Local woman remembered for humor, kindness

By Kelly McCarthy

July 22, 2013 Updated Jul 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Friends and family on Monday celebrated the life of a Johnson City woman who was killed in her home earlier this month.

Patricia LaCaprara was found dead July 8 in her first floor apartment at 36 Brown St.

Her death was ruled a homicide and autopsy reports showed she died of traumatic head injuries.

LaCaprara's upstairs neighbor, 43-year-old Christopher Davis, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Johnson City police say Davis' motive appeared to be burglary, but the investigation is ongoing.

Calling hours for LaCaprara and a "celebration of life" drew dozens of friends, family and coworkers Monday at Charley's Lounge.

"This is supposed to be a celebration of life and there will be a lot of stories about her," said Greg MacBlane, owner of Charley's Lounge. "Everyone is going to remember her for the way she was not for what happened."

Stories of a cheerful person circulated through groups of loved ones.

"Best sense of humor ever, just a good time." said LaCaprara's friend, Kelly Saunders. "Never in a bad mood, always happy and willing to do anything for anybody."

They gathered at Charley's Lounge because that's where LaCaprara would go after her shift at UHS. The seats she once occupied are now filled by those she loved.

"What had happened to her is just so horrific," MacBlane said, "And we're trying to put a positive spin I guess, make something positive out of something so negative."

Everything at the event -- from the food to the prizes -- were donated by local stores and restaurants. Friends went door-to-door and returned with more than $4,000 worth of donations.

"Every person that I spoke to was aware of the situation," Saunders said. "So I didn't have to say much, and we were not denied by anybody. Everybody was willing to help and donate."

The celebration of life will now create a new beginning for local students.

"We were just talking and thought it would be huge if we could raise some money and do a scholarship in her name," Saunders said, "And offset some of the expenses that came along from what occurred."

Donations and proceeds from the Celebration of Life will go toward an annual scholarship fund. Each year, a student from Broome-Tioga BOCES will receive a scholarship in LaCaprara's name.

Additional donations can be made in Patty's name to the MS Foundation or the Crime Victims Assistance Center.