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Blackhawks, St. Jude Hockey Pay Tribute to Fallen Fireman Daniel Capuano

By Howard Ludwig | December 16, 2015 7:13am
Chicago Blackhawks Pay Tribute to Fallen Fireman
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MOUNT GREENWOOD — A moment of silence was held for fallen firefighter Daniel Capuano just before the puck dropped at the Chicago Blackhawks' game at the United Center Tuesday night.

The Blackhawks honored the Mount Greenwood resident with a video tribute ahead of the home game against the Colorado Avalanche. The homage also included a nod to Capuano's volunteer efforts with the St. Jude Hockey Club.

Capuano, 42, was killed early Monday morning after falling two stories down an elevator shaft at a burning South Chicago warehouse. He leaves behind a wife, Julie, and three children — Amanda, 16, Andrew, 13, and Nicholas, 12.

A memorial fund has been set up for Capuano's family by the Ende, Menzer, Walsh & Quinn Retirees' Widows' and Children’s Assistance Fund. Organizers of the fund posted the Blackhawk's video tribute on YouTube on Tuesday night and thanked the team via Facebook.

"The Chicago Blackhawks have generously donated half of the proceeds from their split-the-pot raffle tonight as well as an additional gift from organization to the Daniel V. Capuano Memorial Fund," the charity's post read.

The Blackhawks offered similar tributes after Chicago firefighter Walter Patmon Jr. died of a heart attack when he returned from a call to his South Side fire station on Nov. 11, 2012. The hockey club also memorialized Capt. Herbert T. "Herbie" Johnson, who died while fighting an extra-alarm house fire on Nov. 2, 2012, in Gage Park.

Both of Capuano's sons play travel hockey for the St. Jude Knights. And the 15-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department volunteered to maintain the off-ice training facility adjacent to the team's home rink — Southwest Ice Arena in suburban Crestwood.

The hockey club will show its appreciation for Capuano by participating in the ceremonial walk-through alongside firemen at his visitation service, which is planned for 3-9 p.m. Thursday at St. Rita High School in Ashburn.

St. Jude players, coaches and alumni will wear their dark green jerseys along with their black warm-ups. The team will meet at 6 p.m. and walk together through the chapel at 7720 S. Western Ave., pausing briefly to pay respect while moving in a steady fashion.

A traditional walk-through by firefighters is planned for 7 p.m.

This is the first time a youth group has ever participated in the tribute commonly reserved for active and retired firemen, said Colleen Breakey, the recording secretary for the Chicago Fire Department's Gold Badge Society. The charity works to comfort and support widowed and families of firefighters and paramedics.

All St. Jude teams are also planning to wear a special sticker on their helmets for the remainder of the season honoring the late Coach Capuano, according to an email from the Knights.

The funeral for Capuano will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Rita. Capuano will be buried at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery & Mausoleum in Alsip.

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