Pharmacist Marc Garber died Nov. 19 at age 57. The cause of death is pending.
Garber was born and raised in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University’s School of Pharmacy before he went on to receive his master’s in education from Temple.
Garber owned and operated Haussmann’s Pharmacy in Philadelphia. He managed the pharmacy until 1996, when he bought the business from previous owner Robert Paul. Haussmann’s, at Sixth Street and Girard Avenue, has been credited as Philadelphia’s oldest surviving pharmacy, having been founded in 1862.
It was at his pharmacy where Garber educated and advocated for people living with HIV/AIDS.
“He was big on giving out medication to HIV/AIDS patients if they couldn’t afford it,” said Garber’s sister, Randee Solomon. “He would just give it to them for free. He would pay the cost. He gave out condoms on the street near the pharmacy to try to reduce the possibility of transmissions of AIDS.”
Solomon said it was through these acts that Garber met his one true love, John Harkins.
“He met him at the pharmacy. John came in for medication in 1990. John had AIDS and [Garber] took care of him, traveled with him until the very end two years later,” she said.
Garber also helped found and run the Philadelphia Pharm Assist Meeting, a support group for impaired pharmacists. When he retired from his pharmacy, Solomon said, Garber helped a friend by working for his catering company for a few years.
Solomon said Garber was also an active volunteer for the William Way LGBT Community Center and the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutritional Alliance.
She said her brother was a caring individual who had a soft spot for those who encountered rough times.
“He was extremely generous. He always volunteered and took care of hospice patients. He always defended the needy and downtrodden.”
Solomon said Garber accomplished much in his 57 years.
“Throughout his life, he traveled the world,” she said. “He went to 70 countries and through his work, he helped others in those countries. He just loved to travel and visited everywhere he wanted to go. He was an adventurer. He bungee-jumped, he jumped out of airplanes. He lived life to the fullest.”
In addition to Solomon, Garber is survived by mother Leona Garber, brother-in-law Eric Solomon, niece Andrea and nephew Adam.
A memorial was held Nov. 24. Contributions can be made in his name to MANNA or Fox Chase Cancer Center.