James Joseph Sapia, 71, hotel owner and...

James Joseph Sapia, 71, hotel owner and chef

James Joseph Sapia, an Ocean City hotelier and restaurateur, died Saturday of cancer at his home at the resort. He was 71.


Mr. Sapia had owned the Monticello Hotel on Baltimore Avenue and was chef at DaVinci's Restaurant, which he opened in 1987. He would arrive at the restaurant before dawn to prepare sauces and salad dressings.

"He loved to read customer comment cards because he wanted to hear what people thought of his place," said his son, Ralph L. Sapia of Ocean City, who owns the restaurant. "One bad comment made him insane. He was always striving to be better."


Earlier, Mr. Sapia had owned the Surf Inn Restaurant and the House of Pasta, both in Ocean City.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Little Italy's Fawn Street, he completed the sixth grade at St. Leo parochial school. Not satisfied with his classroom education, he was a lifelong reader, interested mainly in art and the history of the Italian Renaissance, World War II and the United States.

Each morning, he bought three newspapers and read them thoroughly. Then he talked politics and world affairs with friends.

He also followed thoroughbred horse racing and had a clubhouse table at Maryland tracks. He attended opening night of every racing season at Ocean Downs.

In 1953, he married Anna Elizabeth Wrighton.

A Mass was offered yesterday at St. Mary's Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church in Ocean City.

In addition to his wife and his son Ralph, he is survived by two other sons, James Joseph Sapia Jr. of Ellicott City and Vince A. Sapia of Ocean City; a brother, Vincent Sapia of Baltimore; a sister, Mamie Barbara of Bowie; and two grandchildren.

Roulette Tucker, 81, homemaker, volunteer


Roulette Tucker, a homemaker and church volunteer, died Oct. 5 of heart failure at Good Samaritan Nursing Center. She was 81 and lived in Northeast Baltimore.

Born in Dinwiddie County, Va., the former Roulette Fobbs attended Peabody High School in Petersburg, Va. She moved to Baltimore in 1958.

In 1973, she joined Grace Baptist Church, 32nd Street and The Alameda, where she was an usher and volunteer. Services were held yesterday at the church.

She enjoyed cooking, flower gardening and reading.

In 1948, she married Joseph E. Tucker Sr., who died in 1979.

She is survived by three sons, Joseph Tucker, Roland Tucker and Alan Tucker Sr., and three daughters, Gale Tucker, Angela Tucker and Constance Tucker, all of Baltimore; a sister, Evelyn Veals of Petersburg, Va.; 12 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.