Cover photo for David Michael Capuzzi's Obituary
David Michael Capuzzi Profile Photo
1939 David 2024

David Michael Capuzzi

January 3, 1939 — February 15, 2024

David Michael Capuzzi, MD, PhD was born January 3, 1939 in Philadelphia, Pa., and died February 15, 2024 in Wayne, Pa. His parents were Phyllis Capuzzi (nee D’Urso, later Intenzo) and Maurice Capuzzi. David was raised in South Philadelphia by his mother, who was a teacher and guidance counselor at different schools in the city, and enjoyed summers at his grandparents’ home in Wildwood Crest, NJ.   There, he sold newspapers on the boardwalk as a child, and was a lifeguard and medic on the Wildwood Beach Patrol throughout high school and college.  

He often spoke of his childhood days at the shore as some of his best… fishing and crabbing with his uncle, Joseph D’Urso, caring for injured or sick wildlife - particularly birds, and spending extra time with his grandmother, Anna D’Urso, whom he cherished deeply.  He frequently cited many naturopathic ideas “grandmom” taught him, like soaking wounds in saltwater from the ocean, and the health benefits of garlic and red wine.

David attended St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School as a child, followed by St. Joseph’s Prep and St. Joseph’s College, where he earned a BS in biology. Throughout high school and college, David was a star academic, winning numerous scholastic awards, including a full-tuition academic scholarship for the latter. During these years, he was also an accomplished trumpet player and chess competitor. He credited his Jesuit education with preparing his mind for the rigor of medical school and his career.

From college, David went on to complete his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College, which he also attended on a full academic scholarship. He then earned his PhD in physiological chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (doctoral thesis: The Biosynthesis of Lipids, Proteins, and Serum Low Density Lipoproteins in Isolated Rat Liver Cells, 1969), followed by his medical residency in internal medicine at Hopkins’ prestigious Osler Medical Service, and his postdoctoral fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism.  He then returned home to Philadelphia to spend the next 40+ years as an accomplished medical researcher, educator and physician dedicated to patient care. Highly respected in the cardiology and endocrinology fields, David was named top doctor in his field in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2002 by his peers, and received numerous research grants and awards for his work.  

His research findings include original, seminal work on the regulation of cholesterol production by liver cells, acute inflammation of the pancreas by high blood triglycerides, the utility of new drugs and nutraceuticals on cholesterol regulation, and the maintenance of healthy blood vessel walls.

In addition to treating patients and conducting research, David was deeply committed to educating both medical students and other physicians. Holding professorships at Jefferson, Lankenau Medical Research Center, Medical College of Pennsylvania and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine during his career, he also started the first training program in the greater Philadelphia area for educating doctors - particularly cardiology fellows - on the latest methods of lowering blood cholesterol levels to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. David was particularly proud to receive the Rev. Clarence E. Shaffrey S.J. Award from St. Joseph’s University in 2000, an annual recognition of an alumnus(a) in the field of medicine who made a lasting impact on their profession and communities.  

Though his medical work was his enduring preoccupation, his life’s first devotion was to his family.  While in medical school, David married Ruth Squillace, and they reached their 60th anniversary days before his death.  Together, they have three children - Joan, David (Libby) and Jennifer (Doug) - and raised their family in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Summers were spent at their shore home in Avalon, NJ, an unblemished seaside community when he convinced his wife to buy their first home there in the early 1970s. There, they spent family time on the beach in both summers and winters, fished and crabbed together, socialized with neighbors on 76th street, and  relaxed at home. David and Ruth shared many close friends, and welcomed them at their shore home throughout the years.

Despite all of his professional accomplishments, David made an art form of being humble.  In his personal life, he was completely unassuming, as well as warm, extremely caring, easygoing and open-minded.  He loved to laugh, and he embraced silliness.   

In addition to his wife and children, David is survived by seven grandchildren, his brother Charles Intenzo, and many cousins.

Relatives and friends are invited to David's viewing Saturday, February 24 from 9:30AM to 11:00AM at St. Katharine of Siena Church, 104 S. Aberdeen Ave, Wayne, PA, followed by his funeral mass at 11:00AM.  Interment at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 225 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd, PA.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial gifts in David’s memory be made in support of Dr. Barry Rovner’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Education Fund at Jefferson.  These can be made online at or mailed to Jefferson Office of Institutional Advancement, Dept. 825434, PO Box 71331, Phila., Pa. 19176-1331.   Please make checks payable to Jefferson, and note on the memo line that the gift is in memory of Dr. David M. Capuzzi/Alzheimer’s/Rovner fund.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Michael Capuzzi, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 24, 2024

9:30 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Saturday, February 24, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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