Blanche Mary (Harwood) Cappelano
  • 84 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 29, 1930
  • Place of birth:
    Natick, Massachusetts, United States
  • Date of passing: Mar 28, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Spring Hill, Florida, United States
I believe above the storm the smallest prayer will still be heard. I believe that someone in the great somewhere hears every word. Every time I hear a new born baby cry, or touch a leaf or see the sky, then I know why, I believe.

For our dear mother, Mrs. Blanche Mary (Harwood) Cappelano
(With love: Paul, Michael, Mary, Peter, Mark, John & James) 

Spring Hill, FL- Blanche (Harwood) Cappelano, formerly of Natick, MA died on Friday, March 28th in Spring Hill after complications from a recent stroke. She was 84. Mrs. Cappelano passed peacefully, surrounded by her children.She was born, January 29th, 1930; the daughter of Frank W. Harwood, USMC and Blanche (Garvey) Harwood, of Natick and granddaughter of   Mr. & Mrs. William Garvey and Mr. & Mrs. Albert Harwood, also of Natick. She is a great grand-daughter of Harrison Harwood, whose H. Harwood & Sons, Inc. brought America’s first manufacturing of baseballs to Natick. She grew up in Natick, attending St. Patrick’s School, 'Our Lady’s' High in Newton, St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing in Brighton and following up with degree nursing studies at St. Joseph’s University.  

She now joins her late husband (our dear father), of nearly 50 years, SMSgt. Anthony J. Cappelano, USAF who died in January, 2004. They were married on May 1, 1954; at McGuire Air Force Base near Trenton, NJ. Sgt. Cappelano served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. They had the seven of us children, together.

Mom was among the first truly modern women to have a lifelong career in her own right. As a surgical and clinical healthcare professional, she began her career at Massachusetts General Hospital. She served as private nurse to His Eminence, the late Richard Cardinal Cushing. Later she became a flight line nurse at McCoy & McClellan Air Force Bases and while serving at Otis Air Force Base was part of the nursing team which attended future First Lady, Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy. She completed her career as the much loved Director of Occupational Health at Natick Army Labs where she was part of a team which led the adoption of OSHA standards and computerization. Blanche served as president of the St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing Alumni Association. She was an active supporter of her children’s activities in scouting and sports, served as president of the Women’s Guild at St. Blaise parish in Bellingham, MA; and was a tireless champion of Catholic Education.

Together, with her family she lived across the United States and spent several years in France. For her though, home would always be Massachusetts where her ancestors arrived in 1630. She had a deep love for Greater Boston and Cape Cod. Together, she and her husband were avid readers sometimes devouring three to four books in a single week but their main focus always seemed to be the children of which all seven of us survive including:  Paul (Lois) of Longmeadow, MA, Michael (Kelly) of Sacramento, CA, Mary Mathieu (Greg) of Madeira Beach, FL, Peter (Yvonne) of Arlington, VA, Mark of Hudson, FL, John of Macon, GA, James of Spring Hill, FL.

Mom is also survived by nine incredible grandchildren and eight amazing great-grandchildren as well as a large and loving extended family of close cousins from many generations. A private blessing in the Roman Catholic tradition will be held for immediate family while in Florida before removal to Massachusetts for interment at the National Veteran’s Cemetery at Bourne on Cape Cod. A Roman Catholic Funeral Mass for the dead is being scheduled for May 1st tentatively planned for St. Anthonys Roman Catholic Church in Falmouth, MA. (final details of which will be posted here by April 20th, 2014).

In lieu of flowers, the family would like to direct any donation you might wish to make, to Mom's much loved favorite charity, "The Christian Appalachian Project" at As part of her extended family, we warmly invite you to join us and record your condolences, recollections, memories and photographs for this truly remarkable lady, right here as well as on our sister site at (ref. Blanche Cappelano)

-The children


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by John Cappelano on 6th April 2014

"-She was a fine lady. She was not a women's libber but she quietly built a 40 year career. She was not a religious zealot but she quietly raised seven children in the Roman Catholic tradition. She was not a genius though she quietly read over 4,000 books.

She was not a historian but she quietly sits on the knee of a confederate soldier in a photograph inscribed ‘Gettysburg  July 3rd, 1938’. She was not a futurist but she quietly began to learn to use a smartphone. She was not a celebrity but she chose to quietly lead by example.

You might have overlooked her had you encountered her in the ‘scratch & dent’ aisle at the local supermarket but she quietly went about her life in a way that gave others joy, help, love and happiness. She was quite an amazing woman...and I shall miss her every day."

This tribute was added by John Cappelano on 31st March 2014

"This is for you, Mom! Love: Paul, Michael, Mary, Peter, Mark, John & James"

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This memorial is administered by:

John Cappelano


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