Joseph “Joe” Domenic Caputo passed away Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 10:15pm, at Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City, Montana after dealing with failing health over the past several years. He was 88 years old.
Joe was born in Wenatchee, Washington on June 30, 1932, the son of Joseph Caputo and Dora “Dolly” Colwell Caputo. His parents had had difficulties having children, so Joe was a very welcome addition to the family. He was born prematurely, and stories are told about how he was placed in a box on an open oven door to help keep him warm. When Joe was 7 his parents adopted a teenage girl named Francelia Ann, and when he was 14 he finally got a baby brother; James Phillip.
Joe grew up on the orchard his parents owned in a part of Wenatchee called Wenatchee Heights. We assume this is where Joe developed his affinity for hard work, which was something he did not stop doing until he was no longer physically able. He went to school in Wenatchee, graduating from High School 1950. After he graduated from High School he worked on Weldon Barnes’ grain farm for over a year in Waterville, Washington until he left to attend college in Pullman, Washington, – currently Washington State University. He was there for his freshman year and then enlisted in the United States Navy in the summer of 1952. After some specialty training, he was stationed at Moffett Field in Oakland, California as part of an Air Transport Squadron that was responsible for delivery of supplies for troops serving in Korea. He was honorably discharged in July 1956 and served in the Reserves an additional 4 years.
On July 7, 1954 he was married to Jeannine Nelson in Whitefish, Montana. They lived in Oakland while he was still in the Navy and upon discharge returned to the Flathead Valley to make their home. They had 3 daughters: Deanna in April 1955, Cindy in September of 1957 and Penny in February 1962. While living in the Flathead, Joe and Jeannine lived on 2 farm places and Joe worked at a variety of other jobs to make ends meet, including the aluminum plant in Columbia Falls and operating a dairy farm. In 1976 the family relocated to the Ronan area in Lake County. They had a ranch where they raised cattle and farmed. In 1984 they moved into Ronan and Joe worked for Farm Credit Services there, and in a variety of offices around the State, until he retired in 1997. Following retirement, he lived in Ronan until moving to Miles City. He also spent several winters in Arizona where he made many new friends.
When Joe was 8 years old, he made his choice to serve God. He remained faithful to that choice the rest of his life. It afforded him the opportunity to meet many people who believed as he did, but most importantly he learned to love and serve God here on earth. His life left those of us who knew and loved him with no doubt that he has indeed gone on to enjoy a much-deserved reward in Heaven.
Joe was preceded in death by his father, Joe, in 1974, mother, Dolly, in 1981, sister Francelia in 1976, wife Jeannine in 1998, and daughter Cindy in 2013.
Joe is survived by his brother, Jim of Wenatchee, his daughter Deanna Maloney and husband Mike, of Mesa, Arizona; daughter Penny of Miles City, and son-in-law Royce Stearns of Fruitland, ID; 8 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 2 nieces and countless friends.
A Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Interment will follow on Thursday, June 24, 2021 the Woodlawn Cemetery in Columbia Falls, MT. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.