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John Kapnis

December 1, 1928 ~ March 4, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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John Kapnis Obituary

SALEM – Mr. John Kapnis 95, of Salem, beloved husband of Ruth Ann (Raymond) Kapnis, died peacefully, Monday, March 4th, 2024, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, with his loving family by his side.

Born in Salem, he was the son of the late Evangelo and Jane Morris Jones Kapnis. He was raised and educated in Salem and was a graduate of Salem High School, class of 1948. An outstanding athlete, John excelled in both baseball and basketball. Athletics would play an ever-present role throughout his life and a passion he passed on to his family. For his outstanding talents, John was inducted into the Salem High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.  

An honorably discharged veteran, he served his country as a member of the United States Navy during the Korean War.

The city of Salem was his lifelong home. Professionally, he dedicated his life as a member of the Salem Fire Department, where he became Lieutenant, retiring in 1992.

With an entrepreneurial spirit, and boundless energy, John “wore many hats” to help support his family.  He would often remark “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going” – John was always “going”. From selling shoes, to snow plowing, to property maintenance, and basketball officiating, he was a true “jack of all trades”. He had a love of the ocean and for many years also worked as a lobsterman. 

In retirement, he founded “Kappy’s Famous Popcorn”.  John kept his family tradition of owning and operating an antique popcorn stand on Salem Common.

John continued his athletic success by becoming a renowned horseshoe pitcher, competing in many national and world championship tournaments. He was the Massachusetts State Champion for over 20 years. The “John Kapnis Horseshoe Courts”, in Hamilton, MA, were named in his honor. He was an active member of the Salem YMCA. John was a long-time member of the Tabernacle Church in Salem. Yet, even with all the hats he wore, his greatest achievement was husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He could always be found on the sidelines or in the audience at any family event. Family always came first. John was the true patriarch of the Kapnis family.

John always said he was blessed twice in love, with his late wife Joan (Lane) Kapnis and his current wife of 47 years, ever-present companion and caregiver, Ruth (Raymond) Kapnis. Ruth loved and supported him throughout his adventurous life. His everlasting hallmark is found in his family and their devotion and love to each other. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.   

John is survived by his loving wife, Ruth Ann (Raymond) Kapnis of Salem, his children, Cynthia (Kapnis) Saulnier and her husband, Richard of Peabody, Michael Kapnis and his wife, Maureen of Salem, Patricia (Kapnis) Hartnett and her husband, Joel of Danvers, John Kapnis Jr. and his wife, Shirley of Salem, Thomas Kapnis and his wife, Lisa of Beverly, Laurie (Webster) Judge and her husband, Rick of Haverhill, Beth Kapnis-Livermore of Salem, Lisa (Webster) Diminture and her husband, Thomas of San Antonio, TX, Stephen Kapnis and his wife, Effie of Peabody, Scott Webster and his wife, Dorene of Gainesville, FL, and Linda (Kapnis) Drillis and her husband, George of Danvers, his grandchildren, Haley Vellante and her husband, Christopher, Cameron Saulnier, Jilliann Pezzulo and her husband, John, Jaclyn Pelletier and her husband, Eric, Jonathan Hartnett and his wife, Jean, Meghan Hester and her husband, Drew, Katelyn Kiel and her husband Eric, JT Kapnis, Benjamin Kapnis, Maxwell Kapnis, Mary Kapnis, Sydney Livermore, Lane Livermore, Anthony Diminture, and his wife, Alexandra, Nicholas Diminture and his wife, Brittany, Troy Diminture, and his wife, Elaine, Thomas Diminture, Dylan Diminture, Sierra Hecker, and her husband, Cameron, Desiree Kapnis, Nikoleta Kapnis, Evan Kapnis, Julia Webster, Ryan Webster, Michael Spanos, Nicholas Spanos, his great grandchildren, Jackson Vellante, Braedyn Hart, Emerson and Brooke Pezzulo, Beau Pelletier, Wesley and Eve Hartnett, Camden and Hayes Hester, Cooper and Leo Kiel, Henry, Emma, and Arthur Diminture, and Evelyn Diminture and many nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews. John was predeceased by his siblings, Helen DeCoff, Elizabeth Sochat, Fred Johnston, Spiro and Dennis Kapnis.

ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral service will be held at the Tabernacle Congregational Church, 50 Washington St., Salem, Monday, March 11th at 10 A.M. Relatives and friends invited. Burial in Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem. Visiting hours at O’Donnell Cremations – Funerals – Celebrations, 84 Washington Sq., (At Salem Common) SALEM, Sunday, March 10th from 12 noon to 4 PM. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in John’s name to the Salem YMCA, 1 Sewall St., Salem, MA 01970. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

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March 10, 2024

12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
O'Donnell Cremations - Funerals - Celebrations SALEM
84 Washington Square
Salem, MA 01970

Funeral Service
March 11, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Tabernacle Congregational Church
50 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970

March 11, 2024

11:30 AM
Greenlawn Cemetery
57 Orne Street
Salem, MA 01970

Please note
John's Funeral Service will be zoomed via the Tabernacle Church's zoom Channel - The link is located under the service option above - any questions please call the church directly - (978) 744-3164

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