John Cap, Jr., 89, of Belmar, New Jersey, loving father and grandfather, passed away on July 31, 2023.
John was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, to Evodkia (Evelyn) and John Cap Sr., and was a proud first generation American. John and his brother Alexander had many jobs as children. John's first job was delivering ice after school when he was nine years old. His other jobs included delivering milk and newspapers.
For fun the boys would go to the movies on Saturday afternoon to see double features. John's favorite games were stickball and cards. He received the rotary club citizenship award in elementary school for collecting money and buying bond stamps for a club that supported World War II.
John graduated Bayonne High School and was the first one in his family to attend college. After graduating St. Peter's College, he spent three years in the US Army. He completed basic training at Fort Dix and was stationed in Germany. After the Army, John went into sales, as a sales rep for building supplies and eventually a partner in his own company, GrayCap LLC.
Finding himself without any plans for New Year's Eve 1963, John was set up on a blind date with Helen Petropoulos of Newark, NJ. The successful date with Helen resulted in a whirlwind romance, a wedding on Flag Day, June 14, 1964, and a marriage of 57 years.
Helen and John lived in West Orange, NJ for 52 years and raised their three daughters Johanna, Stephanie, and Andrea there. They enjoyed spending summers as a family at the Jersey Shore. The drive to the shore was filled with singing including a few of John's original songs he wrote for his daughters.
John loved to go crabbing and to prepare seafood dinners for his family. John often took his family to New York City for museums, art shows, circus, ballet and the theater. He regularly took his daughters to Broadway shows fostering a love of musicals.
Together, John and Helen immersed their daughters in their Lemko and Greek cultures and kept many holiday and family traditions. They travelled together to Greece, Egypt, Russia, England, Belgium and France. He was most proud of his trip to the Carpathian Mountains of Poland to see his ancestral homeland. He also spent a month in Ghana, West Africa. John and Helen spent their retirement in Belmar going to local concerts and walking on the boardwalk.
When Helen's health declined John was her champion and primary caregiver. Helen was absolutely the love of his life and he cared for her at home until she passed in 2021.
John's religion was a cornerstone of his life. He attended St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Little Falls, where you would find him in the same pew each Sunday, red prayer book in hand, actively participating in services. He served as a trustee and attended and supported many local Orthodox events and organizations.
To his grandchildren, John was known as Papa, and always had a candy bar ready for them whenever they visited. One of his favorite pastimes with his grandchildren was feeding ducks on the lake across from his house.
John is survived by his daughters Johanna Cap Gatch, Stephanie Sackariasen and her husband Kurt, Andrea Kruger and her husband Mike; Grandchildren Alexis, Kurt, Lily, Mia and Violet.
A viewing will be held at Gaita Memorial Home (154 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Little Falls, NJ 07424) on Thursday, August 3rd from 4 pm- 8 pm with a Parastas service and memorial at 7 pm. The funeral service will be held on Friday, August 4th at 10 am at St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church (29 Weaver Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424). Please meet directly at church. Burial will follow at 12:30 pm at St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Christian Cemetery (316 Cassville Road, Jackson, NJ 08527).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to International Christian Charities (IOCC), 110 West Road, Suite 360, Baltimore, MD 21204 or online at www.iocc.org or to Cure PSP in support of Supranuclear Palsy Research at Cure PSP, 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001 or online at www.psp.org/iwanttohelp/ways-to-give/
Envelopes will also be provided by the funeral home during visitation hours.