Donald J. Capuano

Washington, DC

Donald Joseph Capuano (age 83) of Washington, DC, passed away on March 13, 2018.

Don was born on September 26, 1934, in Green Island, New York, one of three sons of Xavier and Carmela Capuano. In his early days, Don could be found delivering milk and bread via horse-drawn wagon, or working in a local Italian restaurant. Don attended the New York State College for Teachers in Albany (now known as the University at Albany, SUNY) with the intention of becoming a teacher. Instead, the law beckoned, and Don moved to Washington, DC to attend Georgetown University Law School, where he was a member of the Georgetown Law Journal.

Following graduation from law school, he was a law clerk to Judge Charles F. McLaughlin of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He then served as a staff attorney on the Board of Monitors appointed by the District Court to oversee administration of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Don soon joined the three-lawyer firm of O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue, which grew to 30 lawyers. He continued to practice law there for more than fifty years, many as its senior partner. Don retired in 2011.

Don's practice with O'Donoghue spanned the full range of labor, employee benefits, and employment law issues, with the goal to improve the lives of the working people of America. He served as counsel to a number of international and local unions, as well as to many national and local employee benefit funds. He represented clients before state and federal courts, including in two oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court.

Don was especially proud of the fact that the O'Donoghue firm was pro bono counsel for a habeas corpus death penalty case for 13 years that ultimately wound up before the United States Supreme Court, which overturned the death penalty in that case.

In addition to his practice, Don was an active participant in a number of professional and honorary organizations and societies. He was a member of the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia; Chair of the Labor Law Committee of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia; and Chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law. He was a charter member of the College, Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Law, and active on the College's Board of Governors. Don was also a frequent speaker at many labor law programs around the country.

Above everything else, Don was a loving and devoted husband and father, and nothing gave him more pleasure than spending time with his family. Don is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol; his children (and their spouses), Betsy Eger (John), Chris Capuano (Lisa), Mary Feller, Pat Capuano (Mariangeles), and Dave Capuano (Becky). Don loved to spend time with each of his 11 grandchildren, Josh, Mia, Sarah, Dani, Kate, Corina, Ellie, Michael, Julia, Luli, and Tomas.

Don loved relaxing with Carol and the entire family at Bethany Beach, DE, where they vacationed for over 50 years. Don was also a master Weber charcoal griller and an avid runner, having participated in many races across the country.