Dr. Marvin “Marv” Argatoff, 74, passed away peacefully on March 1, 2023, at Victoria General Hospital surrounded by family, after a battle with cancer. He was born in Nelson, British Columbia to Alice and George Argatoff.

Marv studied Optometry at the University of Waterloo, where he met his wife Gail (married December 26, 1978). After graduation, Marv and Gail moved to Victoria, BC, where Marv opened his optometry practice in the Royal Oak Shopping Centre (now called Royal Oak Optometry) in 1979. Marv loved serving the community and his profession and worked at the same practice for nearly 45 years before (although he would deny it) retiring in 2021. Marv also served for years on the Board of Directors for BC Doctors of Optometry.

Outside of work, Marv enjoyed golf, fishing, cooking, sports, and spending time with family.

Marv will always be remembered as a generous, kind man who loved animals, was unbeatable at Trivial Pursuit (seriously), and wouldn’t hesitate to drop everything to help someone in need.

Marv is survived by: his wife of 44 years, Gail; brothers George, Harold (Patricia), and Philip (Pat); sisters Nina, and Patti (Kelvin); daughters Joanne and Sandra (Jared) Raath; and grandchildren Nolan and Serena Raath. Marv was predeceased by brother Gerald and sister Molly.

A public Celebration of Life was held in the Sequoia Centre, at McCall Gardens, 4665 Falaise Drive, Victoria, BC, from 2:00-5:00 pm, on Sunday, June 25th, 2023. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a local animal charity in Marv’s name.

Condolences may be offered to the family below. To view service click on arrow below:

McCall Gardens


  • Larry Madill

    Marv and I were classmates at the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo, Ontario.
    In the initial pre-Optometry year of study at the University of Waterloo, I lived alone in an addition on the side of a house in Waterloo. Near the beginning of the first year of the professional optometry program, I was sitting in the common area at the School of Optometry talking with some classmates when Marv approached me asking if I would share a two bedroom apartment with him, and he had one in mind on Hazel Street near the University. He did most of the talking when we approached the landlady of the apartment building, who told us it was against her policy to rent to students because they tended to cause damage. Marv managed to convince her to take a chance on the two of us, by saying that he and I would patch marks in the walls of a vacant unit, and paint the entire unit, and she accepted. Marv and I lived there for the duration of our time at the School of Optomertry. I met Marv’s future wife Gail while living on Hazel Street, and Marv and Gail met my future wife Debbie (since deceased).
    In the summer between the second last year of Optometry School and the final year, students were expected to be part of an optometric clinic somewhere outside of the University campus, to gain outside experience in dealing with patients. Marv and I wanted to go outside of Ontario for a clinic, and in previous years a clinic had been held somewhere in British Columbia, Marv’s home province, and Marv wanted to go there. Unfortunately, no clinic was to held in BC that year. Marv convinced me to fly with him out to BC just after school ended in 1977, to go and meet with the head of the BC Association of Optometrists, to convince him to approve a clinic in an “under serviced” area of BC, namely the Slocan Valley near Nelson (and near Marv’s hometown of Castlegar). The BC Association gave us permission – and they informed the School of Optometry in Waterloo, Ontario, of this permission. It didn’t take long for the School of Optometry to contact Marv and Me to inform us that without a supervisor for this clinic, a clinic could not be held. Marv asked the BC Association to please find a supervisor, and they succeeded in finding an optometrist from Nelson to supervise. So, really, Marv was able to singlehandedly arrange an optometric clinic for us to work in for the summer of 1997. There were four students in this BC clinic, Marv (BC), myself (Larry Madill, Ontario), Lawrence McCauley (BC), and Kent Naylor (SK). That clinic was amazing, it made the four of us students much more experienced in patient care, and made us all better optometrists when we graduated, in my opinion.
    Marv moved back to his home province of British Columbia after graduation, while I stayed in my home province of Ontario. We did lose touch somewhat over the years after graduation, but I was very happy to see Marv and Gail at an optometric conference in Las Vegas where a reunion of the class of 1978 had been arranged. It was great to see Marv and Gail there, along with Emile Gillezeau who had lived at Hazel St for a year with Marv and I (and Emile’s wife Jeanette was at this conference), along with other classmates.
    Rest in Peace, Marv, you were a great classmate, room mate, and friend, and I treasure our time and memories together. My condolences to Marv’s wife Gail and to the rest of Marv’s family.
    Larry Madill, Brantford, Ontario.

  • Don Livingston

    Dear Gail,

    Many years have passed, and I still remember you and Marc from university days. Learning to play bridge together was great!

    I just learned of Marv’s passing. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  • Marla Dronzek

    I am so saddened to hear of Marvin’s death. He was our family’s Optometrist from the time he opened his practice in Royal Oak until his retirement.
    Such a lovely man…always so kind .. willing to give full explanations of eye health and care…a story or two and pointers in gardening.. especially with St. John Wart!
    I can’t imagine how much he will be missed!
    My sincere condolences to his wife and family
    and friends.

  • Brian Joslin & Louise Morin

    Dear Gail and family,

    We were very sorry to hear of Marv’s passing. He assisted us starting as new optometrists in the region and was always there for advice. We still remember visiting when you moved to the house in Central Saanich. Marv was loved by the many patients he cared for and by his colleagues whom appreciated his efforts to advance the profession. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  • Marilyn and Peter Lutzmann

    Our condolences to the family. Dr. Argatoff was our optometrist for almost 30 years. An appointment was also a visit with a friend and we enjoyed many interesting conversations over the years. He will be missed.

  • Ross Watson

    Sorry to hear of his passing. To the brothers & sisters of Marin- My brother & I used to play with you as children in Trail ,so very long ago!! Remembering the old house & your mum Alice & the tree with the rope swing. Lost contact with you when we grew up. From Ross & Dave Watson

  • Harold batting

    One of my old school buddies in Castlegar r.i.p.

  • Carmen Moore

    I have fond memories of Dr.Argatoff having been a patient of his for many years. It is interesting to know that we shared a love of animals. Kindest regards to his wife and family.

  • Leslie Wood

    So very sorry to hear of your loss.

  • Carol and Barry Munro

    Both my husband and I were patients of Dr. Argatoff for many years, and we always enjoyed our appointments with him. Professional, but friendly. He obviously loved what he did, and we were the beneficiaries! Before he ‘retired’, he put in place some excellent optometrists to carry on his legacy at Royal Oak Optometry. Thank you, Dr. A. You will be missed.

  • Brent & Christie Morrison

    So sorry to learn of Marvin’s recent passing. We remember fondly Marv and Gail warmly welcoming us and our boys to Victoria many years ago. We will remember Marvin for his quiet, friendly demeanor as a colleague and a friend. Our sincere condolences to Gail and the girls.

  • Dr. Jack and Marilyn Williams

    Dear Gail and family,

    We are sadden to hear of Marv’s passing… our heartfelt condolences. Marv was a valued colleague who served his profession well. Always a source of newsworthy discussions mixed with his inimitable humour. He will be missed by many.

  • Alisa Mokosak

    Think of you Gail and family. I worked for Marv 1987-1997 I can’t say enough about what a kind, giving boss he was. He would so often pass down toys, cloths etc to my children, not to mention the coffee’s and lunches at Fonbo’s so generous, he will be missed.

  • Jane Stewart

    I am so very sorry to learn of Dr. Argatoff’s passing. He was my Optometrist for many years. He was such a nice man, I so enjoyed my appointments with him. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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