandchildren, Isaiah, Gabriel, Keara, Angelo, Roman, Kacey, Samantha and Rocco; three sisters, Rose Capozzi, Concetta Capozzi and Anne Capozzi, all of Clintondale; and many nieces, nephews and special friends.
In accordance with Michael’s wishes, there are no public calling hours or funeral services scheduled.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Michael’s memory may be directed to C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital, 102 Park St., Glens Falls, NY 12801; or to Indian Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps, P.O. Box 39, Indian Lake, NY 12842.
(Tribute to Michael Capozzi by Chris Hornick. As submitted to Better Beagling and Hounds & Hunting)
Michael Capozzi passed away June 11, 2014. Mike was a long-time beagler in the Adirondacks, known to many as the man who worked with Willet Randall in his final years and to whom Willet entrusted the Patch Kennel and hounds to after his passing. Mike was an amazing man and I am privileged to have called him my friend.
Mike was born in Clintondale, New York and was a member of the Mid-Hudson Beagle Club. He served in the US Army. In February 1964, Mike and a friend of his, made the journey to North Creek to purchase a Patch Hound direct from Willet. Willet and Mike hit it off and soon became the best of friends. Mike would run hounds with Willet and several other notable houndsman of the time such as Harry Morse, Ray Libby and others. Mike gave up his job at Duchess Bank and moved permanently to the Adirondacks and Willet helped him find the place he lived the rest of his life. He would condition hounds for Willet and also trial them. Mike spent many long days and nights in the Adirondack swamps and meadows following the hounds. Willet officially passed the AKC Registered Kennel over to Mike in 1967. In Willet’s writings he referred to him as “Wild Mike” and the two developed a bond that lasted until Willet’s death in 1970. Mike was also an officer at the Upper Hudson Beagle Club.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s, Mike trialed quite a bit in the Large Pack circuit, finishing FC Mountain Rocket and placing several other hounds but Mike loved pleasure running and hunting hare the most. Mike continued the Patch Kennel for 47 years and sold hounds throughout the country. Mike stayed true to his beliefs and was never influenced by the fad of the time. He bred sound, hunting beagles that could push a hare and were also built correctly to withstand the rigors of daily hunting in the North Country.
Mike loved his family above all. Edna, his children, and his grandchildren came first and as we shared the love of the hounds, he always made sure I was keeping my family first as well. Mike also was an avid gardener and an extremely talented artist.
I could not have had a better mentor in the hounds. He was always willing to answer any questions I had and was eager to hear how the hounds I had were progressing. Mike always had an interest in the litters I was planning and I ran every cross I made through him often sending him a pedigree of the proposed cross. Mike was very knowledgeable of pedigrees and hounds of the past.
In the early 2000’s, Mike asked me that when the time came, to promise him I would carry on with the hounds, a promise he had made to Willet that the kennel must continue. I was honored and humbled. In 2011, I became partners in the kennel but Mike still held the reins. Mike bred his last litter in 2013 and loved those hounds and pups.
I always had a great respect for Mike but didn’t realize how many others shared that respect until our partnership. People from all over contacted me, sharing stories of Mike and unilaterally all held that same admiration and high esteem. The beagling world has lost one of its greatest. Mike was a true gentleman, a great houndsman, and a dear friend. I will be forever grateful that he touched my life.