MARVIN CAPLAN: For­mer city coun­cil­lor who also made his mark as cloth­ier and com­mu­nity vol­un­teer has died

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - DANIEL NOLAN dnolan@thes­pec.com 905-526-3351 | @dan­dun­das

Hamilton busi­ness­man and for­mer city coun­cil­lor Marvin Caplan has died sud­denly of a heart at­tack.

Fam­ily friend Wade Hemsworth said Caplan, who served on city coun­cil as the Ward 1 rep­re­sen­ta­tive from 1994-2003, suf­fered a heart at­tack at his of­fice Tues­day. He was 75.

Caplan was a busi­ness and real es­tate bro­ker at Rob­binex Con­sult­ing In­ter­me­di­aries on Stu­art Street. Be­fore he served on coun­cil, he was a pop­u­lar cloth­ier and the op­er­a­tor of Gentle­men’s Ap­parel at Ef­fort Square on King Street East in down­town Hamilton. He had another store in Burling­ton but it only op­er­ated 19901991.

Mayor Fred Eisen­berger is­sued a state­ment say­ing he was “sad­dened” to learn of Caplan’s “sud­den pass­ing.”

“In ad­di­tion to serv­ing on Hamilton City Coun­cil, Marvin was an ac­com­plished cloth­ier, real es­tate pro­fes­sional and con­sum­mate vol­un­teer with many com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions,” Eisen­berger said. “On be­half of the City of Hamilton, our heart­felt sym­pa­thy goes out to his wife Judi and the Caplan fam­ily.”

The mayor said the city flag will fly at half-staff un­til the fu­neral. The ar­range­ments are still forth­com­ing.

Caplan is sur­vived by his wife Judi, a well-known re­al­tor, four sons and seven grand­chil­dren. His wife said in a state­ment, “Tak­ing care of peo­ple was so im­por­tant to him. His goal in life was to help make sure peo­ple could make it.”

Hemsworth, a for­mer Spectator re­porter who now works in me­dia re­la­tions at McMaster Univer­sity, de­scribed Caplan as warm-hearted, gen­er­ous and gre­gar­i­ous and a per­son “who loved to de­bate.”

“He had a good sense of hu­mour, sense of ser­vice, sense of duty to his fam­ily, his com­mu­nity and his syn­a­gogue.”

Caplan came to Hamilton in 1978 from Toronto af­ter work­ing for Harry Rosen chain and open­ing four of its branches. He was the son of a gro­cer.

Spectator colum­nist Paul Wil­son wrote in 1984 that Caplan “stormed into Hamilton” and im­plied if you did not know who he was, you were not pay­ing at­ten­tion.

“Marvin works hard to be fa­mous,” said Wil­son. “He’s on the big bill­boards, his por­trait in colour. He’s on the ra­dio ...”

Caplan be­came chair of the Down­town Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Area and served on such bod­ies as the So­cial Plan­ning and Re­search Coun­cil. He ran for the Ward 1 seat in 1994 when then-al­der­man Terry Cooke stepped down to run for re­gional chair.

In the 2000 elec­tion of the new amal­ga­mated city, he beat six oth­ers in a hard-fought cam­paign to be­come the coun­cil­lor for Ward 1. He lost re-elec­tion in 2003 to Brian McHat­tie, pos­si­bly due to his sup­port for the Red Hill Val­ley Park­way.

Caplan wanted to take care of peo­ple: fam­ily

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