Anthony J. Capizzi, who administered a Loyola High School program for disadvantaged students, died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Long Green. He was 56.
In 1981, he joined the Loyola faculty as a Spanish teacher. After several years, he was named assistant to the headmaster with duties administering the Higher Achievement and Outreach programs.
The programs, now in their 25th year, help minority students become academically qualified to apply to private schools. He also directed a program in which Loyola students tutor disadvantaged students.
At the time of his death, he was on loan to St. Ignatius Loyola Academy on Calvert Street in Baltimore, a private middle school founded in 1993 to provide high-quality education for poor city boys.
"He was a very passionate man who wholeheartedly devoted himself to these students," said the Rev. James F. McAndrews, president of Loyola.
"The way he accepted his illness with equanimity and peace was really inspiring. He didn't let it get in his way and was still working with his students a week before he died," Father McAndrews said.
The Rev. William J. Watters, S.J., president of St. Ignatius Academy, said, "It was his deep conviction that we should devote ourselves to the poor -- that they are a gift and we should . . . share our riches with them."
Born and reared in Baltimore, Mr. Capizzi attended parochial schools and was a 1956 graduate of Loyola, where he was awarded the Loyola Medal, the school's highest honor.
He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1969 and was assigned to Chile as a teacher. He later worked for several years in the chaplain's office at St. Joseph College in Philadelphia before leaving the priesthood in 1975.
He was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church on Front Street in Baltimore, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today
He is survived by his wife, the former Joanne Grant, whom he married in 1977; a son, Michael A. Capizzi; a daughter, Cara Capizzi; and three sisters, Josephine Greeley of Fallston, Rose Wright of Timonium and Carmela Kahler of Forest Hill.
Memorial donations may be made to the Tony Capizzi Scholarship Fund, Loyola High School, P.O. Box 6819, Towson 21285.