Sophia Rose Capper, 34, of Clermont, Florida, received her angel wings on August 05, 2018. She was born November 04, 1983 in Winter Park, Florida. Mrs. Capper is preceded in death by her great grandmother Ruby M. Brooks. She is survived by her loving husband Rolf Mark Capper; mother Diane (Andrew Gregg) Louise Touchton; father Trinidad Silva; grandmother Ethel Marshall; grandfather Lee Marshall; her aunt, Debra (George) Haight; cousins Angela (Jason Morrow) Wallace and Jason Haight; nieces Kayla Morrow and Kylee Morrow; lifelong best friend Brandy Stevenson; as well as many loved ones and dear friends.
My story of Sophia; the most beautiful woman in the world.
Sophia is an amazing woman who left a mark on each and every person she ever came in contact with. That is evidenced only partially by all you people in this room. Unfortunately it is a story that ended in tragedy, wasted talent and loss for us all but it is really a story of beauty, determination, impact, intelligence, talent, ambition but most importantly love of the purest kind and ability to bring joy to all who knew her. I want to tell this story in reverse so that it has a happy ending.
On Sunday August 5th at 2:10 in the afternoon Sophia took what would be her last breath. It was devastating to us all. However it was a unique situation or opportunity if you will. Some of us on this earth may die suddenly in an accident or of an illness that nobody saw coming. I have experienced that with friends in the past. Each time those who loved them say things like, “I wanted them to know how much I loved them” or “I wish I could have said goodbye.” Sophia unselfishly gave those who were close to her the opportunity to show how much they really loved her and to say goodbye.
About a week before all this Sophia was at home with her mother Diane and me. She was very sick but had been for most of the year. The week prior she had received the results of a PET scan that revealed the extent of her cancer; the return of which had only been discovered a few weeks before. There was a sudden change in her symptoms that night and she asked me to call an ambulance. She spent a week in hospital but continued to decline. From time to time I had to leave the hospital while her mom, my mom or Brandy took the watch but each time I returned in the early morning. Whenever I returned her face lit up with a smile but she would always beg me to take her home. On the Thursday before her passing one of the most compassionate doctors we had ever dealt with indicated that her time was near. I just couldn’t have the discussion in front of Sophia because she had always continued to fight so hard. I sat down with that doctor and asked the question no one should ever have to ask. Are her symptoms going to get any better here? The answer was no. I said, “then she is going home tonight!! Do whatever you need to do to discharge her from this hospital.” Immediately her friends and family launched into action to get Sophia home. She was owed the dignity of going to the home that she loved without riding in an ambulance!
You may wonder why so much detail? But this is where the gold and diamonds of this story reveal themselves. The truth of the matter is Sophia had not eaten in 2 months. For those who had not seen her recently she was a haunting sight. Word quickly spread that she was home and would likely not survive. Any decent person would feel obligated to come and see her one last time but that is not what happened. Her friends and family came to visit and sit with her over and over, day after day until she passed. This is the impact that Sophia had on everyone she came in contact with. Her pure love, friendship and compassion is all encompassing.
Between Christmas and New Year 2017 Sophia was fairly healthy but had the flu. We were hanging out in the living room and she was playing on her phone. All of a sudden she told me, “I have found our dream house!” Sophia and I had dreamed of living on a lake one day. This all started ten years ago when we first started dating. I remember taking her out on the boat but Clermont had been in a drought. The only way to get through the last part of the canal was to get out and drag the boat. What kind of girl would get out of a boat and walk through a black water canal for a guy she just met?? Sophia did. She quickly grew to love the lakes as much as I did. For fun we would drive all over central Florida on the weekends looking at lake houses we couldn’t afford. On New Year’s Day 2018 Sophia had recovered from the flu. I asked her if she wanted to get out of the house and go to the store with me. She said let’s take a look at that house I found. One look at the house and we fell in love. By some twist of fate we were living in our dream house the day after Valentines this year. Sophia and I were so proud. She went out on the boat with me to watch the sunset and we even anchored in the middle of the lake for a nap one evening. She loved the view from the deck and the sun room and her bedroom. In March Sophia made it down to the dock with Angela, Jason, Andy and the girls. Kayla caught the first fish ever from our dock. Family, that’s what the house was supposed to be all about.
2017 was a year of ups and downs. Early in the year Sophia started having some pain. Her legs also began to swell. During a hospital visit she was shockingly diagnosed with cancer for the second time along with a host of ailments resulting from her previous radiation treatment. Like a champ, Sophia put a smile on her face and said let’s do this! Unlike the chemo she had received the first time, this was some wicked stuff. Sophia was destined to lose her hair. In Sophia’s true fighting spirit she decided to shave her head. Everyone knows that Sophia loved her hair. She would spend an hour or more a day tending to her lovely locks. I learned early in our relationship that we would never leave the house in a hurry. I arranged with a friend of ours, Mellissa, who has a hair salon to come to Apopka for a shaving party. Proof that Sophia is loved by all would quickly reveal itself again. Disney world couldn’t stuff that many cars in such a small space. Friends poured into the house to support her fighting spirit. Sophia always kept her sense of humor. We went to chemo one day with bar codes on the back of our bald heads like the hitman video game. In August the treatment was over but side effects lingered. Sophia insisted on getting her normal life back. She returned to work at Aspen Dental and found ways to work around her situation. That girl loved treating her patients more than almost anything; well not as much as she loved her coworkers. We ended out that year having a little fun in Hurricane Irma. Sophia always the adventurer got all dressed up in rain gear with me and walked down to the dock on the lake in our neighborhood. We experienced the power of the storm first hand and it remains a fond memory of mine. I’m not sure Diane was as excited about it though.
Something else very special happened in 2017. Sophia and I could always talk about everything. She told me often of her belief in god but how she never really had the opportunity to go to church regularly. She always wanted to help others and had volunteered for various charities over the years. Somehow we valued our time together at home more or life just got in the way and she never managed to get on that traditional Sunday schedule. Not long after her first bout with cancer, Sophia went to see a counselor. She was struggling with questions like, “how could this happen?” “What is going to happen in the future?” You can all imagine what goes through your mind. We were never really convinced that the counselor was helping her answer those questions. Late in 2017 after completing treatment for cancer the second time, Sophia found herself in a very dark place. She had recently lost a dear friend and was feeling hopeless. In true Sophia fashion she was not going to sit around and do nothing. She told her mother one afternoon to take her to the church on the hill; Real Life. A complete stranger to that church; Sophia asked a man emptying trash cans at the back of the church for help. Immediately the Real Life family took her in. They arranged for a new counselor and made her feel like family. The two of us volunteered a bit for the church and Sophia joined a bible study group of woman. This is the most amazing group of ladies. For health reasons Sophia only made it to a handful of meetings but her impact on these ladies was undeniable. They brought food to the house, visited her at hospital and at home, cleaned our house. The list goes on and on. I am convinced that if I asked them to paint the house they would! Those beautiful loving ladies returned to the house over and over right up till the end. You must know that from the day Sophia walked into that church there was never another dark thought even though much worse was to come. I know that Sophia had reaffirmed her belief in god and was at peace that she would be in heaven.
2016 was the year that defined Sophia’s fighting spirit. Really this part of the story began in 2015. Sophia had spent the year chasing conflicting test results with many visits to her OBGYN. In December 2015 we got the most stunning news you could imagine. Sophia had very early cervical cancer. She scheduled a surgery that would cure her but try and maintain her ability to be a mother one day. During the surgery it was discovered that the cancer had already shown up in her Lymph node. The surgery was canceled and she began daily heavy radiation treatments and light chemo therapy. None of it was any match for Sophia’s tenacity and spirit. She had a smile on her face every day, never complaining a bit. She soon bounced back and worked hard to get on with her normal life. At the time she was working for Dr. Nguyen in Winter Park. Dr. Nguyen was an old friend who she had worked with at the Volusia County Health Dept. Dr. Nguyen was so impressed with Sophia that she insisted on her coming to work at her practice after passing the state dental hygiene exam. As always Sophia made deep and lasting friendships with all the staff. Dr. Nguyen held Sophia’s position open while she went through treatment. We were both very thankful for that. Eventually Sophia wanted to stretch her wings. She went to work at Aspen dental and immediately won all those doctors and coworkers over. She dreamed of getting her Bachelors in Dental Hygiene and teaching one day. Twice she was accepted to that very competitive program at St. Petersburg College but sadly each time life got in the way. The rest of 2016 was an amazing year. We had planned a cruise with friends in December 2015 but had to cancel a day before leaving. Anyone who has ever canceled a cruise and tried to get the money back can appreciate this story. The travel agent we had used was so taken by Sophia’s story that she moved heaven and earth to reschedule the cruise. I’m not entirely convinced that this has ever happened for anyone else. We finally took our victory cruise in April. A few months later she met me in New York City at a job I was on and we got to see the sights and visit her dear friend Muricio, his wife Drea and little boy Gabe. In July we visited my sister Tanya in Alaska and my other sister Natasha joined us. What an amazing experience and precious time with family.
2015 was our first full year of marriage. She planned each and every detail of our dream honeymoon to Italy and the Mediterranean. We visited Rome, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, Positano, Capri, Venice and Sorrento. Not the one in Lake County although we have been there too. We then boarded a cruise ship and traveled the Mediterranean visiting France, Majorca and Barcelona along the way. We just enjoyed being married and she enjoyed immersing herself into the career she had worked so hard for.
2014 was the most amazing year for us. On August 31st we were married. She made me the happiest man on earth that day. We were surrounded by family and friends. I’m not too shy to say that was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen. Sophia was the most amazing woman I had ever met and she deserved the best of everything! I have to tell you that when we made our first list of wedding guests it was shocking. The Saudi royal family couldn’t afford to have invited all those people so we kept mostly to family. As nice as our dream honeymoon was; sometimes simple is better. Sophia took me to St. Petersburg for a few days right after the wedding, a mini Honeymoon. Honestly we had the fondest memories of that trip over our tip to the Med.
2012 through 2014 was what I will call the golden age of Sophia. I proposed to her on St. Patrick’s Day 2012 in the mountains of Georgia. We were at a cabin with our close friends George and Kelly. They were clearly in on it! Sophia lived with her cousin Angela, her husband Jason and Niece Kayla. In March 2013 Angela would have her second child Kylie. Sophia was always about family. Angela was absolutely Sophia’s sister. She loved living with them and enjoyed every minute with Kayla. Eventually Kylie came along and Sophia was so into every aspect of her life. Her Grandpa Lee would come every weekend and bring doughnuts. 2012 was a yearlong Dental Assisting program. Sophia was able to concentrate solely on school because of a gift from my mother Renate that came indirectly from the passing of my grandparents. My Mom loves Sophia like a daughter and my sisters love her like a sister. They all say that I became a much better man when Sophia entered my life. They are right. Sophia began working at the Volusia County Health Dept. as a Dental Assistant. There she left an impression on her coworkers and patients. People would come in and insist that Sophia treat their children because she was so good with them. While working she went through the two year Dental Hygiene program. She achieved her lifelong dream the year we were married. As long as I’ve known Sophia her dad Trini has always sent her cards with money or gifts on special occasions. He always included a little something in them for Angela and Kayla. Sophia spoke to him on the phone fairly regularly but had not seen him in many years. In March of 2013 Sophia and I planned a trip to Atlanta to visit my sister Natasha. Sophia wanted to see her dad again but was nervous at the same time. We drove up to Covington Kentucky for a few days and their reunion went well. I know it was a weight off both of their shoulders. At Christmas time in 2012 we took a family trip to Australia so Sophia could meet my dad’s family and we could all catch up. You would have thought she was one of the cousins. Sophia has such a way with people that they are immediately comfortable. She would eventually become Mrs. Capper number 12.
2010 and 2011 was a time of adventure and getting to know each other. Early in our relationship I told Sophia she should get a passport so we could travel the world together. We tested her new passport with a cruise to the Bahamas. We rented scooters and just experienced everything we could get our hands on. In 2011 we went to the Keys on the annual lobster trip that our friends John and Susan Mears do with their family. Sophia loved the snorkeling but could do without sticking her hand in a hole on the ocean floor hoping to pull out a lobster instead of an eel. She had an appetite for adventure so we just had to try out the jet pack. Sophia is a natural at everything she tries. I on the other hand tried to drown myself repeatedly with a jetpack strapped to my back. In January 2011 I decided that Sophia should see snow for the first time. My sister Tanya, Sophia and I drove to Maggie Valley North Carolina. The first sign of snow on our drive up resulted in a quick snowball fight, snow angels and I may have put snow down the back of her pants. It seemed right at the time. When we arrived Sophia insisted on snowboarding instead of skiing. For those who know, that is the most difficult way to experience snow sports for the first time. Once again Sophia the natural was going down the mountain on her second day. She told me recently that this was her favorite trip we had ever taken. It was a pretty good one! 2011 was the year we started doing something daring for Valentine’s day. Sophia and I skipped our planned couples massage and went hang gliding instead. Over the years we rode Segway’s, went off roading on ATV’s, rode around in an airboat and flew in a helicopter. This year I pre-positioned a gas firepit on the dock of the house we didn’t own yet. She enjoyed as slushy while I drank a beer. It seemed like trespassing was daring enough this year.
2009 is the most impactful year of my life. That is the year I met Sophia. A few years into his life my German Shephard Inja developed a problem with his pancreas that would follow him the rest of his days. My family had been using Sheeler Road Animal Hospital since 1982 so naturally that’s where I took him. There the Doctor determined after a few visits that Inja would need a special diet and medication for the rest of his life; along with close monitoring of his weight. Only after Sophia and I were dating did I come to find out that she thought I was someone who had been rude to her once and would go work in the back whenever I had an appointment. At that time Inja was able to go to work with me every day. If you have ever tried to weigh a 100 pound dog on a bathroom scale you will know why it was easier to take him to Sheeler and use their scale every week. So with no appointment necessary I would bring Inja to the vet for a quick weigh in. There was this stunning girl who worked behind the front desk. I was about 34 and she was 24 years old at the time. If you don’t believe in love at first sight you are wrong. The very first time I saw her, a voice in my head said you could marry a girl like that. How could a young woman like Sophia possibly be interested in an old man like me? Well Inja got weighed a lot and much flirting eventually got me a phone number. The daily phone calls between us stretched late into the night and eventually lead to me bringing a lot of lunches to the vet office. Eventually I negotiated a trip to the shooting range to shoot a machine gun but it was too late. We were so smitten with each other that we couldn’t stand to wait another week. On September 20th 2009 Sophia and I went on our first date. We went indoor skydiving and had dinner at Bahama Breeze.
That is the story of how I met the most beautiful woman in the world!
Loomis Funeral Home Chapel