Pamela J. Capodelupo, a Haverhill native and lifelong resident, died Thursday, Aug. 24, at home after a lengthy illness, passing peacefully in her sleep. She was 66.
She and her wife, Donna (Greene), married in 2004 after 21 years together. They joked it was the longest engagement of any couple they knew. In all, they were together for 40 years.
Pam was devoted to her family, whether its members shared bloodlines or experiences during deep and loving friendships. As life went on, her family grew to include the husbands, wives, and girlfriends, the children and the grandchildren of those she held dear. She made sure to remember the children’s birthdays and special events, spending innumerable hours searching for just the right gift.
There are many other children who claimed much of her time, as well. From the beginning of her professional career, Pam dedicated herself to the safety and welfare of the children in her community. Beginning with the advocacy organization Community Action, where she rose to director of its daycare program, to the state child welfare agency that was then known as the Department of Social Services (now Child and Family Services), she worked for nearly 25 years to improve kids’ lives.
It is a testament to her dedication to the families on her caseload that throughout Greater Haverhill there are men and women who crossed her path as children who are now loving parents and grandparents to their own families.
Her drive to act on behalf of those who needed her help didn’t cease at the end of her workday, however. She and Donna opened their home to a parade of rescue dogs throughout their years together. Most of the time, canines outnumbered the humans in their home by a minimum ratio of 2-to-1. She especially was drawn to cocker spaniels in memory of her childhood dog, Mojo.
Pam’s favorite hobby was collecting … well, anything collectible. She was especially drawn to framed quotes, and this one from her collection, credited to Barbara Dillingham, seems especially fitting right now:
“Life is not a path of coincidences, happenstance, or luck, but rather an unexplainable, meticulously charted course for one to touch the lives of others and make a difference in the world.”
Pam truly touched the lives of others, and by helping children and families rebuild their lives, she has made a real difference in the world. Anyone who considers honoring or extending that life-changing work is invited to consider a donation in her memory to the children’s charity of their choice.
In addition to her wife, Pam leaves her niece, Elizabeth Suddeth; great-niece Katherine Stone, her husband, Matthew, and their children, Augustine, Nikolas, and Gemma; nephew John Koloshey; and dear friends Anthy and Nick LaMela, Alexandra and Harry Filippakis, and Tim Coco.
She was the daughter of Augustine A. “Tido” Capodelupo and Rose (Davichick) Capodelupo, who died in 1986 and 2000, respectively.
Pam’s family and friends gathered for a graveside service on Friday, Sept. 1, where she was laid to rest beside her beloved parents in St. James Cemetery. Arrangements were by Dole, Childs and Shaw Funeral Home, Main Street, Haverhill.