All of us at MR are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Alvin Segal. O.C., O.Q., who died peacefully overnight on November 4th in his 90th year. An accomplished and passionate business and community leader and philanthropist, Alvin will be remembered as a visionary entrepreneur and an outstanding spokesperson for the apparel industry in Canada and beyond. He devoted a lifetime to Peerless Clothing Inc., which under his leadership grew to be an international powerhouse in menswear and the largest supplier of men’s fine tailored clothing in North America. He was as proud of the team he built as the company itself.
Son of the late George Cramer and the late Betty Pearson, stepson of the late Moe and Adah Segal; beloved husband of Emmelle; father and father-in-law of Barbara Segal and Howard Brown, Renee and Barry Vornoff, and Joel and Eileen Segal; brother and brother-in-law of Connie and Chuck Solomon, and Harriet and Jack Lazare; stepbrother of Greta and the late Laurence Tarshis and the late Rya and Eric Levitt; grandfather and grandfather-in-law of Jacqueline Raicek and Daniel Steinberg, Douglas Raicek, Margot Raicek and Alex Simon, Mariah and Chelsea Vornoff, and Max, Sean, and Noah Segal; great-grandfather of Sadie, Nora, and Ruby Steinberg, and Arthur and Evie Simon. He also leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and their families, across Canada, the U.S., and Israel.
He was dedicated to the city of Montreal and to the Jewish community, both in Canada and in Israel. A generous philanthropist, Alvin endowed the Segal Cancer Centre for Treatment and Research at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital. He was also responsible for developing the Segal Centre for Performing Arts into a strong and stable institution dedicated to nurturing, producing and presenting world-class Yiddish and English language theater.
For his contribution to the apparel industry, Alvin was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in May 2002; in July 2010 he was promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada for his continued contributions to various organizations, notably in the arts and health care sector, as well as education and social services. Additionally, he was appointed Officer of the Ordre National du Québec in June 2011 for his dedication and contribution to arts and health care in the city of Montreal. In 2014, he was invested as a Grand Montréalais (now L’Ordre de Montréal) for his outstanding contributions to the community in the economic sector.
Alvin was an eternal optimist with a great passion for life, unafraid to confront any obstacles life might put in his way. He considered challenges to be opportunities for learning and growth. His motto was “Don’t look back – you’ll only get a crick in your neck.”
Even after his business became a success, he remained plainspoken and down to earth, dedicated to his family, extended family, and his old friends. He loved to stay in touch, and if you were lucky enough to be a part of his life, you were sure to get two phone calls on your birthday or anniversary – once on the English date and again on the Hebrew date. With a mischievous grin and a twinkle in his eye, he would not hesitate to debate with you about the issues of the day.
He touched the lives of countless people and he will be missed dearly by all who knew him.
Special thanks to the entire medical team at the Jewish General Hospital for their care and compassion.