Arthur N. Caple Jr., 63, director of state workers' pension agency

May 25, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Arthur Norris Caple Jr., executive director of the Maryland Supplemental Retirement Agency, died of an apparent heart attack Saturday at his Westminster home. He was 63.

Born in Hanover, Pa., he was a graduate of the old St. John's High School in Westminster. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland's School of Pharmacy and pitched on the university baseball team. He was also an amateur boxer.

For several years in the 1960s, Mr. Caple worked in his father's Westminster pharmacy before joining the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and working as environmental enforcement inspector. He also ran unsuccessfully for a House of Delegates seat in 1972.

After the election, he took a job with the Maryland Supplemental Retirement Agency, the agency that oversees the investment plan for state employees.

A member of the State Pension Board, he was chairman of its investment committee at a time when the state's pension investments came under criticism because of a $3 billion loss. He also served two terms as president of the Maryland Classified Employees Association.

"He was a giant in the retirement deferred compensation industry," said Fred Puddester, former state budget secretary and current chairman of the supplemental retirement board. "There was probably no one in the industry who did not learn something from Art along the way. He negotiated millions of dollars in rebates from the mutual fund industry for state employees."

In 1996, he was elected president of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators and belonged to numerous other associations.

"He was regarded as an expert in state and municipal pensions and was very humble about it," said a cousin, David Bowersox, a Westminster attorney. "He was a consummate diplomat and was able to understand when there was an issue that needed a solution."

Mr. Caple spent his free time fly fishing on trips throughout the West, Alaska and Ireland. He also hunted, played tennis and enjoyed collecting and refinishing antiques.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. John Roman Catholic Church, 43 Monroe St., Westminster.

Survivors include three daughters, Kimberly Strong Caple of Smithsburg, and Cassandra Maria Caple and Larissa Mae Caple, both of Finksburg; a brother, Jerry T. Caple of Owings Mills; a sister, Shirley C. Wrightson of Westminster; two nephews; and his longtime companion, Elizabeth Frock of Westminster. His marriage ended in divorce.

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