Thomas Carl Lacapa was born May 14, 1962, in Phoenix, Arizona, the same year “Monster Mash” made its debut to the airwaves. Thomas, known simply as Tom by his family, was later dubbed “Woody” by his childhood friends.
Tom attended William T. Machan Elementary from 1968 to 1976 and he graduated from North Phoenix High School in 1980. Shortly after graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Tom moved to the LCO Reservation in the 1980s and earned a degree in telephone repair and cable wiring at WITC-Rice Lake. While a resident of LCO, Tom fell in love with Theresa Jensen and together they followed their dreams to live in the Twin Cities. In the mid-1990s, Tom and his wife return to the LCO reservation, where he worked for the LCO Ojibwe Schools maintenance department for many years.
Tom was very proud of both his Ojibwe and Hopi-Tewa cultures. Tom danced at many pow-wows in the Southwest with his family, including the All Indian Flagstaff Pow-wow, Legend City Amusement Park in the mid-1960s and the “Wallace and Ladmo” TV show in Phoenix. Tom returned to his birth place in 2011 after discovering he had kidney failure; through a high school acquaintance, he was able to discontinue dialysis with the help from a kidney donor. Tom was able to work again part-time and enjoyed his time at Carolina’s Mexican Restaurant and Home Depot.
Tom was admitted to St Joseph’s hospital with COVID-19 on Thanksgiving Day and passed away on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Although Tom had been vaccinated, his underlying medical conditions proved to be insurmountable barriers in spite of his strong will to recover.
Tom is survived by his sisters, Geraldine (Tino) Youvella, Barbara, Camille (Steve) and Martha Lacapa; brothers, Leo Jr, Samuel, John (Amy) and Paul (Tory) Lacapa; grandson, Calvin; his children, Betty and Victor; stepson, Jordan Gokee; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Tom was preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth (White) Lacapa; his father, Leo C. Lacapa Sr.; and brothers, Jerry and Valentino.
At Tom’s request; there will be no wake or celebration of life, just a private family service.
The family appreciates all the prayers and concern for their brother while he was a patient in the ICU ward. Tom loved Christmas and always bought a gift to support the Phoenix Christmas Angel program. In the spirit of Christmas, the Lacapa family requests that his friends make a donation in Tom Lacapa’s name to support the American Kidney Foundation or the local Salvation Army Christmas Angel program.