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Robert A. Capestrain, local jeweler and founder of Capestrain Jewelers died suddenly August 31, 2019. He was born Jan 17, 1934 and was 85 years old at the time of his death. He was a lifetime Canton resident and since 2014 wintered in Ft. Myers, Florida.
Bob considered himself unusually blessed because of the loving women that were a huge part of his life. He believed that he was blessed with a Guardian Angel that intervened many times to make his journey on this earth special. His mother, Rose Capestrain was a nurturing role model for him her entire ninety five years; his devoted wife Josie, the mother of his three children, who with Bob, shared their lives together for forty two wonderful years. Their three loving daughters, Cindy, Karen and Joanne who he was very proud of, were always looking out for and checking on their dad to make certain that he was OK.
Bob wanted this message in his obituary; "To all the fine people that I have been associated with during my lifetime: You have made my life fulfilled and truly enjoyable. I pray that I have occasionally brightened your day as you have regularly done for me".
Bob started his training as a watchmaker apprentice at the age of 10 under the supervision of former Dueber Hampden Watch Factory employees. He pursued the study and restoration of antique timepieces and was a frequent speaker on the history of the Canton Dueber Hampden Co. He was a member and past president of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. In 2003 he undertook and completed the restoration of the 100 year old four dial Stark County Courthouse tower clock in 2005.ccccccclockock in 2005.
He founded Capestrain Jewelers in downtown Canton in 1956 and was fully active in his business for 50 years until his semi retirement in 2006. He studied diamonds and gemstones at the Gemological Institute of America and was awarded a degree in Gemology in 1960. He was an expert for appraisal and restoration of antique jewelry and antique clocks and watches.
After graduating from McKinley High School in 1952 he worked for local jewelers until volunteering for United States Army in 1954. He trained at Ft. Knox, Ky. and Aberdeen Md. and served with the Army 557 Ordinance Company in Aschaffenburg, Germany until his discharge in May 1956.
Bob was elected to Canton City Council as Ward One Councilman from 1968 to 1981; Councilman at Large from 1982 to 1986 and Stark County Commissioner in 1987 until his retirement from Public Service in 1990. He was honored to serve his community and was proud of the fact that he was elected in each of the 22 times that his name was on the ballot. Bob was the originator of “The Public Speaks” segment of Canton City Council meetings.
Bob was always interested in foreign travel and foreign culture and vacationed in more than 60 different countries worldwide. He was proud of his Italian heritage, organized and managed Italian Language classes at the downtown YMCA from 1990 to 2000 where hundreds of students learned the fundamentals of Italian language, culture and Italian heritage.
He was a lifetime member of The Basilica of Saint John the Baptist and past president of the St. John’s Men’s Club. Some of his affiliations include fifty years with the Toastmasters International Club where he held every office and was an award winning speaker. Memberships also included Sons of Italy Lodge, Knights of Columbus Lodge 341, Msgr. Graham K of C Assembly 4th Degree, Canton Ex-Newsboys Association, Friends of the Stark County District Library, Shady Hollow Country Club, Wilderness Center of Wilmot, Ohio, Canton Palace Theater Association, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District and Myers Lake YMCA.
Bob lived his life to the fullest and had a lifetime commitment to physical fitness. He was a 50+ year member of the Downtown Canton YMCA Athletic Club and Myers Lake YMCA. Bob recorded more than 26,000 miles as a runner, enough to circumnavigate the world. He was an avid downhill skier taking up the sport at the age of 55 and yearly enjoyed the mountains of Europe or the USA.
He had many hobbies and some of his favorites were working out, running, wine making, golfing, swimming, biking, photography, antique collecting, pocket billiards, reading and family genealogy.
He was a lifetime Canton resident and was born Jan 17, 1934 to the late Samuel H. Capestrain and Rose M. (Ramuno) Capestrain. Bob loved his father and mother, his two wives and his daughters. His first wife, the mother of his three children, Josie (Mercorelli) Capestrain and Bob were married for 42 years when she died unexpectedly in 1999.
He is survived by his three daughters, Cindy A. Capestrain, employed by the City of Canton: Karen S. Capestrain, owner of Capestrain Jewelers; and Joanne R. (Capestrain) Fritsche, a Nurse Practitioner, all of Canton, Ohio. He also leaves a brother, Carl Capestrain and Carl's wife, Kathy, of North Canton. Also surviving Bob is his former wife Cynthia A. Capestrain.
Calling hours are from 4 to 8pm on Wednesday, September 4th at Rossi Family Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, Steptember 5th at 11:00 am at The Basilica of Saint John the Baptist ( 627 McKinley Avenue N.W., Canton, OH 44703) with Very Reverend John E. Sheridan, STL – Rector. Burial will follow at Sunset Hills Cemetery on Everhard Road in Jackson Township. I lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to The Basilica of Saint John the Baptist.