Armond Caplan

by | Oct 25, 2013 | Obituaries

Virginia beach —Armond Caplan, real estate developer, family man, and philanthropist, died Oct. 9, 2013 after a short illness at the age of 101.

Armond was the third oldest of six children of Louis and Tillie Caplan. He was born on June 22, 1912 in Portsmouth, Va.

He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and earned a bachelor of science degree from the College of William and Mary in 1933. While at William and Mary, he was elected to ODK Honor Society. Shortly after graduation, he married Rose Jacobson, of blessed memory, on Oct. 16, 1934. They were married for 72 years until Rose’s passing. Rose and Armond owned a women’s hat and hosiery store on Church St. in Norfolk. During World War II , he worked as a chemist in the Portsmouth Navy Yard.

In 1954, at the age of 42, Armond decided it was time to change careers. He sold the clothing store and started making real estate loans. That business evolved into real estate development. Soon, Armond joined with two partners, Alan Fleder, of blessed memory, and Bernard Jaffe, of blessed memory. Their partnership became Jaffe Caplan Fleder Real Estate, which grew to be a multi-generational real estate business involving the development of apartment complexes, shopping centers, warehouses, and office buildings.

Armond believed in hard work. Despite becoming legally blind in his last few years, he continued to work every day, until days before his death. He had the rare luxury of working with his friends and family in a business he loved. He was a man of dignity, integrity, optimism, and honesty. He thought a deal was a success only if both parties benefited from it and wanted to work together in the future. He respected everyone. He was a delight, an inspiration, and a role model.

Regardless of how much he loved work, it stood in the shadow of his true passion: his family and friends. Armond and Rose had three children (Gloria Caplan Hecht, of blessed memory, Stephen Caplan, and James Caplan), nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

In 1965, Armond took over the hosting of the family’s Passover Seder, which now is a 107-year-old tradition. The Seder is frequently attended by more than 100 members of his extended family.

He supported many causes, including the rejuvenation of Congregation Beth El in the late 1970s of which he was a trustee. He rarely declined to support causes in which he believed. Some of the beneficiaries included EVMS, Norfolk General Hospital, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Jewish Family Service, Simon Family Jewish Community Center, and Beth Sholom Village.

His friends and family will miss his wisdom, advice, humor, laugh and smile. Besides his wife, Rose, and his daughter, Gloria, he was predeceased by his brothers and sisters and their spouses: Julius Caplan (Ceil/Mina), Ella Brewer (Saul), Irene Levitin (Bernard), Howard Caplan, and Doris Pollock (Jack).

He is survived by his two sons, Stephen Caplan (Renee) and James Caplan (Randy), nine grandchildren, Randy Hecht (Lori); Larry Hecht (Mai Ellen); Michele Hecht Cleland (David); Emily Caplan Nied (Joel); Brooke Caplan August (Adam); Jenifer Caplan (Michael Bernstein); L.T. Caplan (Stacie); Seth Caplan (Melissa Whitlock); Sarah Caplan (Kyle Harman); and 16 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his son-in-law Norman Hecht and sister-in-law, Norma Caplan.

The funeral took place at Congregation Beth El. Burial followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to Congregation Beth El, Beth Sholom Village, or a charity of one’s choice. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Norfolk Chapel.