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Robert R. Caputi, 90, dies; was Huntington attorney and Democratic leader

Robert R. Caputi, a former Huntington zoning, land

Robert R. Caputi, a former Huntington zoning, land use and real estate attorney and longtime local Democratic leader, died of natural causes at the Visiting Nurse Hospice in East Northport. He was 90.

Robert R. Caputi, a former Huntington zoning, land use and real estate attorney and longtime local Democratic leader, died Jan. 18 of natural causes at the Visiting Nurse Hospice in East Northport.

He was 90.

Over his career, Caputi, admitted to the New York Bar Association in July 1948, served as deputy town attorney for Huntington, Democratic town leader and Huntington delegate to the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City that nominated Lyndon B. Johnson.

Suffolk County Democratic chairman and Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer called him a friend, adviser and an icon who helped develop the party in the county.

"He was a Democrat when it was not very popular to be a Democrat in Suffolk County," he said. "He was one of the true leaders who paved the way for current elected officials and active Democrats in the county."

Caputi held a number of other posts and honors, including serving as New York State special deputy attorney general, election frauds division, from 1957 to 1958; member of the first board of directors for Suffolk Off-Track Betting Corp.; and the longest standing member of Huntington Crescent Club. He was also a longtime parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Centerport.

Caputi was born June 17, 1924, in Manhattan and grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. After graduating from St. John's Prep high school in Brooklyn, he served in the Army from March 1943 to February 1946 in such places as New Guinea, the Philippines and Korea. After the service, he attended Manhattan College, then law school at St. John's University.

He married Elizabeth Ann McNamara on Sept. 8, 1951, and the couple moved to Huntington in 1954, where they raised eight children. He established his law practice in the town in 1960. Some of his notable projects in the town were getting approval for the independent bookstore, Book Revue.

His daughter Kathleen Caputi, of Northport, said her father was a man of great integrity and generosity, often offering a seat at the family's holiday table to someone who had no place to go.

"He passed that on to us in terms of doing the right thing and that reputation is everything," she said.

He is also survived by his wife; children, Margaret Ellen Felpo of Huntington Station, Jane Elizabeth Caputi of Highland Beach, Florida, Mary Elizabeth Caputi of Manhattan, Jacqueline Teresa Caputi of Huntington, Robert Gerard Caputi of Huntington and Daniel Edward Caputi of Cambridge, Massachusetts; and six grandchildren. He was predeceased by daughter Anne Marie Caputi.

A funeral was held Wednesday at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Centerport. He was cremated.

The family requests donations be made to the Visiting Nurse Hospice House, 101 Laurel Rd., East Northport, NY 11731.

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