Ralph Capparelli, R.I.P.

Ralph Capprelli

One of my former legislative colleagues, Chicago’s Ralph Capparelli, has died at age 96.

When I was elected to the IL House in 1972, I was assigned to the House Revenue Department.

Ralph was sponsoring a bill regarding review of the issuance of county assessment multiplilers by the Revenue Department.

At the time he worked for the Cook County Board of (Assessment) Appeals.

We worked together on the bill and he passed it.

Ralph and I had a cordorial relationship from then on.

After I failed to win a congressional primary contest in 1980, he made a comment that stayed with me:

“Not enough precinct captains.”

Absolutely accurate.

Ralph could not have been born in 1942 as the obituary says, however. That was the year I was born and I’m 78. I figure his birth year was 1924 and the figures got tranposed.

I really enjoyed serving with Ralph.

His obituary is below:

Ralph Carl Capparelli

96, April 12, 1942

December 31, 2020, born in Chicago, beloved husband of Cordelia (DeMilio), father of Cary and Valerie (Plunkett), son of Ralph V. and Mary (Drammis), grandfather of four, and great grandfather of three departed this world on December 31, 2020, of natural causes.

Ralph diligently served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1971 to 2004, and in multiple leadership positions. His seniority earned him the title of the longest serving ‘Dean’ of the Illinois House.

He was a proud veteran of the United States Navy and partook in the ‘Battle of Tinian’ during World War II earning him a Battle Star.

After the war, Ralph graduated with a B.S. degree from Northern Illinois University.

Services were private. Roman Catholic Mass was celebrated on January 4, 2021, at St. Juliana and burial, with military honors, followed at All Saints Cemetery.


Ralph Capparelli, R.I.P. — 7 Comments

  1. There is more to the story.

    It’s Illinois.

    How Illinois pols have pocketed more than $5 million in what Barack Obama once dubbed ‘legalized bribery’
    Dozens of former elected officials have kept campaign cash for themselves.

    It’s all legal under a loophole in the state’s ethics reform.

    ‘I’m the charity,’ says one ex-legislator who pocketed $583,357 — the biggest money-grab.


  2. Which retired state lawmakers have the biggest Illinois pensions?

    Taxpayers United of America, an organization that advocates for tax relief and “fighting government pensions,” has released an updated list of lawmaker pensions in the General Assembly Retirement System.

    At the end of fiscal year 2015, the pension fund had a funded ratio of 16.4 percent — the lowest of the state’s five retirement systems — and $278.8 million in unfunded liabilities.

    Here are some more fast facts from the 2015 comprehensive annual financial report:

    Average member salary: $89,241
    Active members: 145
    Active retirees: 309
    Total active beneficiaries (including survivors): 424
    Required employee contribution rate: 11.5 percent
    Participant contributions: $1.49 million
    Employer contributions: $15.87 million
    Total participant contributions as percent of total contributions revenue: 8.6 percent
    Average age at retirement: 60
    Average pension: $58,644
    Average length of service: 13.4 years

    Following is a list of the Top 25 legislators who are receiving the biggest annual pension payouts as of Jan. 27, 2016.

    *TUA’s calculation for estimated lifetime pension payout assumes a life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590) and the 3 percent compounded cost-of-living adjustment.

  3. How many have left Illinois and are not even spending taxpayer money to support the state’s infrastructure?

  4. “Ralph Capparelli was essential to the success of Speaker Madigan’s leadership before retiring from the General Assembly,” said Madigan spokesman Steve Brown.

    “He was an important part of the Speaker’s leadership team and was a man who devoted a lot of time to make Illinois a better place to live.”

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