Charlie Capalbo — the Fairfield Ludlowe High School graduate and hockey player whose battle with 4 separate cancers inspired friends, neighbors, the sports world and countless strangers — died yesterday. He was 1 month shy of his 24th birthday.
Charlie’s Westport ties were long and deep. His grandmother is the writer/poet/storyteller Ina Chadwick. Her husband, Richard Epstein (Charlie’s grandfather) is a Westport native; his parents moved here in 1958. Charlie’s mother, Jennifer Wilde Capalbo (Ina’s youngest daughter) is a Staples graduate.
Charlie’s family wrote:
After 5 years and 745 nights spent in hospitals, let’s just say that one got by Charlie in the 4th overtime today.
He passed away at 3 p.m.
When you are a goalie, sometimes you can do everything right, trying as hard as you can, and still lose.
The entire team can play with the utmost skill and energy and still not come away with a win.
The management, coaches, and team may have made all great decisions and have the right pieces in place and still lose.
The trainers, equipment managers, maintenance folks, parking attendants may have done everything right as well.
While this loss is heartbreaking, Charlie, his family, friends, neighbors, community friends, doctors, nurses, technicians, clinical assistants, child life specialists, valet team, cafeteria, administrative and maintenance folks, volunteers, and security team, etc. all went way above and beyond what anyone would expect for all these years.
So many lessons were learned, and endless amounts of love and support were offered.
The depth of emotions we all feel are impossible to describe.
We will be forever grateful to the thousands of people that have made this entire journey special, despite each painful setback.
We will continue to honor Charlie in everything we do. We will stay grateful and hopeful and will recover from this loss the way that Charlie wanted us to.
Jenny, Anthony, Will, and Peyton would like to say “thank you” to everyone who has supported Charlie and them.
“Lean on me, and I’ll lean on you. And together we’ll get through…we always do” – Ray LaMontagne
“06880” was honored to share several stories of Charlie’s courage, and the Fairfield and Westport communities’ love for him. Click below to read 3: