It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Barry Caplan on June 2, 2017, at the age of 84, after a short, but courageous, battle with cancer.
Barry is survived by his loving wife, Sandra; children, Susan Billinkoff (Errol), Bruce Caplan (Sheri Winters) and David Caplan (Cindy Switzer); and grandchildren, Jordan and Asher Billinkoff, Maia and Annie Caplan, and Max and Layla Switzer-Caplan. He is also survived by his sisters, Sandra Ciarrocchi (Ray) and Gail Bender (Earl); sisters-in-law, Marcia Glazerman and Philipa Caplan, cousin and dear friend, Aubrey Caplan; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Max and Annette (Stall) Caplan; in-laws, Bertha and Allan Glazerman; and brother-in-law, Fred Glazerman.
Barry was a "gentleman", a "gentle man", and a "mensch". He grew up on McAdam Avenue and attended school at Machray, Luxton and St. John's High. Barry's natural artistic talent emerged at an early age and one of his favourite pastimes was creating his own comic strip characters, all precisely rendered with pen and ink. He also wrote accompanying stories, producing incredible works of animated fiction. Barry credited his parents with instilling and nurturing in him a lifelong love of literature, history, art, poetry, and music.
Notwithstanding his passion for the arts and humanities, Barry's formal education took him down another path, medicine. He graduated from the University of Manitoba's Medical School in 1957, interned and completed a one year fellowship in pathology at the Winnipeg General Hospital (now Health Sciences Centre), and then moved to California where he completed a residency in urology at U.C.L.A. in 1963. After moving back to Winnipeg, Barry began his medical practice in the Boyd Building and later opened a new office in the Medical Arts together with fellow urologist, Dr. Alan Decter. He and Alan shared a long and happy professional association and friendship. Barry was known as a kind, caring, and compassionate doctor. He was devoted to his patients and always went the extra mile, ensuring that those in his charge received the best care possible. In addition to his practice, Barry served as a urological consultant to the St. Boniface Clinic and taught at the University of Manitoba's Medical Faculty for over 30 years.
On June 21, 1959 Barry married his soul mate, Sandra Glazerman. Sandra knew that Barry was the love of her life and he was equally smitten, declaring at their wedding that their profound love would endure "beyond the limits of time with the brightness and freshness with which it blossomed on that day".
Family was important to Barry and he shared special relationships with each of his children. Some of his happiest memories were of time spent on family vacations. He enthusiastically welcomed new members into the Caplan family, including his children's spouses and their families, and, eventually, six grandchildren, each of whom he adored.
During their married life Sandra and Barry enjoyed Winnipeg's rich cultural offerings, including the opera, symphony, ballet, and theatre. They also travelled extensively, savouring each experience, and always coming home ready to plan their next adventure.
After retiring at 68, Barry went back to university, enrolling in as many sessions as his schedule - and Sandra - would permit. He studied a wide variety of subjects and worked long hours on papers and art projects. He loved hearing his professors' views on politics and currents events, and they all respected his sage opinions and views of the world. He continued to pursue his fine arts studies at their winter home in St. Petersburg, Florida, where they enjoyed the company of a new circle of friends, the warm weather, and the vibrant arts and cultural scene.
Barry was deeply touched by the many family and friends who came to his 80th birthday celebration. In his speech he thanked Sandra for her unconditional love and super human efforts on his behalf during the vicissitudes of their, then, 53 years together. In the end, it was Sandra's devotion to Barry that allowed him to live comfortably at home until the last week of his life. Her dedication to his well-being at all times and, in particular, when his health declined rapidly and gravely, was a testament to her great love for him.
Heartfelt thanks to Rabbi Alan Green for providing support and comfort to Barry in his final days, to Dr. George Balko for his expertise and compassion, and to Dr. Bob Steinberg for his kindness and friendship.
Funeral services, officiated by Rabbi Green and Cantor Mass, were held at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on June 5, 2017. Pallbearers were Errol, Jordan, and Asher Billinkoff; Daniel and Alyn Glazerman; and Randy Bender. Honorary pallbearers were Dick Bell, Earl Bender, Lou Billinkoff, Aubrey Caplan, Bob Weinerman and Edward Winters.
Barry's passing leaves a void in the essence of the Earth. We will miss him dearly and will strive to live by his example. He will be forever in our hearts.
Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince;
And flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest!
If desired, donations may be made to a charity of one's choice.