Lafayette mourns death of LCAT driver

Beloved LCAT driver Paul Caponetti made his final rounds to the arts campus last Monday.

After suffering from a heart attack, Caponetti, who drove the Lafayette shuttle on the Weekday and Arts Campus Route, passed away at Easton hospital on March 7. He was 67 years old.

According to Curtis Parsons, funeral director at the James J. Palmieri Funeral Home, Caponetti passed away from “natural causes and acute coronary syndrome,” or a heart attack.

Vice President of Campus Life Annette Diorio sent out an email on Thursday, March 10, to inform the student body of Caponetti’s passing.

“We don’t send out something to the students every time someone who has worked in the community has died, but because of the role he played in students talking with him, we didn’t want people to be surprised,” Diorio said.

Born an only child Nov. 29, 1968, Caponetti was a graduate of North Plainfield High School and Raritan Community College of North Branch, NJ. Prior to working as a driver for Palmieri transportation, he served in the Air Force in the Airmen First Class, worked at Bagels and More of Annandale, NJ, and did medical billing and coding for OAA Orthopedics of Allentown.

Although he spent a lot of time in other fields, his wife of nearly 20 years, Mary Caponetti said, “he always wanted to be a bus driver, ever since he was nine years old.”

“He left doing what he loved the most, besides myself, grandbabies and friends,” she added. “He loved driving for the college.”

At the time of his passing, Caponetti was an Easton resident and was married to Mary for nearly 20 years. Besides his wife, he is survived by five children and five grandchildren.

Caponetti suffered from polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that left him on dialysis for a collective 10 years. Last August, after three years on dialysis, he received a kidney transplant. He never let the disease get to him, his wife said.

“[Driving for Lafayette] was the best, best thing for him,” Mary said. “Almost as good as getting that new kidney. He approached all the kids as if they were his own, listening to them, and engaging in conversation. He’s very much a people person.”

“He would come home every evening and he’d always have stories to tell,” she added. “Paul was a storyteller. He could relate to anybody and he could make anyone laugh.”

“There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t make me laugh,” she continued. “He loved life.” Funeral services were held on Saturday, March 12 at the James J. Palmieri Funeral Home in Martins Creek, Pa. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation Inc. 30 E. 33 rd St., New York NY 10016.

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