Dr. C. Filip Cappa, D.D.S., M.I.C.D., O.M.C.
Dr. Fil Cappa was born in St. Marys, Ontario in 1927 and graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1950 with a B.A. (General Science) and later received his D.D.S. from the University of Toronto in 1955. He practiced General Dentistry in Byron, Ontario from 1955-1994. During this time, Dr. Cappa also served as Staff Dentist (half time) at Beck Memorial Sanitorium (1955-56), Victoria Hospital Out-Patient Clinic (half-time, 1961-66) and as a Clinical Instructor at the University of Western Ontario (1966-73). In 1978, he volunteered for 10 days at the FISH Clinic in Kingston, Jamaica.
Dr. Cappa served Dentistry at the ODA as a member of the Dental Public Health Committee (1962-66), Editor of Ontario Dentist (1970-72) and as a member of the Honours and Awards Committee (2003-2009).
In a 1992 article in Ontario Dentist, he described the process of publishing the journal:
“At that time, the Journal was a two-person operation. I had an excellent secretary assigned to work with me, Barbara Harmer, who worked full-time on the Journal. She coordinated the advertisements and did the typing. Together, we changed the format from its six-by-nine inch size to the size used today. In 1970, we used photos of native Canadian art on the covers. Over the next two years, we changed this in favour of photos or illustrations pertaining to particular issues covered in each issue. In 1972 we also changed the title to Ontario Dentist. We did our own typesetting with the use of an IBM machine—the precursor
of the word processor. Harmer would type the text onto a tape, which we could then run back through the machine for print out. After doing the photo-ready copy, we sent the layout and the photographs off to a printing firm in Owen Sound, either by courier or by Gray Coach bus. The printer prepared galley proofs, which I had the opportunity to examine, usually after picking them up at the bus depot in London; last minute changes were then made before the Journal was printed and mailed from Owen Sound.”
Dr. Cappa was active in his local London and District Dental Society, the ASPD, the Canadian Amateur Diving Association, the Oakridge Masonic Lodge and London Mocha Temple Shrine. He was also a dedicated and talented musician, playing the tuba in a number of bands right up to his last years. Fil and his wife, Dianne loved to travel and visited 47 countries around the globe.
Dr. Cappa was inducted into the Canadian Section of the International College of Dentists in 1982, serving as Editor (1995-2011) and Registrar (1996-2009). In 2000, his outstanding contributions to the ICD were recognized when the prestigious status of Master Fellow was conferred on him. He was also recognized as Honourary Registrar on his retirement from office. From 2002-2005, he was an International Councilman representing Canada. From 2003-2012, he served as Treasurer of the William J. Spence ICD Memorial Foundation.
Dr. Cappa received many honours and awards for his service to both Dentistry and to Society at large.
William J. Geis Foundation Award for Editorial Writing, 1970.
Ontario Special Award for Amateur Sport, 1977 (presented by Premier Wm. Davis)
Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, 1994 (presented by Lt. Governor H. Jackman)
Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, 1997
ODA Service Award, 2000
L&DDS, Robert A. Brandon Service Award, 2005
L&DDS Honourary Membership, 2012
University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry Award of Distinction, 2012
To those who knew Fil and his contributions to his profession and to society, the loss will be felt keenly. He served with great distinction and dedication. Our deepest condolences go to his wife of 62 years, Dianne, his children Gina, Barb and Paul and their families.