Mariano "Mario" Cappuzzo, a Buffalo firefighter and emergency medical technician for 25 years -- and uncle to the local musical group The Scintas, who often joked about him in their act -- died Tuesday in Mercy Hospital. He was 88.
Mr. Cappuzzo served from 1940 to 1970 in the U.S. Navy as a chief pharmacist mate in a unit attached to the Marines, serving for a number of years on active duty and then as a reservist.
As a Buffalo firefighter and EMT from 1955 to 1980, Mr. Cappuzzo was credited with both saving a baby's life and delivering a baby. He also was a volunteer for the Fire Department's "Toys for Tots" campaign.
Mr. Cappuzzo was involved in a number of local businesses, as the previous owner of the Family Billiards, as well as a restaurant called Schultz's and a coin laundry, all three in the East Aurora Plaza and open from the 1960s to 1973.
"This was a man who could have four jobs going at one time. He never stopped," said his stepdaughter, Marina Naples.
He was a volunteer at the Peace Bridge Exhibition Center in the early 1970s and had also been a volunteer for the Creative Community Center. He was a member of the Assembly of God Church.
Mr. Cappuzzo was a member of the AD Club, the Masons, the VFW Post Buffalo, and the Italian-American Club in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
He moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1979, then lived there full time for 8 to 10 years, before moving back home and living summers in Western New York and winters in Florida. While in Fort Lauderdale he was employed as a warehouse manager for Mr. Donut from 1979 to 1984.
In addition to his stepdaughter, Mr. Cappuzzo is survived by the former Carol Ann Bedell, who had been married to him for 35 of the 44 years they were together; two sons, Anthony and Constantine; two daughters, Marcele and Jeanmarie; and a sister, Mary.
Services will be private.