Nieces remember Kansas City fallen hero as beloved Uncle John - KCTV5

Nieces remember Kansas City fallen hero as beloved Uncle John

Posted: Updated:
John V. Mesh, a 13-year department veteran working on Pumper 10, was killed Monday after the structure collapsed around him just minutes after his gallant actions to rescue two people. John V. Mesh, a 13-year department veteran working on Pumper 10, was killed Monday after the structure collapsed around him just minutes after his gallant actions to rescue two people.
Mesh was known as Uncle John to his nieces, Bianca and Giovanna Caponetto. Their mom was Mesh's sister. Mesh was known as Uncle John to his nieces, Bianca and Giovanna Caponetto. Their mom was Mesh's sister.
Since learning the horrible news following Monday night's fire, Bianca and Giovanna Caponetto have shared recollections of both men. Since learning the horrible news following Monday night's fire, Bianca and Giovanna Caponetto have shared recollections of both men.
Bianca Caponetto designed a long sleeved T-shirt with all of the proceeds going directly to the two families. Bianca Caponetto designed a long sleeved T-shirt with all of the proceeds going directly to the two families.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The sacrifice of two Kansas City firefighters is on everyone's mind as the love and support for their family from the community and beyond swells.

Larry J. Leggio, a 17-year department veteran assigned to Truck 2, and John V. Mesh, a 13-year department veteran working on Pumper 10, were killed Monday after the structure collapsed around them just minutes after their gallant actions to rescue two people.

Two women who knew both firefighters well have turned to beloved memories to help them through the difficult days. They take comfort knowing both men died doing what they loved.

Mesh was known as Uncle John to his nieces, Bianca and Giovanna Caponetto. Their mom was Mesh's sister.

They described him as an old soul who was wise beyond his 39 years.

"He was the old man Uncle John," Bianca Caponetto said.

"He was the 90-year-old. He should have been our grandpa,” Giovanna Caponetto added.

That's how they knew him - not as a firefighter - but as the youngest of eight children in a tight-knit family. Mesh and Leggio grew up in the old Northeast area and grew up dreaming of being heroes.

A citywide memorial will be held at Sprint Center Saturday afternoon for both men. Click here for more information.

Bianca Caponetto said her uncle would never have wanted all of the fanfare.

"He would be so annoyed. He would hate it. He was so humble and quiet,” she said.

Since learning the horrible news following Monday night's fire, Bianca and Giovanna Caponetto have shared recollections of both men. The two sisters feel very much like they have lost two family members.

Leggio, 43, was a close friend of the family too. He saved their uncle, Mark Mesh, who is also a firefighter, from certain death several years ago.

Leggio was an apparatus driver who worked out of Station 17 at East 34th Street and The Paseo. He leaves a wife, his mother and many immediate family members.

Mesh is survived by a wife and four daughters who attend classes in the Independence School District.

Bianca Caponetto designed a long sleeved T-shirt with all of the proceeds going directly to the two families. Click here for more information. Orders will be taken for 30 days, but, already in day one, they are simply overwhelmed by the support from everywhere.

"We've sold to Houston, Colorado, New York, it's everywhere," Bianca Caponetto said.

"And then it got statewide, nationwide … now other countries, just so crazy," Giovanna Caponetto added.

They wanted to do something for their four cousins - ages 17, 16, 13 and 10 - who now have to grow up without their dad, a true hero.

"He can't see his daughters graduate, get married," Giovanna Caponetto said. "He was just way too young."

If you would like to purchase a T-shirt that will support the two families, click here. They sell for $25 apiece and have already raised more than $20,000.

Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.