Joseph V. "Dr. Joe" Ricapito

Obituary
  • "Joe was a remarkably accomplished, enthusiastic, and..."
    - Jim Boyden
  • "I met Joe 1n 1954 on the beach in Acapulco Mexico. We..."
  • "Joe was my friend and roommate at the University of Iowa...."
  • "Carolyn, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your..."
    - Sandra Wefel
  • "My deepest sympathies for a great man who has served as a..."
    - Anthony Musacchia

Joseph V. Ricapito, Ph.D., a retired LSU professor, passed away on Thursday, the 29th of November, 2018. He was 85 years old. A memorial gathering and service will be held at Rabenhorst Funeral Home on Florida Blvd. on Saturday, December 8th. Visitation is from 9 to 10:30 a.m. followed by a service and reception. He was born Giuseppe Virgil Ricapito in Giovinazzo, Italy, on October 30, 1933. His family came to America, where he lived in Brooklyn, New York. He was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Filomena Ricapito, and a sister, Maria Antonietta Ricapito. He is survived by his wife Carolyn Kitchen Ricapito; his sister and brother-in-law Martha and Michael DeMarco; his children, Col. Frank Peyton Ricapito, USMC Retired, of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and his daughter Maria Ricapito, of Cold Spring, NY; as well as two grandchildren, Giuseppe V. Ricapito, of Sonora, CA, and Francesca Ricapito of Cold Spring, NY. He received his B.A. in Romance Languages from Brooklyn College (CUNY), where he played on the varsity soccer team. He earned a master's degree in Spanish from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in Romance Languages from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he met his future wife. He served in the United States Army from 1957-1959. He taught at Pomona College, Indiana University, and, finally, spent over 30 years teaching languages and literature at LSU. He was chairman of the department of Spanish and Portuguese and director of the Comparative Literature Program. His field was the Renaissance, and he had an international reputation as a scholar of the Spanish Golden Age. In addition to writing or editing ten books and more than 80 scholarly articles, he introduced the popular LSU course "Italians in America." He published two novels and two volumes of poetry. At LSU, he earned a Distinguished Faculty Award, was a Distinguished Research Master, and was chosen as a "Rainmaker" two years in a row. In 1988, he was made a Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and, the following year, a Knight of the Order of Queen Isabella of Spain. He was named a member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE). In 2000, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese of UCLA honored him as the first lecturer in the Homecoming Lecture Series by distinguished alumni. The Brooklyn College Alumni Association gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Books, photography, and the arts were his main interests. He was a great cook and an avid soccer fan, rooting for Manchester United. He loved to travel and has been on almost all the continents. He served lunch every Wednesday at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, where he handed out toys to every child. He was cited by the American Cancer Society and LSU for his volunteer work with the Man to Man support group. He was a past President of the Greater Baton Rouge American Italian Association and for many years headed the scholarship committee. The family thanks The Hospice of Baton Rouge (hospicebr.org) for their care and support.
Funeral Home
Rabenhorst Funeral Homes East
11000 Florida Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70815
(225) 272-9950
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Dec. 5 to Dec. 8, 2018
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