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b. October 19, 1910
d. January 14, 2004
Phil Capaldi was born October 19, 1910 in the farmhouse where he spent his lifetime. His parents, Dominick and Maria were Italian Immigrants who settled in the east end of Port Norris known as "Little Italy". Phil had four younger brothers: Benjamin, Joseph, Anthony, and Louis.
When Phil was in the 6th grade, his father bought a tractor, but had never learned how to drive since hardly anyone had cars back then. So he went to Phil’s school and told the teacher his son had to quit school so he could drive the tractor. Phil really wanted to stay in school and someday maybe be a lawyer.
Phil’s brother Anthony died at an early age of diphtheria – Benjamin left the farm to become a CPA -- leaving Philip, Joseph and Louis on the farm.
Back then, Italian families from cities such as Camden would work on farms for the summer crops. Phil was in Camden recruiting the DeLuca family and met Victoria – He was smitten. She had a job with her father at the Campbell Soup Company, and stayed in Camden with her father while her mother, brothers and sisters came to work on the farm. So the only way Phil could see her was to drive up to Camden every chance he got. With gas costing 10 cents a gallon, he thought the best move would be to propose.
Phil and Vicky had two children, Mary and Dominick. After Phil’s father passed away in 1947, Phil and his brothers became Capaldi Farms.
Phil was co-founder of the People’s Bank of Port Norris. He and Joe Newcomb went to Trenton to obtain the Charter. Phil served on the Bank’s Board of Directors through several mergers, until he retired. Phil believed you should only buy what you can pay for, and he went his whole life never owing anyone. He would say, “At 6 percent, money doubles money in 16 years” – always thinking of the future.
He was also on the Board of Directors of the Cedarville Produce Auction. He served on the Cumberland County Fair Committee, served many years on the Commercial Township Planning Board, many years on the Cumberland County Board of Agriculture, and as committee member of the ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service).
There is a Philip Capaldi Scholarship - available through the Cumberland County Board of Agriculture - awarded each year to a Cumberland County high school senior who wishes to pursue a degree in agriculture.
Phil passed away on January 14, 2004.
On November 21, 2010, he was recognized as a Legend of Port Norris, the same year as his brother, Louis.
Source: Dominic Capaldi
Capaldi Farms Century Farm Award