KINGSTON - Chances are Marvin Rappaport got to know many of his constituents while walking through the neighborhoods with his wife Barbara and working in his pharmacy.
The longtime councilman died Thursday at age 79 after an illness. As a Republican incumbent, he had won a nomination in the primary two days earlier.
Kingston Mayor James Haggerty said Rappaport, whom he called “Marv,” was one of the longest serving council members at 24 years in office. “He was elected in 1989,” Haggerty said Saturday.
Haggerty attributed the longevity to Rappaport’s popularity, hard work on council and respect in the community where he raised a family, worshipped and owned and operated Jacobson Pharmacy.
“Marv Rappaport had a ton of friends, which showed in his election results,” Haggerty said, adding he was often the top vote-getter.
The unofficial results from the primary had Rappaport tied for second with Sandra Kase at 320 votes, three behind the leader Robert Thompson Jr.
It was common to see Rappaport and his wife walking all over town, Haggerty said. “He was a vigorous guy. He had a lot of energy,” the mayor said.
Rappaport also bowled with Haggerty’s father in a league established by area pharmacists, and he rooted for the Major League Baseball team the Cleveland Indians.
Council President Sandra Kase campaigned three times with Rappaport and served with him for eight years on council. “It was a pleasure working with him,” Kase said.
People trusted him and looked to him to address concerns they raised. “They knew that if they called him, he would get the job done,” Kase said.
“He was a friend to everyone , but when it came down to business, he was committed to doing the right thing,” she said.
In honor of his service, there will be a police escort of his funeral procession today on Wyoming Avenue and the fire department will pay tribute to him.
“We’re all deeply saddened by his passing,” said Kase. “The entire community will miss him. ”