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August 2, 2013 1:53 PM

So very sorry to hear of this.  As described by many previously, I have great memories of visiting his Train 99 & Loco Louie stores in the '80's & '90's.  They were great businesses and I was sorry to see them go.  Lou was always a congenial, talkative guy, for sure & did much to make the LCCA what it is in piloting all of those special Lionel train offerings.  Condolences to his family.

 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 2:17 PM

I remember Lou from all of the Monroeville Train Shows and later on the LCCA.

Lou was certainly one of the most colorful participants in the model train hobby.  I extend my condolences to his family.

 

Norm

 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 2:22 PM

Originally Posted by Bruce Goettel:

I'll never forget the FIRST time I met Lou.  It was 1990 at atrain show in Timonium, MD.  I was in heavy negotitions with a fellow over a 2344.  We finally agreed on a price, but the fellow said cash only which I didn't have and had not the means to get it.  I begged him to take my check, but he refused.  As I turned to leave in despair I got a tap on the shoulder.  It was Lou, who I had never met.  He said, "I overheard your conversation, and if you would like to write me the check, I'll give you the cash."  Over the last 23 years our paths crossed many times and never an unpleasant experience.  Every time I look at that 2344 displayed in my train room, I smile and thank Lou again and again.  Condolences to the family.  RIP

Bruce,  

 

Nice story.  I never heard that one before.  This is just one of the many examples of what kind of guy Lou was.  We are certainly going to miss him.

 

Al K. 

 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 3:28 PM

Many thanks to all of you who knew Lou for your stories and pictures. I read them on the bus to and from work and I can honestly say that they made me laugh, cry and  think "what a truly wonderful man Lou was and what a loss to his family and many friends". So to all of you, my deepest sympathy.
 As you all go through this difficult time, hopefully this quote from fellow Italian,  Jim Valvano, will help a little.   

"But think about it.  If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day.  That's a heck of a day.  You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."

Dave Brunetti

 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 6:28 PM

My sincere condolences to Lou's family and all of us, loosing a friend to all and somebody who really knew how to promote and enjoy the hobby with all others. I'll miss seeing Lou around in Springfield.  I shopped train99 and both locations on McDade.  He had great shops, I always hoped he would open one again.  A long time ago I bought a mint 637 with a streamlined Pa tender.  That engine reminded me of what I had when I was young, I still love it.  I'm going to get it out and display it with one of Loco Louie's business cards.  The night I bought it I thought...He is a really nice person...and he was ALWAYS a nice person.  Reset in peace, God bless Lou.

 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 6:49 PM

My deepest sympathy to the family.  Lou was a very nice man and did me a big favor once at York.  I was with another friend that time who was a regular customer of Lou's.  I had some stuff bought not from Lou that was too much to carry home to California on the plane so Lou took it to his place and shipped it to me.  He did not have to do that.  He did not owe me anything but I will always remember his kindness.  R.I.P. Lou

 

Ray Sugg

 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 6:59 PM

I have enjoyed reading all the stories how my dear friend "Luigi" has touched so many lives.  These past couple days have been really hard.  I considered Louie as one of my best personnel friends.  I grew up in this business with Lou.  He gave me so much advice throughout my life and I will never forget him.  One story that comes to mind is in the early 1980's after purchasing all the Williams Tooling for the Tinplate Trains I had purchased the original samples of the 214R Reefer Car, 214 Box Car, and the 213 Cattle Car, which cost me a lot of money as a 24 year old kid.  I was going to all the Greenburg Train Shows with Lou.  When attending the Cherry Hill Mall Show one time a guy came up to me looking at the different Tinplate Items I was showing and asked me where I was making all these trains.  I told him in the US and he said that he had a manufacturing plant in Italy that could make these trains, which is where the some of the old Lionel Tinplate Tooling was made.  So I was really interested.  The guy ask me  for samples to get quoted and I sent him the three 200 Cars I had purchased.  After many followup phone call and many excuses this guy stopped answering my calls.  It was a huge loss for me loosing these samples I paid so much for.  This guy happened to live in Philadelphia.  I was talking to Lou and told him of my problem.  Lou quickly said; "Don't worry I will take care of him".  I gave Lou the address of this guy and Lou went out for a few nights and sat in his car outside this guys house waiting for him to come home.  He came home one night around 11:30pm as I recall and Lou got out of his call and called his name.  The guy stopped and Lou told him you have my friends model trains and I want them back.  The guy tried giving him a song and story and Lou told him he wasn't leaving without the cars.  Finally the guy opened the trunk of his car gave Lou the cars and he sent them back to me.  The rest is history.  I miss him so much.  Luigi I will see you again!  Mike

 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 7:26 PM

Hi Mike, Lou told me that story many years ago. That was him to the core, you don't mess with Lous' people.

 

Let me share a story about this man and how special he was. When I was helping him in the old orange hall at York I handed over a few thousand dollars to a person who I thought was one of Lous workers. As it turned out the guy kept the money. When Lou found out what I did he just looked at me and said, "that was a dumb thing to do" and never another word from the guy.

In fact he never failed to help me when ever he could.

I never forgot that incident and I never stopped trying to make it up to him, but never did he mention it to me again.

That is why I'm sharing it with the world, I wont everyone to know just how good a friend and man he was. I truely love the guy.

 

Keep the rails polished, Mario E.

 
 
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August 2, 2013 10:20 PM

The first Wonderful Thing About Lou that came to my mind was that he could Re-paint the Great Lionel F3 Diesels SANTE FE'S As good or Better Than when they were new. He had to be a brilliant man. He will be missed by all Who knew him, and all of us in the LCCA and the TCA and probably all clubs related to Trains. Thank You Lou for Promoting This Wonderful HOBBY as I feel that in spirit You are with Us.

 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 11:37 PM

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Mike R
 
 
 
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August 2, 2013 11:41 PM

Godspeed, Lou! We will meet again soon....

 
Jim "Corripe Cervisiam" A proud member of the former TMCC Demo Group Ironville, Sporting Valley and Southern RR
 
 
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August 2, 2013 11:56 PM

Model railroading could not have asked for a more conscientious representative over the past decades.  I met Lou (IIRC) back when Chris took me on a tour of the then incomplete 2nd floor of today's Nicholas Smith and over the years we had a friendship which always seemed more to my benefit than his.  My sincerest condolences to his family and many close friends; people like Lou don't come along all that often.

 

Bill

 
 
 
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August 3, 2013 12:50 AM

photo

 

 

Brian

President, Chief Executive Officer

Penn American Railroad

"Serving the Basement"

Northern Central High Railers

 

The York Meet, where it's party time, all the time!!

 
 
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August 3, 2013 12:56 AM

Hi Brian, I have a Train 99 car that I bought during one of my stops at the store. It's value in my book went up about ten thousand times this past week.

 

Keep the rails polished, Mario E.

 
 
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August 3, 2013 9:16 AM

Originally Posted by Marty Fitzhenry:

Lou was a good friend.  I first met Lou in 1980 and we have been good friends for years.  I conversed with Lou about two weeks ago and he brought me up to speed on his health.  Lou has always been a fighter and has been a great guy.  Lou loved his Family, Trains and cars.  Last year when I found out I had prostate cancer, Lou was the first to call me and show his support.  Thank you Lou.  Lou always had a smile and positive outlook on everything.  Like thousands of his friends, we will always miss him and take his memory with us until someone writes about us.

 

 

LCCA 027

Marty,

 

Can you send this photo to me at agkolis@comcast.net 

Thank you.

 

Al K. 

 
 
 
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August 3, 2013 11:24 AM

One author described the loss of a friend with these words, “When he left us, it was as if a great tree had fallen in the forest and left an empty place against the sky."

The emptiness we feel as a result of the recent passing of Lou Caponi is already well documented by many entries to the OGR Forum.

 

The LCCA may not soon see another member ascend to leadership with as unique a mix of talent and tumult as was manifest in Lou. He was capable of inspiration to and exasperation in others, genius and giddiness, spiritually devout yet playfully devilish, enthusiastic about the hobby yet a no-nonsense bargainer and deal-maker. He understood marketing dynamics and often called for bold steps forward when others were very reluctant to follow. He was usually right on key points, yet he wisely refrained from taunting others later with “I told you so.”  I believe that counts as diplomacy.

 

He understood the serious nature of his medical condition. He wrote in the June 2013 issue of THE LION ROARS magazine of LCCA – his last Product Development Report article – “I will continue to work with this club until the Man Upstairs invites me to build a one-of-a-kind O-gauge train for Him on site.”  I can imagine it now – Lou recommending placement of an ascending helix on the left and a triple mainline on the left (symbolizing the Trinity) to his friend Jesus while presenting a layout plan for enjoyment of all in the Celestial City.

 

Mike Mottler Editor, The Lion Roars (The magazine of the LCCA)

 
 
 
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August 3, 2013 11:33 AM

Hi Mike, you made an old war horse cry.

 

Keep the rails polished, Mario E.

 
 
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August 3, 2013 12:19 PM

Saint Augustine in his "Confessions" book 10, stews over the concept of our memory.  One of his thoughts was that as long as we have any recollection of individuals or events they are never totally gone, events never completely finished because we can continue to savor them over and over again.

 

Thank goodness for Lou and thank you Lord for our memories.  May this be an inspiration to savor louie's memory by passing his generosity forward.

 

Very hard to believe this is real. tt

 

 




 
 
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August 3, 2013 1:03 PM

I can't say that I knew Lou personally but I sure knew him from my membership in the LCCA, this forum and the stuff I would buy from him every York.  He was one heck of a salesman and promoter for the LCCA.  His posts here were always popping with enthusiasm and excitement for whatever new product or idea he wanted to share.  I bought the LCCA Santa Fe 208 Alco's based entirely on whatever information Lou posted without really knowing much about the history of them.  They really didn't have much appeal to me beyond that but Lou's excitement made me love them when I got them.  Now those 208's will be a nice reminder of a man who made this hobby a better place than he found it.  The hobby has a hole in it now.  It will take a lot of work to fill it.  My deepest sympathies to all of Lou's family and friends.  BigRail

 
 
 
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August 3, 2013 1:16 PM

Originally Posted by Mike H Mottler:

One author described the loss of a friend with these words, “When he left us, it was as if a great tree had fallen in the forest and left an empty place against the sky."

The emptiness we feel as a result of the recent passing of Lou Caponi is already well documented by many entries to the OGR Forum.

 

The LCCA may not soon see another member ascend to leadership with as unique a mix of talent and tumult as was manifest in Lou. He was capable of inspiration to and exasperation in others, genius and giddiness, spiritually devout yet playfully devilish, enthusiastic about the hobby yet a no-nonsense bargainer and deal-maker. He understood marketing dynamics and often called for bold steps forward when others were very reluctant to follow. He was usually right on key points, yet he wisely refrained from taunting others later with “I told you so.”  I believe that counts as diplomacy.

 

He understood the serious nature of his medical condition. He wrote in the June 2013 issue of THE LION ROARS magazine of LCCA – his last Product Development Report article – “I will continue to work with this club until the Man Upstairs invites me to build a one-of-a-kind O-gauge train for Him on site.”  I can imagine it now – Lou recommending placement of an ascending helix on the left and a triple mainline on the left (symbolizing the Trinity) to his friend Jesus while presenting a layout plan for enjoyment of all in the Celestial City.

 

Mike Mottler Editor, The Lion Roars (The magazine of the LCCA)

Mike,  well said!  I suspect Lou is in the process of negotiating the price of the accessories!

 

God Bless you Lou! 

 

Your brother from another mother.

 

 

Love you man!

 

Al K. 

 
 
 
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August 3, 2013 3:00 PM

My condolences.

 
 
 
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August 4, 2013 9:10 AM

Mike

 

You hit the nail right on the head.

 

A large hole has been left open in the train world.

 

SAL GAMBINO

 
 
 
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August 4, 2013 9:21 AM

Just saw this, so sad Lou was a great guy. I only had a chance to meet him a couple of times at York but I appreciated all the work he did for the LCCA and the Hobby in general especially his cretive work on the LCCA special editions. My sincerest condolences to his family, he is missed already which is evident in this outpouring of sympathy. Rest in Peace Lou.

 

Regards, Craig

 
 
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August 4, 2013 9:39 AM

62 is too young....we will miss you Lou.

 
 
 
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August 4, 2013 10:19 AM

Very sad to read this.

 
 
 
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August 4, 2013 11:13 AM

Very sorry to read this.  My condolences to the LCCA membership and to the Caponi family.

 

- Mike

 
 
 
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August 4, 2013 11:31 PM

It's always about the trains!

San Diego 3-Railers - live trains 11-4 pacific time

All Gauge Toy Train Association

San Diego Model Railroad Museum - Life Member

LCCA

 

 
 
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August 4, 2013 11:44 PM

I just got back from Lou's viewing. Of course many of the LCCA gang was in town such as Al Kolis and PRR Bill but there was a line that I think was in the thousands of all sorts of people.

The thing that struck me as reveling was that the most common conversation was the first day they met Lou. What greater testimony for a man then to have people remember when they met him. Other then my wife there are only a handful of people in this world that I can remember the day I met them and Lou is one of them. He had that effect on people.

 

His body was well laid out and I finally got to see him in a suite.

 

Rest in peace buddy, I'm sure your with the Lord.   

 

Keep the rails polished, Mario E.

 
 
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August 5, 2013 8:48 AM

Mario, The cross buck with HO track positioned at Lou's feet, is that still available?  I would like to have one as a personal desk reminder.  Tom

 




 
 
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August 5, 2013 2:33 PM

At the funeral this morning what my wife calls a "God wink" happened. Right before the priest closed the service with a final prayer there was a silence and we all heard the horn of a frieght train passing in the distance...... very moving.

 

Jack

 
 
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August 5, 2013 3:39 PM

Yes that sure put a tear in my eye and a lot of others.

 

A nice send off for a great guy.

 

SAL GAMBINO

 
 
 
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August 5, 2013 4:12 PM

Wow, just read this since I am not a LCCA member and did not know Lou.  How tragic, such an early death.  My condolences go to his family, and the LCCA.  Tom Tee has it right, our memories allow people to live on and provide comfort and a sense of belonging. My Dad passed about 4 yrs ago but I still feel he is here because of memories.  

 

The LCCA won't be the same for quite a while without Lou's presence and leadership. 

 
 
 
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August 5, 2013 4:25 PM

Thanks for the sentiment Dave. Nobody can replace Lou Caponi, he was one of a kind. But, after talking to the guys from the LCCA I feel confident that the tradition will be kept alive. With our support and the boards leadership the memory of Lou will be made proud for many years to come.

 

As for the Cross Buck Tom I will try to see what I can find out, but that will be addressed on another thread.

 

Keep the rails polished, Mario E.

 
 
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August 5, 2013 9:20 PM

Louie will be missed by a lot of people, I considered him a very good friend and fellow street rodder. I worked with him very closely on projects for the LCCA. Very sad news. Joe Hayter

 
 
 
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August 6, 2013 11:17 AM

An extraordinary person was laid to rest yesterday.  "Larger than life" does not begin to cover another wonderful aspect of who Lou Caponi was, "kinder than kind" comes closer. This was a guy who was a great negotiator and epitomized Street Wise. 

 

Lou consistently helped others and never asked for anything in return or any kind of public praise, as has become clear from the the persons who contributed to this thread and told their stories about Lou's generosity and true kindness.

 

Lou will be missed on number of levels most of the rest us never knew anything about.  Thank you to all of you who shared your stories with us. Thanks to Lou for making the world a better place.

 

It hurts to lose him, it was a joy to know him.

 

Ed Boyle

 
 
 
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August 6, 2013 11:32 AM

Wow! I am in total shock. God speed Lou

Thank you for everything you have brought to this hobby. You will not be forgoten. I am going to miss his post on the forum.

 

 

 

 
 
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August 6, 2013 12:52 PM

Dear friends,

 I am with you in this great loss.

 

Wow, what great friends and inspiring stories.....Guys and Gals my most sincere condolences go out to all of us. Even though I never got the opportunity to meet him, he sounds like he will be well missed. As somebody wrote, if you have a pleasant memory of him, it's like he's still there! In that case, may he live on forever! Condolences to his family. RIP Lou! Work on your celestial layout!

 

Mike

 
 
 
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August 7, 2013 4:45 PM

 

"Celebration of Life" Service for Lou Caponi 1951-2013

Thank you to all of the  LCCA members and friends of Lou Caponi who attended the August 4-5, 2013 Celebration of Life services for our good friend and President of the Lionel Collectors Club of America, Mr. Lou Caponi.  The entire Caponi family, especially his wife Rose and son Dominic, appreciate your thoughts, prayers, support and friendship.  Several hundred guests attended the visitation and funeral mass.  Dominic Caponi spoke at the funeral mass and gave a very emotional and inspirational eulogy about his father.

As a memorial to Lou, the LCCA set up a table with a sampling of LCCA products on display at the funeral home.  All of these products were created and designed by Lou Caponi.  These products served as example of Lou's passion and creativity and will be forever remembered as a part of Lou's legacy and countless contributions to the club.  The LCCA will discuss and plan future events and possible products dedicated to honor and memorialize Lou Caponi.  Stay tuned to our award winning website www.lionelcollectors.org or club publications, The Lion Roars or Interchange Track for future updates and information.

Just after Lou's body entered the church on Monday, 8-5, 2013, a nearby train was passing by and blowing it's horn several times.  It was a poetic moment.  Just before the funeral mass service ended, another train traveled by and blew its horn.  It was almost as if Lou was orchestrating the train sounds from above.

People shared an endless array of "Lou stories".  There were lots of laughter and tears shed by the hundreds of people who came to pay their respects for Lou and his family.  Lou had the rare ability to make a positive impression on the many people he had contact with.  His highly attended funeral service was a testimonial to him and his positive affect he had on others.  He made good people even better.  Because of my friendship with Lou, I became a better person, husband and father.  His influence will live on forever.   Thank you, Lou!

For those of you who are so inclined, the Caponi family requests donations to made to Make-A-Wish Foundation, One Valley Square 512,Township Line Road Suite 133, Blue Bell PA 19422 in Louis' memory.

Thank you all again for your kindness and support you extended to Lou's family.  The next several months will be the most difficult time for Rose and Dom.  Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

Al Kolis
President  Elect
Lionel Collectors Club of America

 
 
 
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August 13, 2013 8:33 PM

I had not been on the forum in awhile but I am saddened to hear about the death of Lou Caponi. Lou was a good man and I will always remember going into his stores on Mcdade Boulevard and seeing him at the York shows. The hobby has lost a good man who will always be remembered.

 
 
 
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