Skip navigation
Gennaro J. Capobianco
Gennaro Capobianco
1948 - 2005
Gennaro Joseph Capobianco
Biography: Gennaro "Jerry" Joseph Capobianco was born on 23 September 1948, the second of five children. His parents were Ciriaco "Jerry" Augustine Capobianco (born 16 February 1926) and Ada "Ida" Constance Capobianco (nee Mazzafera; born 26 February 1926). He had one older sister and three younger siblings: Kathleen Marie Capobianco (born 18 August 1947), Richard Wayne Capobianco (born 5 April 1951), Ronald Thomas Capobianco (born 9 October1952), and Donna Lee Capobianco (14 May 1956). He attended St. Patrick-St. Anthony Elementary School through eighth grade, graduating in 1964 (he was kept back in first and fifth grades), and then Weaver Public High/Hartford Public High School, graduating in 1968. He received an associates degree from the Greater Hartford Community College in May of 1971. While in college, Jerry spent time working on his art and had at least one drawing published in a student art booklet. In 1975 he participated in an independent study at the University of Connecticut where he worked on an Italian-American Curriculum Guide that was later published in 1976. Beginning roughly in 1968, Jerry began throwing himself into Italian-American culture in the Greater Hartford area. He helped found the Italian-American Historical Society of Greater Hartford and joined many societies, including Order Sons of Italy in America, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society, the Young Italian American Society, UNICO and the St. Anthony Society. He was also a member of Connecticut's Commission on Cultural Affairs in the late 1970s/early 1980s. In the early 1970s, Jerry ran for East Hartford town councilman and state representative as an independent candidate but was never elected. He participated in the Mayor's All-American Council/Festival in the mid-1970s and was active in the Thalassemia Foundation of Greater Hartford working for a cure for Cooley's Anemia. He worked on the bilingual Connecticut Italian Bulletin (and Review) from 1968 to 1975, eventually becoming managing editor, and launched La Voce, a bilingual newspaper, in 1973. In 1973 Jerry received his Connecticut license as a funeral director. In 1978 he founded the Greater Hartford Funeral Home and Chapel. He was a proponent of low cost funerals and wrote a nationally syndicated article in 1981 decrying the expense of funerals and the funeral industry itself. His license was suspended from August 12th, 1984 to February 12th, 1985. He was an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church and a member of the American Society of Notaries Other jobs held by Jerry included Pinkerton security guard, student funeral director, bowling alley maintenance worker, cab driver, ambulance driver, store clerk, computer stock and record clerk, library assistant, chauffeur for funerals and weddings and funeral home assistant. For many years he planned on writing a history of Italian-Americans in Hartford to be titled The Italians of Hartford and Other Towns: From Colonial Times Until 1900. He later expanded the scope of the work to the present day and hoped to publish it in 1976 and later 1979 but never did. He worked on the "Our Roots" project in the mid-1970s, part of the Peoples of Connecticut Project, and co-wrote a study on Italian-Americans that was never published. Jerry died on 25 August 2005. He never married and had no children. He left his research on Italian-Americans to the Connecticut Historical Society.