April 19 – Amsterdam Birthday Bits

capel2Richie Capel b. April 19, 1954 – This Amsterdam High School Class of 1972 classmate of mine was a gifted athlete and hard-working student as a kid who worked his way through college and then established a long and effective 30-year career as an educational administrator in his hometown. He served as principal at both the Wilbur Lynch Middle and Barkley Elementary Schools before retiring in 2013.

Robert-Stewart-1437664934Bob Stewart Sr. b. April 19, 1930 – His look-a-like son the boxer was better known but “Pop” Stewart was a highly respected New York State Trooper for over 30 years, advancing to the coveted rank of Zone Sergeant before retiring from the force in 1981. He was a lifelong resident of Amsterdam and a 1948 graduate of Amsterdam High School. He and his wife Dotti raised their son and a daughter Susan in their home on Chapel Place. Pop was also a very good golfer in his day and a regular at Amsterdam Muni. He passed away in July of 2015 at the age of 85.

VirgilPRenzo222Virgil Renzo b. April 19, 1927 – Boyhood friend and classmate of Rocco Petrone, served in the Navy during the tail end of WWII, Virgil Renzo put together a 41-year career with Niagara Mohawk but his job did not completely define him. He was a very creative guy. He played both the piano and guitar in his younger days and was also a gifted artist. He created some beautiful oil paintings and in addition, found the time to teach himself photography. He also loved the official sport of Amsterdam during the Twentieth Century, bowling. Mr. Renzo passed away in January of 2016 at the age of 88.

Another one-time Amsterdam resident born on April 19 ran a popular Amsterdam South-Side tavern with his brother for many years.

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