In Memoriam: Dr. Donald Capps
The National Federation of the Blind would like to express its deepest appreciation and warmest sympathies to the friends and family of Dr. Donald Capps, who passed away on November 6, 2019. Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, made the following statement regarding Dr. Capps:
"Dr. Capps touched the lives of so many and his lifelong contributions can never be adequately recounted. For the blindness civil rights movement of the United States, Dr. Capps provided stability, foundational principles, and continuity. For the rest of the world, he generously shared his understanding and experience in order to spark the development of movements organized by the blind in other nations. He served with honor and distinction in so many ways but he always did so with a sense of purpose and humility. He is the only individual that served and supported the first seven Presidents of the National Federation of the Blind. The current President of the Federation, our eighth, was mentored by Dr. Capps at a critical time in his leadership development. This likely means that almost all of the first hundred years of the National Federation of the Blind will have been influenced directly by the Capps personality and spirit. With certainty, his indirect influence will echo into the next century of the organized blind movement. That demonstrates the power of love and commitment—the same qualities he shared with his wife and family, setting an example that service and family go together.
"Dr. Capps always made sure he had a watch that was in good working order—I had the opportunity to help get him one when he needed it. Upon reflection, it is clear why it was so important to him. He knew that every minute counted and he did more with his time than probably anyone else I have ever known. As we go forward with the memories of both Don and Betty in our hearts, I urge us to value and use those minutes as effectively as they did to share love around the world. If we do that even half as well as they did, our time will have been well spent. The blind of America, and the world, salute this great man who gave his time and his heart to raising expectations for the blind. Our future achievements will be built upon the strength, value, and spirit that he gave in service to us."