Louis Anthony Caporicci, Colonel, USAF (Retired)
October 06, 1961 – March 18, 2016

Louis Anthony Caporicci (54) from Tampa passed away Friday, March 18, 2016 in Tampa due to an aviation accident.

He was born in Queens, NY. on October 6, 1961 to Italian immigrants Rocco and Antonietta (Evangelista) Caporicci, and married June 4, 1983 to Valmarie Barrowdale, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Louis attended the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, graduating in 1983 and later received a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California.

Louis retired from the United States Air Force, with the rank of Colonel, in 2010 after serving a 27 year distinguished career in Air Force Rescue, Survival School, and Special Operations. He was also very active at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Louis is survived by his wife of 32 years, Valmarie (57), his daughters Lisa (26) and Gina (23), all from Tampa, his parents Rocco and Antonietta Caporicci, residing in South Carolina, sisters Rita Hoop (Paul) from Virginia and Linda Caporicci from Oregon, in-laws John and Vesta Barrowdale from Arizona, many aunts, uncles, and nieces, and his four-legged best friend Swiper.

Mass will be held at 9:00 am, Thursday March 31 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church 509 N Florida Ave., Tampa, followed by interment at 11:30 am, with full military honors, at Sarasota National Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Blount & Curry, 605 S MacDill Avenue, Tampa, 33609. 813-876-2421.

Flowers are appreciated but if you would rather, please send donations in memory or honor of to the Air Force Academy Fund at USAFA.ORG

Lou’s Earthly Mission is Accomplished. PLL

The family requests that the media allow the family their privacy during this most difficult time.

~ GUEST BOOK ~

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Val, I trust God is comforting you and your family as only He can. Lou and I were classmates at the Academy and, while we were more acquaintances than close friends, every time we saw each other or stopped to talk, he inevitably made me laugh- that will always be my memory of “Louie.” Christ’s peace to you and the girls. Godspeed, Lou.
~
Michael Finley, Canton, Georgia

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Dear Val, I am so very sorry for your loss of your wonderful husband Lou. I am still in shock and heartbroken for all of you. I am blessed to have grown up with the Caporicci family in Hopewell Jct. Rita became my best friend in the neighborhood and to this day we are still best friends. I have many memories at the house on Angie Drive. The Caporicci’s treated me like family including Louis. Rita and I spent many days playing silly games in her basement and outside. I remember Rita and I use to play “The Borrowers” in her basement, setting up pillows and crawling under them as it was our house. It was from a movie about little people. I remember Louis just looking at us like we were just so weird! I love the Cap’s like family so losing one is hitting me hard and I can only imagine how you are doing and your girls. I am thankful that you and Lou got to have that magical trip recently together. Prayers will continue to come your way. Thinking of you every day. Love Lisa Scheffer
~
Lisa Scheffer, Wappingers Falls, New York

Thursday, March 24, 2016
My heart goes out to you Val and the girls. I thank God that I just had time to meet him again. Love you.
~
Shirley Ann Tremblay, Montreal, Quebec

Thursday, March 24, 2016
From the first day I met him in 1972 (?) when we were children until today, I’ve never met a more focused, driven person. I think he told me he wanted to learn to fly that early in our lives. Just a solid, hardworking smart as all heck guy whom I admired and looked up to as a kid. I’m so sorry for your loss. He is soaring with the angels now.
~
Scott Williamson, Alpharetta, Georgia

Thursday, March 24, 2016
My thoughts and prayers to everyone touched by this absolute tragedy. Sweet Lou will always be in my heart. His warm and gentle spirit coupled with his natural sense of humor always brightened up my day and brought a smile to my face. Gone from this earth, but certainly will never be forgotten. Godspeed, Lou and Kevin.
~
Christian Carnevale, Tampa, Florida

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Where do I begin, Val? As his younger sister, I knew Lou literally my entire life. So many stories from our childhood. I love that so many others who got to know him after he left home for the Academy are helping to fill in some gaps. I told Lou after he retired that he really needed to write a book someday, once some of his missions became declassified. How awesome that his many friends and fellow service brothers, as well as family, can help you piece together the story of Lou’s remarkable life right here. When I think of our childhood, I remember so clearly all those trips we had to take to the Stormville Air Field in NY to watch air shows and paratroopers in order to satisfy Lou’s lifelong dream of being in the air with those pilots and jumpers. His bedroom was filled with model airplanes, some built from kits and others painstakingly handmade from balsa wood scraps that he collected. Having his closest childhood buddy Joey living two doors down from us only fueled Lou’s dreams, because Joey and his dad flew remote control airplanes in their backyard. Lou was always right there with them, where he received his first “flying lessons”. How many people can say they truly got to live out their dream? Lou did, and he was full of gratitude for that. He had such a deep appreciation for all of the blessings in his life, with you and your girls topping that list, Val. And he blessed us all with his many gifts and wide open heart in these last months. God had truly perfected Lou for his Heavenly home, and we will try to follow his example of unconditional love and selfless service to others even as we miss his presence here with us. Saint Louis is so proud of you, Lisa and Gina and will continue to watch over you forever, Val. We love you all so much!
~
Rita Hoop, Ashburn, Virginia

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Tom and I feel so blessed to of spent Christmas with you and getting to know the two of you. There are special memories that will remain forever. A very Merry Christmas for us all. Lots of family talks and fun. We will miss Lou, his smile and wit and his amazing mustache.
We want to offer our sincere condolences and give our love to you, Val, and the girls.
~
Barbara & Tom Hitzelberger, Medford, Oregon

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
First and foremost, deepest condolences Val & Family. We’ve lost a great friend and warrior, and a unique character. It’s crushing. Stories? Too many to list here, so I’ll throw just one out. Initial weeks of Desert Shield in the MABCO Village. It was so stinking hot, it was beyond hot, and the fine dust was constantly in your hair and ears. Lou would take showers in his flight suit. My initial reaction, “what the heck are you doing?” But it actually made sense because it flushed a lot of the dust out of the flight suit and provided a cooling effect as it dried. Such a character.
PLL, Bill LeMenager
~
William LeMenager, Niceville, Florida

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Fond memories of being classmates at the Academy, but even more special was the year Lou spent in Wheeling a few years ago as a business consultant. We so enjoyed spending time with him and having him as part of the family. His Wheeling family and friends were sad to see him go when the contract ended. We all are heartbroken now. He touched our lives in such a special way and will never ever be forgotten.
Rest easy, Lou. God bless you always….
~
Ray and Julie Blust and Family, Wheeling, West Virginia

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Val, Lou and I grew up like brothers as he was only 2 years my junior. He was so trusting of me even in our early years in Astoria Queens. We had recently gone to Palisades Amusement Park in NJ when were only 8 and 6 years old. The Trip to the Moon ride left both us imagining having that ride in our back yard. I think back at how excited he was to get the first ride. I tied him into a small child’s rocking chair attached to a clothes line we had running out from the wall near the basement door to a metal pole in the back yard. I remember pulling the close line and away he traveled until he got to the middle of the back yard where the rope let loose and down came Lou. He laughed the whole time until we both got our deserved punishments. We never forgot the adventure and I swear even at 6 years old he wanted to soar albeit in a child’s rocking chair rigged by his 10 year old uncle. I continue to love him and I know he is waiting for me for when it’s my time to be called by the Lord.
~
Uncle Joe, Peekskill, New York

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
I thought Lou was one of the smartest, funniest, and most charismatic leaders we had in the Pave Low community. Lou spoke his mind. He was a master strategist, tactician, and warrior.
My dad proudly served as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. When they could not see each other due to separation, the prisoners often communicated with a “tap code” through the walls. Because it’s a tedious process they often developed brevity codes, or abbreviations for commonly used terms. For God Bless You, they used “GBU”. This was part of the training where Lou served as a squadron commander at USAF Survival School. I’m proud to have served with him and I offer sincere condolences to Val and the girls.  GBU my friend.
~
Greg Lengyel

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Val, My sincere condolences to you and the family. Knowing Lou was a relationship that made me a better person because of who he was.
~
Mike Vaughn, Tampa, Florida

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Hi Val, At your request I’d like to share a story. Everyone knows Lou had a quick wit and perfect timing, and this is a perfect example. When we were at USAFA (7th squadron) we went on a field trip to visit an active wing (I don’t remember where). This was like a vacation for us. We were invited to attend the wing’s hail-and-farewell (where the wing commander says goodbye to those who are leaving and hello to the new arrivals) later in the day at the officer’s club, and we had some time to kill. So we (Foster Sinclair, Mike Cosley, Mike Rampino, Terry Slemp (RIP), Lou and I) made our way to the package store, headed back to our quarters and started pounding beers. Our AOC (commanding officer), Captain Peterson, was a scary West Point grad. It seemed like if you went near him, you got in trouble. So we all kept our distance. As we made our way to the hail-and-farewell who do we run into? Captain Peterson, who joins us on our walk. So we get real quiet (holding in our beer breath). As we walk behind the officer’s club we smell a stench near some vents and the a/c unit. Without skipping a beat, Lou says “Oh, that’s the machine that sucks that farts out of the bars stools”. We all start laughing so hard we can barely walk. Captain Peterson too. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in my entire life. We eventually made it to the hail-and-farewell, trying unsuccessfully to hold in our laughs. Miraculously, no one got in trouble. Only Lou could pull this off. There are so many stories I could tell, and many I can’t 🙂 I’ve spent the last few days laughing and crying. Lou touched so many lives in a positive way. I miss him terribly, but he’s always right here (Reed points to heart).  Love, Reed
~
Reed McConnell, Roswell, Georgia

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Words cannot express the scope of the loss of Lou and Kevin.
~
Ted Zwijacz, Acworth, Georgia

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
I met Lou in the Civil Air Patrol and we flew together on several occasions. He had a way of making you think by asking “do you think…” as opposed to simply saying “don’t do that.”
He came into CAP with an instant promotion to Lt Col, but immediately set about to complete the requirements that someone without his USAF Colonel rank would need to complete to earn it. He was a man of utmost integrity and with a strong work ethic.
I was honored when he asked that I deliver the invocation prayer at his USAF retirement. He will be missed, but I’m glad to know that he’s in the arms of Jesus. May the peace that passes understanding wash over you at this time.
~
Bob Maxey, Tampa, Florida

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
My deepest condolences to the Caporicci family on the sudden loss of Louis. I had the honor of serving with “PAVE Lou” while assigned to RAF Mildenhall as a maintainer. He always treated all the maintenance personnel with the greatest respect and we all held him in high regard. I shared his passion for historic aircraft and when time allowed, we often engaged in long chats about our favorite subject. I am once again deeply sorry for your loss. Lou left a positive impression on everyone he encountered.
~
Michael Grzebien

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Praying for your family
~
Tamara Tahat, Sherwood, Arkansas

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
My heart goes out to the family. I cannot imagine the pain. Lou and I ran in the same circles at the Academy.. I was closer to Kevin but I knew Lou as well. I became physically sick at my stomach when I received the call. No words can ease your pain but Lou’s spirit will accompany all of you until you meet again. God Bless you all!
~
R.E. Smith, Mingo Junction, Ohio

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Even as a junior officer, Lou was not afraid to point out to others senior to him when they had done something wrong. During a training exercise in Korea, my crew was assigned to insert a team deep into mountainous terrain. I assigned my inexperienced copilot (not Lou) to handle the navigation duties while I concentrated on flying the aircraft. We were unable to find the landing zone and had to return to base with our team still onboard. I must have been pretty hard on my copilot afterwards, because he complained to his fellow copilot, Lou about what had happened.  Lou approached me and called me on what I had done wrong. He said I should not have put the responsibility for the toughest part of the mission (dead reckoning in mountainous terrain) on this young man and then blame the failure of the mission on him.  Lou was absolutely right. The following day I apologized to my copilot and we were given a second chance to accomplish the mission. After reassigning the cockpit duties more evenly, we succeeded in inserting our team at the proper spot. Upon our return, I thanked the copilot for his efforts.  The lessons I learned from Lou thirty years ago stay with me to this day. Patience. Compassion. Looking out for others. Sharing your knowledge and experience. These are just some of the qualities that made Lou such a great man. He was godfather to our daughter, Chelsea. Although we lost touch over the years I now miss him terribly, as do we all. Rest in peace, my brother.
~
Chad Jasper, Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Dear Val and girls, my condolences to you on Lou’s passing. I worked for him several years ago in Hawaii and he was an outstanding boss, colleague, and friend. I pray that God will give you comfort in this difficult time.
~
Jon Carroll, Tampa, Florida

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
We were so blessed to meet you on the pilgrimage. Your love for each other was so evident. May you receive comfort that Lou is celebrating the eternal Easter in his heavenly home. You are all in our prayers. Yours in Christ, Jamie and Lisa Docster
~
Lisa and Jamie Docster, Jacksonville, Florida

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Val and family may our Heavenly Father wrap his loving arms around you and the girls in this very difficult time. Our time with Lou in the Holy land was very short but enough to see what an incredible man and husband he was. His beautiful smile and the joy in his eyes were so great, I can only imagine it now that he is rejoicing and soaring through heaven in the presence of our Lord. Thank you Lou, for proudly serving our country!! Val may God continue to give you strength, comfort and peace. I will keep you and the girls in my prayers.
~
Gabriela Jayne, National City, California

Monday, March 21, 2016
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell.
~
Rusty Kaskel, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Monday, March 21, 2016
Steve and I want to extend our most sincere condolences to you. Our prayer is that the memories of your hero become a comfort and a blessing to you. I know his life and the manner in which he conducted himself will be a source of inspiration to all who knew him. We don’t have many larger than life men, who lead and conduct themselves with the absolute integrity and superior character of Capo…..for that he will be sorely grieved by many. To say he was a leader and mentor is an understatement….everyone who had the privilege of even one conversation with him came away from that conversation with a valuable life lesson. May his name be written in the book of life forever.
~
Stephen and Robyne Bush, Temperance, Michigan

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val and family, I was just bragging on Lou last week when I was sharing how he taught me about speed reading. While he was Commanding at the Survival School, I took him a 2 page request and he spent about 3 seconds looking at it and then began asking technical questions about my proposal!! I was floored. I asked him how he did this and he said throughout his career he had been forced to digest so much information, it was second nature. I sought out this technique and have gotten much better. Especially necessary since Lou also approved my departure from Survival to pursue rotary wing aviation. We spent many hours talking about what it took to be successful in that community and his words strengthened me. I think of him often, and will continue to do so, because like so many others here who have benefitted from knowing him, he forever influenced me in a positive way. He is a reference point for duty and honor, spirit and humor, leadership and trust, courage and dedication. As you re-read this over the years, be confident that his memory and influence are alive in me and all that I influence because of him.
~
Cam 99-01

Monday, March 21, 2016
Valmarie, Gina and Lisa. Please accept our love and prayers and know that we are lifting prayers for Lou. Hold each other close and know that you have family and friends that love you and are here for you. God bless you all!
~
Jon and Cindy Tagliaferri, Norwich, Connecticut

Monday, March 21, 2016
What a privilege it was to meet Lou while in the Holy Land. He obviously held many important positions during his lifetime and served our country (thank you) with honor, but watching he and his wife together made it very obvious which of his titles were most important to him. Husband. And to his precious girls… you are his legacy. I am sure he loved you very very much and I am so sorry for your loss. Know that you have an extended family in all of us that traveled to Israel together and that we are and will continue to pray for each of you. God Bless this sweet family. And as we Aggies say when we hold muster, Lou Caporicci… Here.
~
Charlene Sumlin, College Station, Texas

Monday, March 21, 2016
Dear Val and family, I am deeply saddened to hear of Lou’s passing. I am blessed to have met you both on the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. May you be comforted knowing he is with our Lord.
~
Sandra Carless, South Orange, New Jersey

Monday, March 21, 2016
Our prayers are with you and the girls. God bless you. From Sandy and family
~
Sandy Smith, Umatilla, Florida

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val, David and I extend our deepest sympathy to you and your daughters. We enjoyed meeting you both in Israel. Although our time together was brief, I remember our discussions about adjusting to being “empty-nesters” as a new phase of life. It was clear that you both had a beautiful relationship. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
~
Laurie & David Siegal, Annandale, Virginia

Monday, March 21, 2016
I was blessed to meet Lou on the pilgrimage and we share the Air Force Academy connection. (My son is also a grad.) I will always remember his words of advice and support. Lou was a righteous man, an honorable officer and a heck of a lot of fun. I will think of him every time I see a man with a great mustache! My prayers are with your family, Val.
~
Susan Anthony, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I feel blessed to have been given the chance to meet you and Lou on the pilgrimage. I remember Lou’s face lighting up when he shared stories of flying. Anyone could see how much he loved it. He was such a good man. I will keep you and your daughters in my thoughts and prayers.
~
Amelia Santoyo, Bakersfield, California

Monday, March 21, 2016
Dear Val and Family, My thoughts and prayers have been with you since I heard the news. Lou always had a way of keeping me on my toes, making me laugh and teaching me something all at the same time. I will sorely miss our conversations.
~
Matt Hembree, Tampa, Florida

Monday, March 21, 2016
Dearest Caporicci Family, I was shocked to learn of Lou’s passing. I first met Lou when I arrived at SOCCENT circa 96/97. I remember his flat top and chewing unlit cigars and what fun he was during our exercises. He always treated us enlisted guys with the greatest respect. I last saw him when we were both back at SOCOM. Sure was good to see him again and I was proud to serve with him!!
You are all in my thoughts and prayers!!
~
Bob Moody, Tampa, Florida

Monday, March 21, 2016
Dear Val. I very much enjoyed flying with Lou in Okinawa, Korea, and Philippines. Kelly and I are very sorry for your loss.
~
Ed and Kelly Creech, Snellville, Georgia

Monday, March 21, 2016
Our hearts go out with great sadness to the Caporicci family. Lou and I (and our families), served in the US Air Force during the 1980s in Okinawa, Japan. During that time, I came to know Lou as an outstanding officer and pilot. Most importantly, he became a true friend. His tragic passing while aviating is especially poignant to those of us who have, and still practice the art. Yet our pain at Lou’s loss is assuaged as we trust that he has flown straight into the arms of his Father, the God he so faithfully served. Val, may this same God deeply comfort you and your family as you greave Lou’s passing.
~
John (JD) Nelson, USAF Lt Col, Ret, Gaston, South Carolina

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val and girls, I am shocked and at a loss for words, my prayers and best wishes go with you, God bless
~
Ray Kruelskie, Riverview, Florida

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val and your daughters and family, We are saddened by this loss of such a kind and caring man. Lou was truly a genuine great guy. We would make jokes and say we are finally someday going to settle in Tampa with the Capo family, since we have followed them so many times before. Our sincerest condolences.
~
Brian & Kimberly Bell, Manila, PI

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val and Family, May the grace of God keep you comforted in this time of deep sadness. Lou was a dear friend during our Academy days and the news of his untimely passing strikes to the core. He was a fine, fine man with a zest for life that couldn’t help but lift your spirits. My wife, Beth, and I send our very deepest condolences.
~
Brad and Beth Gutierrez, Alexandria, Virginia

Monday, March 21, 2016
Dear Val, I remember meeting Lou in 1984 in Germany. I had just had Victor and we ran into Lou at the hospital pharmacy. He explained parenthood to Ben and I and left us in stitches. All the while your oldest daughter was climbing all over him. Lou was a great guy, I remember his devotion to his family.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
~
Wendy Pulsifer, Marysville, California

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val and Family, Lisa and I are so sorry for your loss. We have been praying for Lou and for you all since we heard this sad news. Lou was a great friend and patriot. Please know that if there is any way we can help during this difficult time you can count on us.
Sincerely, Mike & Lisa Rampino
~
Mike & Lisa Rampino, Annandale, Virginia

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val, Gina & Lisa, Our thoughts & prayers are with all. His mortality is in the hands of his children.” Our condolences to you & your family.
~
Jeff & Jani Walls, Hershey, Pennsylvania

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val, you are in our prayers. Lou will be missed by all the Special Operations Forces Worldwide and even more so by us local Tampa guys. I remember when he signed in to the 20th and brought his humor and incredible mentorship and flying skills to make the unit the best in the world. I was on so many missions with Lou that I can’t even count. I will miss seeing him at our Monthly Pave Lunches. He always made time to talk to me (one of his gunners) and I always walked out with him to our cars where we talked about drones and other flying stuff. I will miss my good friend. He was the BEST!
~
PJ Cook, Safety Harbor, Florida

Monday, March 21, 2016
Dearest family and friends. I am sad, no doubt, but so grateful for this perfect man who chose me and grateful for our Lord Jesus whom Lou knew so well. I would like to ask you all, this page being the perfect way, to share your stories with me. Tell me your memories of Lou. Tell me the happy ones, the sad ones, the heroic ones, the ones of his impact on you and others. The content posted here will be bound in hardcover and I, Lisa and Gina will have it for the rest of our lives. Thank you.
~
Val

Monday, March 21, 2016
Val, You and your family are in our prayers during this difficult time. May God surround you with his loving care.
~
Chad and Debbie Jasper, Indianapolis, Indiana

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Val and family, Words cannot express how I feel right now, meeting Lou and you Val on our Pilgrimage was a true blessing. Deb and I want to share our deepest sympathy with you. Lou walked the land our Lord called home and walked in his footsteps, now he walks with Christ in the new Jerusalem. Lou served our Country with distinction and honor, the world is a better place because of Lou and I am blessed because I was able to meet him even if only for 10 days. God bless you Lou, may the angles greet you at the gates of Heaven, may God’s light shine on you, and may you sleep in the Lords comfort.
~
Dan Froelich, Forrest, Illinois

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Val, you and your family are in our prayers for healing and comfort.
~
Jane and Mark Schwartz, Spearfish, South Dakota

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Lou, may you be clothed in the robes of salvation and enjoy the eternal feast with our Risen Lord.
~
Ken and Amy Schisler, Bozman, Maryland

Sunday, March 20, 2016
God bless you all.
~
Tammi Warren, Harrison, Arkansas

Sunday, March 20, 2016
I just met Val and Lou in February of this year on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In the Holy Land, we all walked in the Footsteps of Jesus, and now Lou is in Heaven and walking with Jesus.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole family, and with Kevin’s family. May our Loving and Gracious God comfort you in this very difficult time. Be comforted knowing that we will all be together again on the last day. God Bless!!
~
Jim and Luz Kowallek

P.S. The attached Photo, taken in the Holy Land, is of Lou taking the collections at the end of one of our Daily Masses.
~
Jim Kowallek, Tampa, Florida

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Val, Gina, Lisa and family, Our prayers are with you all at this time. Lou was such a great guy, may God keep you wrapped in His loving arms and that His strength sees you through. All our love
~
Serena & Curt Mattingly, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

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