Obituary: Esther Capin, former Arizona Board of Regents president

Esther Capin, former president of the Arizona Board of Regents, died Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Tucson surrounded by her family. She was 78.

Ms. Capin was born Dec. 23, 1934, in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles. She moved to Nogales, Ariz., in 1955 where she wed local businessman Richard Capin.

Ms. Capin was active in civic life, first in Nogales where she and her late husband raised five children and later in Tucson. In Nogales, Ms. Capin helped found the Nogales Public Library and was instrumental in developing the Santa Cruz County Family Guidance Center.

After moving to Tucson, Ms. Capin received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Arizona and continued to spend her time in service to the community.

In 1978, Ms. Capin was appointed to the Arizona Board of Regents and twice served as president during her 16 years on the board.

She also served as a lay person on the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners and was a founding member of the UA Health Center, serving on the center’s board for 24 years.

As a philanthropist, Ms. Capin was known for her integrity, generosity and kindness. Among the causes she supported were education, fine arts, the Girl Scouts of America and the Jewish Federation for Southern Arizona.

Ms. Capin is survived by her children Dr. Donna M. Capin, Norman A. Capin, Elizabeth Capin Keith (Gordon), James B. Capin (Victoria), and Bonnie Capin Dunnum (Russell); sisters Rayna Gellman and Roberta Bracker; sister-in-law Frances Reid; devoted companion Dr. Jack Marks; and 10 grandchildren.

A service took place Wednesday at Temple Emanu-El in Tucson.