Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs staff members are mourning the loss of Joe Caputo, a former historic-site interpreter at the Zwaanendael Museum, who passed away on Jan. 18, 2020.

Photo of Joe Caputo demonstrating a block and tackle
“Sailor Joe” Caputo demonstrating a block and tackle in Zwaanendael Park.

Caputo was born in Newark, N.J. in 1947 and spent more than thirty years as a history teacher, most recently, at Dover High School. After his retirement, he joined the staff of the Zwaanendael Museum where he worked until 2013. According to museum Site Supervisor Bridget Warner, “Joe loved to get children involved in history. His kind and enthusiastic manner made learning fun and the kids loved him.” Among his many contributions, he helped develop the museum’s “Life at Sea” program that explored life on an 18th-century sailing vessel including presentations of shipboard food, sea chanteys and sailor superstitions.