James "Jim" Vincent Caputo

Birth Date: 
Monday, January 14, 1946
Date of Passing: 
Sunday, November 29, 2020

WOOSTER - James “Jim” Vincent Caputo, 74, of Wooster died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, November 29, 2020 at his home. 

He was born January 14, 1946 in Pittsburgh, PA to Wilbur George and Martha Hughes Caputo. On June 5, 2000 he married Anneliese Viehmeyer Tannhof.  She survives.

Jim was a graduate of Ohio University where he participated in ROTC. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Akron and a second Master’s from the University of Northern Iowa.  He was a German and English teacher for the Wooster City Schools from 1970 until 2003 and then taught in the International Baccalaureate program from 2006 until 2016. 

Jim served his country in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a First Lieutenant from 1968–1969.

He was an avid reader and loved walking and listening to audio books, traveling, photography, listening to music, singing and playing the guitar.  His musical tastes were diverse.  Some of his favorites included Beethoven, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan.  He also had an affection for cats, and cats were always a part of his life.  Jim also had a unique sense of humor and loved reaching out to veterans.  Jim was part of the Friendship Connection Exchange Program, leading numerous trips to Germany as a student mentor and chaperone.

Jim was a member of A.A., a counselor for STEPS, and a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Along with his wife, Jim is survived by his daughter, Melissa (Peter) Mowrey of Wooster; stepchildren Thomas (Ashley) Tannhof of Wooster, Evelyn (Charles) Bowden of Columbus and Angela (Aaron) Dorksen of Wooster; grandchildren Stephen and Ingrid Mowrey, Nickolas and Doris Tannhof, and Arch Dorksen; a sister, Louise (Jay) Kosta of Endwell, NY; and his first wife Phyllis Caputo of Wooster, with whom he remained friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Private family graveside services will be held for Jim at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville.  Due to the pandemic, a celebration of life will take place at a later time.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to OneEighty, 104 Spink St., Wooster, Ohio 44691.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com

 

Memorial Contributions: 

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to OneEighty, 104 Spink St., Wooster, Ohio 44691.

Service: 

Private family graveside services will be held for Jim at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville with a Celebration of Life Service at a later date.

Condolences

On behalf of the Daniel J. Hughes family, I would like to express our deepest condolences for your loss. My dad, Daniel J. Hughes, was Martha's youngest brother, so he was Jimmy's uncle, and we (DJ, Marilyn, Cindy, Jamie) were his cousins. Jim used to visit our house in Pittsburgh in the 1970s; he would show up in his VW beetle with a duffle bag flung over his back.My dad fought in Europe in WWII,and so Jimmy sought him out after Vietnam.I pray that your happy memories of his life, along with the mercy of our loving God, will comfort you in this sad time.

Our deepest Sympathy. Thinking of you at this difficult time and wishing you comfort and peace.
The Mueller Family

Jim was great friend and colleague. His love and devotion to his family was a great example to all of us. Please accept Kirsty and my sincere condolences.

Oh, Melissa, Peter, and Phyllis,

I'm so sorry to learn of your great loss. Jim was a wonderful German teacher to Ryan, who was warmed and encouraged by his pedagogical vitality and his inimitable humorous locutions. And April was honored to be Melissa's piano teacher. I hope you may be able to accept my deepest condolences. You and your family are in my thoughts, with wishes for peace and solace, during this difficult time.

Please accept my condolences on Jim’s passing. Both of my daughters were in his German classes at WHS.

My sincere sympathy to you all on Jim’s passing. May he rest in by peace and be fondly remembered always.

Our deepest condolences on Jim's passing. His wisdom and kindness will be remembered and live on. We wish you strength during this difficult time.

Koehler Family

My deepest condolences. I only have great memories of Jim and I am sad to hear of his passing. Jim was a good friend of my father Keith who preceded Jim in passing. My fondest memory was a trip we took in a big RV to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington DC when I was younger. I remember Jim let me win at Poker and was always so thoughtful and encouraging. I'll miss him greatly but I won't ever forget him. Thank you for everything Jim, may you Rest in Peace.

My sincerest sympathy to you on Jim's passing. Herr Caputo was my German teacher at WHS. I have so many fond memories of the time I spent in his classroom. It has been 25 years but I will never forget singing German songs on Fridays.

I taught with Jim at Wooster High School for a number of years and appreciated his feisty spirit. Condolences to the family on your loss.

Lots of fond memories of "Herr" Caputo, German teacher to many Wooster High School students. We always loved when he got out his guitar and taught us how to sing Beatles hits in German, "Sie Liebt Dich, Ya Ya Ya", Wunderbar! He also told lots of stories about war and peace and general philosophies of life. It was like having a super hip older brother who shared stories of his many travels. Of course, he always seemed to be in a good mood which certainly helped lots of us make it through another long school day. And, he never got too upset that most of his students could only learn about 3 ways to say "the" in German, though there are about 16 ways to do it. Why 16? A truly kind, warm and fun person, and someone you were proud you knew. He is missed already.

Lots of fond memories of "Herr" Caputo, German teacher to many Wooster High School students. We always loved when he got out his guitar and taught us how to sing Beatles hits in German, "Sie Liebt Dich, Ya Ya Ya", Wunderbar! He also told lots of stories about war and peace and general philosophies of life. It was like having a super hip older brother who shared stories of his many travels. Of course, he always seemed to be in a good mood which certainly helped lots of us make it through another long school day. And, he never got too upset that most of his students could only learn about 3 ways to say "the" in German, though there are about 16 ways to do it. Why 16? A truly kind, warm and fun person, and someone you were proud you knew. He is missed already.

I am so sorry to hear of Herr Caputo's passing. As a student of his at WHS from 1984 - 1988 he made a lasting impression on me and remains my favorite teacher. My deepest condolences to his family.

My sincere sympathies to all of you at Jim’s passing. He was my US history teacher at Wooster high and a fellow faculty member. May your memories bring you smiles

Dear Anneliese and family,

I am sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was a great guy and a great friend to me and many others. Jim was the perfect blend of toughness and compassion. I enjoyed many in depth conversations with him about many topics. I learned a great deal from him about the Vietnam War, alcoholism and life in general. I will certainly miss him and his sense of humor.
Peace to your hearts.

I send my condolences to Herr Caputo's family. He was my high school German teacher in the late 1980s. I will never forget the great times in the classroom. Signing Beatles songs in German and all the fun anecdotes. I never got to take one of the field trips to Germany with Herr Caputo. However, he inspired me and I continued studying German in college, studied in Munich and ended up getting a BA in German. All from his support and inspiration. Thank you! He will be missed!

So very sorry for your loss. May God's peace comfort you during this difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers, Carmen Elegban and family.

He was kind, humorous, and a true gentleman.

So sorry to learn of Herr Caputo's passing. A quirky, exceedingly kind man who made learning German fun. I had the pleasure of having him as my teacher in the late '80s. I don't remember all the teachers I had, but I'll never forget Jim. I know generations of other students who would say the same. RIP, Herr Caputo, and sympathies to all his family and friends.

I taught with Jim a long time ago. He was a calm man who spread peace and good humor. He was a great teacher. I will miss him.
sending prayers of comfort.
Linda

Our deepest condolences to you, Anneliese, and your family! Jim will be missed so very much by us and so many other friends. Hugs to you and Melissa. Joe & Patty Epperson

So very sorry to hear of Herr Caputo's passing. He made German classes interesting and I looked forward to his sing-a-longs on Fridays. Since I had him first period, his sense of humor was always a great way to start the day. My condolences to his family.

Anneliese and family, so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. May you find peace and comfort in your faith and memories.

Dear Anneliese and Family-I was shocked and saddened to hear that he passed. He was a great friend of mine and I will miss him greatly May you find peace and comfort with your faith.
I will miss having lunch with him. I will miss his sense of humor . Hugs to you and Melissa. I will miss his conversations and miss him greatly

Please accept my sympathy for your profound loss. I went to high school with Jim, and while I had not seen him in years, I really enjoyed his puns and wisdom about many subjects. All I can say is “ what a great guy!”. Love to you and your family. Jim will be missed, and remembered.

Dear Anniliese-I was shocked and Saddened to hear of his passing. He was a very good friend of mind. I will miss him greatly. My deepest condolences to you and your family
I will miss having lunch with him and his conversations. I will miss his sense of humor. He was a great guy. I definitely want to go to his celebration of life when we get rid of the virus

I loved Herr Caputo's German classes all four years of highschool in the 1970s. I also had him for English literature one year. He was a great teacher with great stories and wonderful songs (all translated to German). We sang Beatles, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Christmas favorites, and so much more. It was because of him that I studied German in college and spent a year in Heidelberg. Rest in peace Here Caputo. You are missed already.

I loved Herr Caputo's German classes all four years of highschool in the 1970s. I also had him for English literature one year. He was a great teacher with great stories and wonderful songs (all translated to German). We sang Beatles, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Christmas favorites, and so much more. It was because of him that I studied German in college and spent a year in Heidelberg. Rest in peace Here Caputo. You are missed already.

Dear Anneliese, Angela, Evelyn, Thomas, Hans and Marge and all who were blessed to be in Jim's life,
Tom and I send the heartiest of condolences and are sending up prayers of Gratitude for having been part of his life.
Anneliese, we can only imagine the stress of the last two years especially because of Jim's worsening state. It is difficult to watch someone you love suffer so much and over such a long span of time.
I personally loved talking with Jim at some of the family gatherings... His humor some considered corny but it was therapeutic to my weary soul. ...Laughter truly is good for the soul.. I intended to get he and Anneliese over for a porch visit during this past summer. Alas my own mother's cancer demanded my complete attention between travel and dealing with POA and then successor demands. Since I walked with Marge I tried to keep up and I prayed for the whole family because I wanted to be sure God would keep them and bring them good memories despite bad circumstances. Anneliese, you take care sweet friend. I love you and all your family. May God bring you peace and hope as you move forward from here. Thank you Jim for pouring into so many souls as you worked your own recovery program. May our Father reward you as a good and faithful servant. Condolences to Melissa and grandchildren May you find hope as you learn to live without his presence this side of heaven. His legacy will go on and I pray you are blessed by it. Because we care. Debby (and Tom)

Dear Melissa,
You have my deepest sympathies and condolences. I was fortunate to have had the pleasure of teaching with your father at Wooster High School. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time in your life.
Sincerely,
Kevin Hennis

I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He had to be one of my favorite teachers at WHS. I didn't take a language course from him, but think it may have been history. However he also had an affinity for music and guitar playing which is probably why we bonded.

Wes and I are so sorry to lose a friend and classmate. We have known Jim since Jr. High school and got to know each other better in ou later years. What a valued friend! We will always remember Jim and miss his posts on FB. Felt like we connected every day.

Thank you for your service. Condolences to the family. Wooster-Wayne Chapter DAR

Herr Caputo was a wonderful teacher. His German class was a favorite in my four years at Wooster High School (Class of '84). At the end of nearly every class he got out his guitar and we sang Beatles' songs in German. "Sie Liebt Dich" ("She Loves You"), with it's rousing chorus of "Sie liebt dich, Ja, Ja, Ja!" was a favorite. Herr Caputo was way ahead of his time in the classroom, blending traditional language instruction with interactive exercises. I so enjoyed seeing him at Zion Lutheran Church on visits to Wooster. Condolences to the Caputo family. Herr Caputo was a treasure.

I can still sing many of the German songs that I learned from Herr Caputo at WHS in the early 1980s, and I also vividly remember his once-a-year discussions of the Vietnam War. My condolences to all of his family.

My deepest condolences. Herr Caputo was a legend while I was at Wooster High School and I can only imagine the legend has grown. He was my German teacher from 1985 - 1989. Out of all my teachers, I think he had the most impact on my life. At the time, we thought he was a little crazy because of his unorthodox teaching style, but a fun kind of crazy. Like others, I fondly remember singing songs in German on Fridays while he accompanied on guitar as well as his impromptu Bob Dylan impressions. I also remember him helping the German Club Oktoberfest celebrations, which included sauerkraut eating and rootbeer drinking contests back to back. He certainly kept us engaged and entertained! He taught us much more than German, including thinking out of the box before that concept hit popular culture ( at least with high school students!). I continued to studied German in college, earning a BA in German and worked at a German Bank in Dortmund. I have often reflected on my time in Herr Caputo's class and, as an adult, appreciate the things he he taught us even more than I did back then. My deepest sympathies to his family on their loss.

I had JIm Caputo as a German Teacher way back in approx. 1978. I was named "Wolfy" in his class. I had a lot of schooling/teachers in my life and through all that, Mr. Caputo was one I'll never forget. His class was so fun and some of the Beatles songs we sang in German stick to me to this day.

Anneliese and family, I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. In my years of teaching and serving as a school administrator I have never worked with a teacher who loved what he taught as much as Jim did. Be it working with German 1 students or International Baccalaureate Level II students, Jim gave his all to inspire and challenge every one of his students. I will never forget the IB student who came into my office in tears, early in her first year of German instruction and begged me to change her schedule because she felt that she would never be able to master the German content. I counseled her to trust that Herr Caputo would work with her to be the best she could be. She later majored in German in College, became president of her German Club and has lived in Germany and now speaks fluid German. That is just one example of the power of Jim's confidence and instructional excellence that he delivered to his students. Personally, Jim was always a trusted confidant for me and went out of his way to help me learn the complexity of the International Baccalaureate Program. We shared many exciting as well as anxious moments worrying about the success of the students and the program. We also had daily discussions about music and the problems of the world. I want you to know that Jim was a great guy who really cared about his students. I will miss him !

“Du, du liegst mir im Herzen...”. I still remember this song he taught us some 45 years ago. I. also remember Herr Caputo taking us around the school to other classrooms to sing Christmas Carols in German. Not many teachers impacted my life like Herr Caputo did. He has often been an inspiration in my teaching career. I don’t remember a whole lot of German, but I remember the kind of teacher Herr Caputo was.

My condolences to Herr Caputo's family and friends. He was a great guy! I met him in German 1 class when I began at Wooster High in 1972. I was a terrible student in general and of the German language (I actually had to repeat German 1 in the 10th grade). Herr Caputo was, of course, cool about my failure to learn the language and he kept working with me... besides, he had other important lessons to teach me during those years. I don't know why I was a kid that he singled out for this, but that first year he began planting other ideas in my head concerning the importance of my role as a citizen and of political and societal issues. This turned out to be a big deal for me. I was still an idiot teenager so things didn't always take immediately, but he planted the seed that I should take certain things seriously and that it was okay to change my mind if better information came along, and that's the life I've tried to live. I've always been keenly aware of his role in my life and I've thought of him and spoken of him often through all these years, and I felt compelled to visit him in 1996 and to write him a letter about ten years after that; there's no other teacher I felt that way about. He really did something great for me and was, of course, far and away the most important teacher in all those years of schooling. So that's how I felt about him and I know that for me to carry such strong feelings about a teacher I first met 48 years ago means he was a man whom many other students and people also must have had extremely important encounters with. (And, of course, I share the fond memories of singing Beatles songs in German and of his affection for Bob Dylan which I came to share.) I'll continue to keep at it and I'll think and speak of him for the rest of my life.

I am Wooster High class of ‘79. Not only did Herr Caputo make learning German fun and interesting, he made it real, authentic, and rich. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Germany-speaking countries on many occasions for both business and pleasure, and I lived in Vienna Austria for a bit. Herr Caputo was so dialed into street language — the opposite of textbook German — the real way people speak. I can’t tell you how many times a native German speaker would “where did you learn that? No American says it that way!” The songs we learned - yes of course the Beatles like Komm Gib mir Deine Hand - that were more classic folk songs like Muß I’ denn and Du liebst Mir im Herzen were fantastic to know when getting to know real German speakers. Like someone said above, I don’t remember many teachers from high school. Herr Caputo I will never forget. What a great man and what a legacy.

I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. As many have said he was an inspiration to me and many others. A German student as well, who loved going to class knowing he would have something up his sleeve to keep us interacting with each other, enjoying Beatle songs and German Bingo. He knew how to connect and tap what made us learn. Most recent I enjoyed his humorous jokes to brighten a day on social media. Condolences to his family, He will be missed.

I am really sorry that Herr Caputo passed away. He was my IB teacher while at Wooster High. He gave many great memories and was a wonderful mentor. Many will miss him and I wish you and your family much peace during these times.

Sending you much love and prayers. Herr Caputo was one of my favorite teachers that impacted me so much. He was my teacher in the 70's. He had an ability to connect with students unlike any other teacher. He made learning fun and interesting. I wasn't the best student, but I still sing all the little songs in German (Beatles, Puff the magic dragon to name a few!) and I can still say the pledge of allegiance in German! I don't remember many teachers, but Herr Caputo I remember fondly. He was a teacher and a friend to many.

Our sincere sympathy for your loss, Anneliese. We are former neighbors and Ed is the one you helped with his German letter writing. We wish that we had had an opportunity to get to know Jim better. He & Ed would have had a number of things in
common. We send you our prayers and many 'hugs'.

Dear Anneliese and the Caputo family, we were saddened to hear the news of Jim's passing. Our hearts go out to your family. Jim was a neighbor, a friend and a fellow Viet Nam Veteran, and in one of the first Viet Nam Veterans support groups in Wayne County. Jim was engaging and had a quick sense of humor. During one Viet Nam Veteran celebration at the "Rock" at Wooster College, Jim was to play his guitar but it was raining that day. He did not want to get his guitar wet so instead of playing Jim sang "Amazing Grace." His voice was profound. May he rest in peace.

We add our voices to so many throughout the community to express sorrow and sympathy at Jim's passing. He was one-of-a-kind.

I'd like to extend my condolences to all Jim's family. I was a student of his in the 70's and a next door neighbor on Forest Drive. I'll always remember his smile and ability to all fell good. Jim will be sorely missed!

I was so sorry to here about Jim’s sudden passing. Jim was my first cousin. His mother Martha was the sister of my father James Hughes.
We connected on Ancestry.com and had planned to met up and to my great sorrow and regret we never did. We talked a lot on the phone.
He was a lovely person and I will miss him.
My sincere condolences to Annalise whom he spoke us with such love and admiration and his daughter Melissa and his grandchildren that he was so proud of.
He will be missed.

Jim and I were at Ohio University and in the Pershing Rifle group together in the late 1960s. He was always jovial, was a very interesting friend to have and was always trying to educate us on the German language...to no avail! I have read his Facebook posts, and it seems Jim had a good life although there were many ups and downs. Caputo family, please accept my sincere sympathy,Don

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