TROY, N.C. — Jesse Smith Capel passed away on October 20 at the age of 90.

Born on November 17, 1932, Capel graduated in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in textile management from N.C. State University. He first served in the U.S. Army, then joined the family business, Capel, Inc., in 1957, where he made significant contributions in the areas of finance, importing and manufacturing until his retirement in 2007.

Further service to business and community included roles on the boards of Virginia Episcopal School, a role he dedicated to the memory of his late son, J. Smith Capel, St. Mary's School, the Duke Heart Center, the Montgomery County Fund, Pfeiffer University, the N.C. Museum of History, the N.C. Museum of Art, and as chairman of FirstBancorp. Capel’s leadership also extended to the N.C. State Ports Authority, where he served as president of the State Ports Authority Foundation. His love for Scouting saw him serve as district chairman for Boy Scouts of America, for which he was awarded the Silver Beaver Award. He also was a former president of Troy Rotary Club.

Capel’s commitment to education and community growth was evident in his 16-year service as chairman of the Montgomery Community College Board of Trustees. As a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Capel founded The Trinity Fund, a crisis assistance ministry, and held numerous leadership roles.

In 2010, Capel was honored for his service to the community with the Montgomery Fund Foundation’s Humanitarian Award.

Beyond his public service, Capel was a loving family man. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 68 years, Julianne Boone Capel, daughters Mary Clara Capel of Chapel Hill, Julie (Steve) Williams of Vero Beach, Florida, Sarah Kea Capel of Pinehurst, and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Capel of Atlantic Beach, along with ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He also is survived by his brothers A. Leon Capel Jr. and Arron W.E. Capel and his sister Dr. Blanche Capel. Jesse was preceded in death by his son, Jesse Smith Capel Jr.

The Capel family name, synonymous with quality in North Carolina for over a century, reflects a rich tapestry of commitment to excellence, community and innovation. From the humble beginnings of “New Departure” braided rugs in 1917 to collaborations with major brands such as Sears, JCPenney, L.L. Bean and Pottery Barn, the Capel journey has been one of continuous evolution and growth. Jesse Capel’s contributions to this legacy are irreplaceable, according to company leaders.

Family and friends are invited to pay their respects during visitation hours from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25 at Bumgarner Funeral Home, 620 Albemarle Road in Troy.

A memorial service celebrating Capel’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 26 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 239 N. Russell St. in Troy. A reception will immediately follow the service, where friends and family can gather to share memories, pay tribute and offer condolences.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jesse Capel’s memory to The Trinity Fund at Trinity United Methodist Church-Troy.

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