Jesuit Father Mario Luigi Capitolo, longtime physics teacher at Bellarmine College Prep, died June 10, 2016, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He was 90.
Fr. Capitolo was born on October 15, 1925, in Salt Lake City and grew up in the town of Price, Utah. During World War II, he attended Marquette University as part of a Navy training program, receiving a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering as an officer in the Navy Reserve in 1946. After working a year as a design engineer in a Milwaukee manufacturing plant, he returned to Marquette in a pre-seminary program. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Los Gatos, California, in August 1948. Fr. Capitolo continued his studies at Gonzaga University and Santa Clara University. He was ordained a priest in June 1959.
His ministry of teaching was spent at Ryan Preparatory College, Fresno, from 1954 to 1956. Following his graduate studies in physics at Saint Louis University, he taught at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, from 1962 to 2005. During his 43 years at Bellarmine, Fr. Capitolo taught physics and in his later years, curated the physics laboratory in the science building he helped design. He had a reputation for being a fine teacher with an ability to design experiments and demonstrations that caught the imagination of his students.
He retired to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center for a ministry of prayer in 2005. He was predeceased by his sister, Marie Vaughan, and brothers, Jesuit Father Paul Capitolo and Philip Capitolo. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.