Robert Farrar Capon

09/25/2013 11:20 AM |

The Rev. Robert Farrar Capon of Shelter Island died Sept. 5 in Greenport. He was 87 years old.

Born Oct. 26, 1925, in Jackson Heights, Queens, to Frederick and Maybelle Capon, he graduated from Columbia College in New York City and the Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.

Mr. Capon was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1949 and served simultaneously as a parish priest at Christ Church in Port Jefferson and as dean of the George Mercer Jr. Memorial School of Theology in Garden City. He published his first book, “Bed and Board,” in 1965 and left full-time ministry in 1977 to devote more time to his writing career. Between 1965 and 2004, he wrote more than 20 books, most of them discussing theology and, according to The New York Times, his “unorthodox view of Christian teachings.”

In the 1990s, Mr. Capon served as assistant to the rector at St. Luke’s Church in East Hampton and was Canon Theologian to the Episcopal Bishop of Long Island. For many years, he lived on Shelter Island with his wife, Valerie. Copies of many of his books in the Shelter Island Library were signed with a “barely legible flourish and cross,” according to Rachel Marie Stone, a writer for Christianity Today.

Mr. Capon was also passionate about food and cooking, authoring several cookbooks, writing food columns for Newsday and The New York Times and teaching cooking classes. In his book “The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection,” he wrote: “Every real thing is a joy, if only you have eyes and ears to relish it, a nose and tongue to taste it.”

In addition to his wife, he is survived by eight children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were handled by The Shelter Island Funeral Home, a division of DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Homes.