Fort Worth, Texas -- Dr. Robert Capper- Bob and “Pops”- passed away at home Wednesday evening, June 23. He was 91. Bob was a preeminent cardiologist and community servant. He had previously served our country for ten years in the Army: at Brook Army Medical Center- Fort Sam Houston, Watson Army Hospital- Fort Dix, Walter Reed Army hospital- Washington, DC, 31st Field Hospital Korat Thailand, and again at Brooke Army Medical Center where she resigned as assistant Chief of Cardiology. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, educated at Miami University (Ohio) in economics and biochemistry, the Ohio State Medical School, interned at Baylor University Hospital (Dallas), and completed his post-graduate training in the Army. He chose Fort Worth to be home, beginning private practice and serving as the chief of medical education at Harris Hospital in 1965 after passing up prestigious offers from renowned practices and medical schools. At the time, he was the first and only Board-certified cardiologist between the Dallas County Line and Amarillo. Upon arrival in Fort Worth with wife Barbara and seven children in tow, Dr. Capper was quick to volunteer at JPS and at the Southwestern Medical School/Parkland clinics. He traveled throughout the region, including the outlying rural areas, providing education and support to the GP and family practice physicians. He felt he should give back to the community and continued this pattern by returning to JPS after retiring from private practice. During his early years of practice, he was responsible for many ‘firsts’ in cardiology: the area’s first cardiac cath lab, the first critical care course for nurses, the first balloon angioplasty in the region, to name just a few, as well as having been a driving force behind the tremendous growth of specialty medicine in the area. He was endeared to many patients, families and nurses who often initially shied away to his reputational bark-like gruffness, only later to realize his very tender and deeply caring heart. In addition to being a renaissance man and an exemplary physician, Dr. Capper always placed his patients’ needs first, being recognized and honored by his peers of the Tarrant County Medical Society with the coveted Gold Headed Cane award. He served his profession and community with intentionality, and has a litany of memberships to various organizations and board leadership roles. He was a consummate learner, avid reader, sports enthusiast, had broad intellectual interests, and even initiated learning Spanish at age 74. With wife, Joyce, he enjoyed entertaining, going to his ranch in Bosque County, extensive travels, volunteering and service to the community and his profession. He was passionate about life, the wellbeing of people and of this great country. He reacquainted and committed himself to a life of faith later in his life within his community of Beth El Congregation. He loved life and his family, unceasingly showering affection on them. He was preceded in death by his parents, I.C. Capper and Ann Saeks Capper and son, Kevin Scott Capper. Dr. Capper is survived by his wife, Joyce Pate Capper; his children, the Rev. Steve Capper and wife, Karen, Dr. David Capper and wife, Dianne, Kerin Capper Morgan and husband, Bob, Susan Capper Inman and husband, Barney, Dayna Capper Corley and husband, Dr. David Corley, and Alaine Capper; 37 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren; Joyce's children, A. M. Pate III and wife, Sue, Sheila Pate Barley and husband, Milton, Pat Pate and wife, Jadz, Sharon Pate; and their children and grandchildren. Closing in prayer his own words: “God: Thank you for the blessings of life, freedom, health and for friends and family. Thank you for the opportunity to learn and the freedom to discuss all topics. Help us to always love and worship you and help us to use the benefits you have given us for the benefit of others. Thank you for the blessing to live in the United States, and bestow your blessings on our fellow citizens. Amen.” A celebration of his life will be held August 21. In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to the Robert S. Capper, M.D. Endowed Scholarship at the UNTHSC & TCU School of Medicine, c/o TCU Advancement, or to the Robert S. & Joyce P. Capper Charitable Foundation, in his memory, are suggested.
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