Spiro George Cappony left behind a legacy of freedom, heroism and philanthropy, his former employee Steve Pangere said.
A 50-year-employee of Pangere Corp., Cappony was manager of business relations.
“Spiro was an integral part of our company earning an excellent reputation,” CEO Pangere said. “He was an honest and dedicated friend who represented us and made us shine.”
Pangere said, “I learned a lot from him, not about my business, but about life, so much about people and respect.”
Cappony, 89, who spent most of his life in Gary, died Nov. 8 in Reno, Nev., where he moved two years ago.
Pangere said Cappony, a U.S. Navy veteran, was the last remaining member of a special four-man team involved in blowing up bridges which carried Nazi shipments of chrome for airplane parts during World War II in Greece. For his service, Cappony earned the Bronze Star and the 29th Secretary of Defense Medal.
Cappony was featured in Patrick O’Donnell’s book, “Operatives, Skies and Saboteurs: The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of WWII’s OSS.” Cappony also worked for the Pentagon during the Korean War.
Two of Cappony’s proudest achievements, Pangere said, were receiving the Archon – Order of St. Andrew the Apostle and the Medal of St. Paul, the highest honors bestowed by the Greek Orthodox Church in recognition of citizenship, leadership, love, regard for humanity and parish devotion.
A member of SS. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Merrillville, Cappony served as board president and council member for many years. He served as chairman of many festivals and of the building committee during the construction of the cathedral. Cappony was a long-time honored member and past president of the Order of American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association Chapter 78, which promotes the education of Hellenism, philanthropy and civil responsibility. He was project coordinator for the AHEPA senior housing village in Merrillville.
In 1933, George Vlahos met Cappony at age 8 in 1933 when both were altar boys.
“We were friends through our childhood, the war, serving our church and community through AHEPA,” Vlahos said. “No matter what our differences, even after political arguments, we could laugh and enjoy a cup of coffee together. He was a committed and hard worker for our community.”
Visitation will be held at Geisen Funeral and Cremation Services, 7905 Broadway, Merrillville from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at SS. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 8000 Madison St., Merrillville.
Cappony is survived by his wife Martha, four children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.