The former owner of the Kelowna Capital News, Graham Takoff, passed away Sunday in his sleep. He was 80 years old.
Takoff was the son-in-law of Les Kerry, who started the paper in 1930, and for whom Kerry Park in downtown Kelowna is named.
He married Kerry’s daughter, Jane, and worked as an advertising salesman and reporter for ten years before assuming the reigns as publisher.
His 23-year term at the helm saw him grow the business extensively, increasing print runs, circulation and the physical size of its offices.
Up until 1970, the Capital News published once a week, but within his first eight years, Takoff increased its coverage first to two times per week, then three times per week as business took off.
The physical location of the paper was also moved twice under his leadership. The first move took the paper to the base of Bernard Avenue and second, in 1990, brought it to its Enterprise Way location to accommodate a growing staff and new offset press—a far cry from the hand-cranked Gestetner duplicator Kerry used to print the first issues.
“The highlight during the 33 years I was with the Capital News was coming to work every day. Boy, we had some characters over the years, but we had a lot of fun too,” Takoff told reporter Al Paterson in a story for the millennial edition.
When Takoff sold the paper in 1993, ending 63 years of the family-owned operation, it was the largest privately owned community newspaper in Western Canada.