Harvey Caplan, 81, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 1, 2019 in his home in Sarasota, Florida.
He leaves his wife of 53 years, Patricia (Grodsky) Caplan; his three sons Jonathan, Todd and Seth Caplan, and his wife Melissa (Pastore) Caplan, along with his daughter, Wendy (Caplan) Hirschman and her husband Bryan; four grandchildren, Sam, Lilah, Jenna and Becca, two sisters, Rayna and Gloria Caplan, brother- in- law and sister -in- law, Ron and Susan Grodsky, sister -in- law, Margo Grodsky, and many nieces, nephews and friends.
He was born in Malden, Massachusetts the son of Joseph and Rhoda (Klasky) Caplan but lived his whole life in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Although he left the cold winters of Vermont for the warmth of Florida, he never stopped loving his hometown, St. Johnsbury, and always looked forward to his return home.
Harvey, a 1956 graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy, excelled at football, skiing and track and field, setting many school records. After graduating from the Academy, Harvey attended Norwich University. After Norwich, Harvey enlisted in the United States Army. He was stationed in Verona, Italy from 1957 - 1960, where he skied for the US Army.
Following his tour of service, he became a partner in the Green Mountain Supermarket. After 20 years in the grocery business, Harvey decided to go on the road as a manufacturer’s representative selling furniture in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. He loved to talk, so selling was his calling. After 10 years of bookkeeping for Harvey, Patty decided to travel with him full time, and they called themselves the Harvey/Patty Act. With Harvey’s storytelling and Patty’s expertise in interior decor, they made a formidable team for over 35 years.
Harvey was a man of many hobbies and interests. He loved fishing, hunting, racing cars and skiing. As he was never one to miss out on fun, friends could always count on Harvey’s willingness to do anything. From lunch with the “do nothing club”to shopping with Patty to drinks at the Elks club to spending time with his kids and all their friends, he always had a smile on his face and had a great time.
In addition to his hobbies, Harvey liked to give back to the community. He served as Vice President and President of Beth El Synagogue, and he was a benefactor of St. Johnsbury Academy, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, and the St. Johnsbury History and Heritage Center. Harvey had a heart as big as gold.
When asked to describe Harvey, brother-in- law Ron Grodsky summed it up best, “He was one of the warmest, friendliest, funniest, best people I have ever known.” He will be sorely missed.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 18 at the South Church (1052 Main St) in St. Johnsbury. Donations to the following may be made in Harvey’s memory: the Michael J Fox Foundation (PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741), St. Johnsbury Academy, or the St. Johnsbury History and Heritage Center.