Anybody know what happened to the Memorial Bench at Foot of Del Mar?

by on July 15, 2011 · 34 comments

in Civil Rights, Popular

Did you see the Memorial Bench at the foot of Del Mar Avenue being removed?  It was removed by a crane between 7am and 9am Friday morning – last Friday, July 8th.

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Tony Cappellucci placed the bench there – all proper – in memory of his son, Anthony, who died of brain cancer two years ago.

But somebody – somebody with a crane – came and took it. And another memorial bench. A neighbor took a picture with his iPhone showing a crane removing the benches between 7am and 9am on Friday morning, July 8.

Here’s the Channel 10 News story.

SAN DIEGO — Tragedy strikes twice for a father in Ocean Beach. Two years ago, he lost his only son to brain cancer. And now, a memorial bench in his son’s name was stolen.

Tony Cappellucci would visit the edge of Del Mar Avenue and Ocean Front Street at least four times a week to sit on a memorial bench he placed there for his son after he died two years ago.

Anthony Cappellucci III, or Butch, as his family called him, died of brain cancer at the age of 36. Friday morning, the bench in his honor, along with another memorial bench, was taken in broad daylight.

“It’s like living the pain all over again, I was there when he took his last breath, I didn’t want to be there to see it again,” said Tony Cappellucci.

A neighbor took a picture with his iPhone showing a crane removing the benches between 7am and 9am on Friday morning.

“I can’t imagine why they would bother anyone, it’s a bench you know and everyone comes down here and they come to watch sunsets and they hangout, it was a beautiful bench, it was a beautiful memorial,” said Jennifer Opaka who lives in the area.

Tony Cappellucci says he just wants to get the bench back so he can sit and talk with his son again.

“I don’t want anyone to hurt him no more, he went through enough pain,” says Cappellucci.

The Cappellucci’s say they followed all the rules in placing the bench where they did.

San Diego Police are investigating the case as a theft.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

thinking out loud July 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I was at the spot today , you can see where the bench was drug across the dirt lot…

So you go to the rental yard and rent a crane ??? Some body somewhere knows something….


OB Dude July 16, 2011 at 12:17 am

Bring back the bench! Then make whoever pay for and install more benches in Anthony’s honor and to all cancer victims!



tj July 16, 2011 at 7:40 am

With all due respect, & I’m truly sorry for the Cappellucci’s loss – Good riddence to that ugly bench.

People cluddering up the landscape with self serving tributes to themselves, their loved ones, war mongers, politicians, bureaucrats, etc – need to get a grip.

If you want to do something for someone, fine – plant a tree (in an appropriate & approved location) – & leave the “tribute” at home, where it belongs.


oburntout July 16, 2011 at 9:00 am

Like your plants are planted?


jettyboy July 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

Yea the GIANT memorial on top of Mt. Solidad is an example of what can happen with so called memorials


story July 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm

The other bench that was removed was placed there by the City at our expense through a program the City had.

Keep your rude remarks to yourself.


OB Dude July 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

TJ….not all people believe that public land is there to be untouched or unused or untrambled to get to the self or whatever. When you get older (and I hope time will give you that opportunity) sometimes its a pleasure to have a place to sit quietly, think, rest, enjoy the view or just be….

That what benches on public property do they bring joy to someone and in this case a memory to one who left so young.

TJ…..the bench was there to share with all not SELF-SERVING. One day you will wish for a place to sit.


Sunshine July 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm

thanx, ob dude, for your reminder to us all that as we age, seats and quiet solitude to “just be…” are more valued and cherished. i think i figured out why we get shorter with age … our behinds are closer to the bench. kinda like god’s kind way of saying, ‘sit and rest awhile, child, your feet have carried you a long, long way.’

so my questions to whomever “removed” these benches are, are you serious? what could you have possibly thought gave you permission to do such a thing? And just where is it now, eh? if you bring it back in the same crane, i don’t think anyone would notice. right about now, you have an opportunity to do the right thing and put it back. Looks like your karma could use a little improvement, dont you?


Louisa Golden July 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm

The word is clutter. Silly person.


thinking out loud July 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

@ tj…..humm take a look at the article….according to all accounts on several web pages etc. the family followed all city procedures before installing the bench. The bench was installed in a appropriate and approved location…
Plant a tree cliff side yeah that would go over pretty big. Somebody would cut it down.


tj July 16, 2011 at 8:04 am


Sure, so what.

It’s ugly, self serving visual pollution.

But still, if someone wants something like that on their own property (ugly or not) – fine, I can live with that.

But – Keep Personal Tributes off Public Property.

And btw – politicians & bureaucrats follow the rules too when they erect their own self-serving memorials & plaques.

For someone with a sad story – it’s easier to say yes than no. Like PCH being “the Korean War Veterians Memorial Highway.”

Sometimes we need to use our brains – in addition to our hearts.

We have both for a reason.


story July 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Take your own advice.


OB Dude July 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Some people are ugly…should they stay home?


oburntout July 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

Look no further than the people who live in the house next to where the benches were; they have encroached on the public property there; (city is no help so far!; nor is Kevin Faulkeners office) they have run people off that were having their sunset wedding on PUBLIC land, they have planted thorny plants and a sprinkler system to keep people away from this public property, if you go there for sunset you can no longer see the pier due to their planting, they have installed a fence on this public land, and they park their vehicle on public land; they have covered the “bullet shot” that marks the property line; yea it is a big mystery who would want those benches removed. All of the neighbors here think the ugly grey house inhabitants are responsible; they want everyone to go away, and the benches welcomed people to enjoy the ocean views. Check it out people!!!!! At the Oceans end of Del Mar ave.


thinking out loud July 16, 2011 at 8:31 am

Personal tributes are on public property all up and down the coast in ( your words coming next) “an appropriate and approved locations.”
Have a heart for the pain the Father was/is in.
nuf said.


tj July 16, 2011 at 10:06 am


Out of context & spun – does NOT a point make.

Bad public policy & public blight, is hardly a sound justification for creating more public blight.

“Have a heart for the pain the Father was/is in.” tol

Brilliant reasoning, tol.

I do, & for the pain of many others, too. Just imagine all the ugly junk that could be cluttering our public lands, memorializing those who have passed, to ease the pain of the suffering.

I repeat – “Keep Personal Tributes – Off of Public Property.”

You want to allow for an exception – fine:
“Any “personal tribute” fixture on public lands: requires a public referendum – with a majority of the registered voters voting to allow it.” Visual blight approved by weak kneed, pandering politicians, bleeding hearts, &/ or – self-serving bureaucrats – is just not good enough.

I repeat, my friend:
“We need to use our brains in addition to our hearts. We have both for a reason.”


Danny Morales July 17, 2011 at 12:06 am

So by that rationale, we have our reason for a reason which is the same reason for which we have a heart. So is there any reason for ‘Reason’ itself? Or is it the Great God Urreason (apologies to Blake) that’s being cited as the authority in matters of the heart? In any case, there appears to be several logical inconsistencies in the above argument Spock.
Don’t you think?- Kirk Out 8>P


LIVE IN OB July 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm

please please please stop giving “tj” any more comments to his idiotic ramblings
he’s oviously looking to get a reaction , so ignore him or her
it works everytime
I know the family who had one of the benches STOLEN
the person responsible will be caught, and charged
I am going to check out the house at the end of Del Mar now


thinking out loud July 16, 2011 at 10:11 am

go change the policy.
when a family does it ” by the book” and this happens …
well i guess that’s ok…
you don’t get and probably never will. o well.


story July 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm

In 2001, my family placed a bench there, through the City Parks Dept at OUR EXPENSE to honor my father, George Story, who was a City employee for 30+ years. All that remains is the concrete slab that we paid for as well. As far as I can tell, no other City installed benches have been removed from the area. This was the only tribute my family has for my father as his ashes were scattered at sea.

I certainly am interested in getting to the bottom of this matter. I can be contacted through the OB Rag. Thanks for the piece, Frank.


Judith Story July 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Another Story
I believe that destroying or damaging public property is a crimninal offense. Perhaps there should be a criminal investiagtion.


Danny Morales July 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Both Sunshine and I had the opportunity to celebrate your fathers memory on several occasions, so we share the collective outrage that’s being expressed on this blog. Inasmuch as an injury to one is an injury to all, we’re both willing to set aside our lives, our fortunes and our ‘sacred’ reason to bring down the thunder of JUSTICE in honoring our ancestors and our community Godspeed to you all. LONG LIVE O.B.!


LIVE IN OB July 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm

^ bump


OB Dude July 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Good news….generous offer

Still looking forward to finding out who did what to this bench and why.


editordude July 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Thanks OB Dude: here’s the beginning:

“A local company is stepping forward to help an Ocean Beach family after their son’s memorial bench was stolen on Friday.

The bench had been placed near Del Mar Avenue and Ocean Front Street two years ago shortly after Anthony Cappellucci III, or “Butch” as his family called him, died of brain cancer at the age of 36.

Todd Ebbert, the general manager of US Concrete, surprised Cappellucci’s parents at their home on Friday evening and offered to replace their son’s memorial bench for free.

Ebbert says his company built Butch’s original memorial bench in 2009, and after seeing the Cappelluccis’ story on 10News, his company wanted to help.”

See Ch 10 News for the remainder:


Sunshine July 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm

fantastic of US Concrete to do such an honorable act of kindness. Way to go guys!


oBdaDA July 17, 2011 at 7:51 am

arTicLeS liKe thiS is/aRe whY i cOMe to “obRaG” oNce iN awhiLe===
iT shoWs thaT yoU can’T pLeaSe eVeryboDy,,,,,,
i caN sEE thiS froM boTh sideS oF the FenCe:::::
i liKe to siT oN thE bencheS;;;
i thinK personaL property ( eveN sentimentS ) belong aT hOMe…
Side baR= iT iS liKe Public/coMMerciaL advertiSing oN aT the Beach..
( i can noT agrEE wiTh thaT )))))
BUT thaT saiD==NO NEW TAXES foR Gov’T Projects–ThaT shouLd maKe FranK MaD!! hahah+++
iN the enD–to suM thiS uP–> iF we aLLoW a Bench memoriaL for aN individuaL;
THEN i saY : “yeaH, leTs puT a BiG oL’ ChristiaN CroSS oN iT aNd CoMMemoraTe The Death, BuriaL aNd RESSURECTION oF ouR SaVioR, JESUS_CHRIST †††


O.B. Tom July 17, 2011 at 9:26 am

I’d guess it was non other than Kevin Faulkeners , he’s the guy that ripped out all the benches along Sunset Cliffs Blvd and replaced them with $6,000 unusable benches.


BOBOB July 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

love the new benches.


Allen Lewis July 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I just went on google map, and found the bench in mention, what a beautiful place to sit and take in the great view,( for many years I lived close to that spot) I’m very sorry some idiot took it and it’s great it may be replaced. Some of my best times on walks with my girlfriend are sitting on Memorial benches here in Anacortes and in white Rock BC where my girlfriend lives, there always placed in the best spots,and they give off a lot of great energy if you pay attention.


Allen Lewis July 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm

P.S. you know I was just thinken… if one reads the comments to this story you may find the ass that took it or they know who did.


thinking out loud July 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm

yeah its a give away isn’t it ??
somebody might want to check his garage …


oburntout July 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Turko was here today. We shall see if he is able to put things “RIGHT”


Sunshine July 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm

not that i like bringing attention to those-that-oppose, yet in tj’s own words … “If you want to do something for someone, fine – plant a tree…” Does anyone know how to make a bench out of living plants. it would then serve both purposes. some vining plants (with proper training/support) would be strong enough to create a bench to sit on. any arborist out there with ideas to implement this?


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