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To Bryant,

From The Hobby
LAST UPDATED: November 13, 2002

To Bryant,
I wish the world could have given you what you gave to us. You always treated me as I was the most important person of the day. Many years ago when I met you I was amazed at the person you were, so happy and knowledgeable. You drew me deep into the hobby. I would like to thank you for everything that you have taught me in the hobby and in friendship. There is now a hole that can never be filled but your memory will live forever. I will forever miss the sound of your voice that would make me laugh. I thank God for giving me the chance to talk to you one last time before you passed on.
May Gods Love Be with you 
Doug Wheeler

Bryant, although I never got the chance to meet with you in person, you were, and are a good friend of mine, and have been since I started buying animals from you in 1995, and later became a fellow dealer in 1998. Many good side splitting conversations were had between us, and we always stayed friends. You supplied me with some of the finest quality animals that this country has ever seen, and even though you were the younger man, I always looked up to you. I will never forget you man! It's too bad that only now you know the truth, that you were the King. Peace brother.

Kelly Swift
Swift's Invertebrates

Bryant Capiz was the Picasso of tarantula enthusiasts around the world, being able to paint a unique picture for us to see, while at the same time shining a golden light of confidence on his perspective. I never doubted one word he said to me. Bryant made more of an impact on me than most people I normally come across and I never even met him in person, I just spoke with him on the phone from time to time. Bryant's loss will have a powerful impact on the hobby. His wealth of knowledge about tarantulas was second to none. We'll miss him badly, I know I already do.

-Justin Sindorf 
Pittsburgh, Pa

I purchased my last five or six tarantulas from Bryant and Kat. I had already been collecting for about two years before I found Arachnocentric. Once I spoke to Bryant I knew I had found the sole future source for my hobby.
Bryant was always a pleasure to talk to, I could email him or just call if I needed Tarantula care advice. I liked the fact that he would not ship my order if he felt weather conditions would threaten the life of the Tarantula. He was not in the business just to make a buck, it was a true passion. 
The Tarantula community has suffered an enormous loss.
My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Stephen Foster - Collector in Kansas

If it weren't for Bryant... I would not be in the hobby.

I can't begin to express the sorrow I feel. The world has lost one of its truest persons, let alone the friendliest and most helpful dealer I have ever met. 

I received my first tarantula, purchased from Bryant at Arachnocentric (on Pulaski) years ago. Since then, I had frequented the store, purchasing more spiders, gifts for friends, while always receiving help from him, as well as Bob and Kat. 

I will never forget the day I took my girlfriend there, and Bryant gave us the royal tour (including the back room) he seemed so excited to show his proud fertile females, and simple, yet effective housing. 

I was saddened when the store closed, and Bob couldn't keep it going as Nature's Jewels (very hard business). However, I still occasionally kept in contact with him while working from home, asking for advice....ordering here and there. 

I tried to send everyone I knew who needed a spider to his site. I really felt he was the most competent, most reliable dealer (in any business, for that matter) out there. 

Bryant's knowledge started me in the hobby. When I look at my spiders, I will always think of him. 

My deepest, heartfelt condolences to Kat, and all of his family. I only hope that they can find the strength to overcome their great, great loss.

Deeply saddened, 

Ben Mercado

I'm thankful for the 3 yrs we've dealt T's. I feel you were one of the backbones of this hobby. I will always recognize Lyagnathus capizi as your spider. Thanks for you confidence in my abilities to mate the king baboons (and all the males). I'll miss you and think of you every time I see a T. 

Goodbye and may you be at peace.

Chris Barton

I never met Bryant but did buy several tarantulas from him. I talked with him on the phone several times and also through e-mail. He was the kind of person that just talking to him was fun. His upbeat conversation and humor was great. He also showed a lot of concern for the pets that he sold. (His kids he always called them) He never shipped me a spider that wasn't followed by a call to be sure that it arrived safely. The tributes to him that I have seen on this forum are a testament to the kind of person that he was. He will be missed by us all. I wish that I could have met him.
Billy Norton

On behalf of the entire community, Bryant will be missed.

He was involved in this hobby before it was even considered a hobby, and it all came from his enthusiasm for keeping inverts. I only knew Bryant for about four years, but I remember him being around over six years ago when I was just getting into the hobby, and I know that he was still out promoting tarantulas much longer than that. Bryant was one of our original spider dealers, and I commend him for his benefaction and dedication through the years.

Delving deeper than just his contributions to our pastime, Bryant was a pleasant guy with a sense of humor, intellectual competence, and a passion unlike most others. Although the Comment Board was a bit of a headache, Bryant was usually eager to lend a helping hand to Petbugs.com. He helped us with the newsletter on several occasions, and he was one of the first to purchase advertising to support our site. During telephone conversations, his knowledge was apparent through his cloud of characteristically-Bryantesque remarks, jokes, and insults. Anyone who knew him can relate. :)

My heartfelt condolences go out to Kat and Bryant’s family. I can’t imagine the pain connected to a situation like this, but I truly hope that you can find a way to continue on with your life despite your great loss.

Bryant's memories will never perish.

Jon Fouskaris

My name is Marty Greenwell. I am the Director of Veterinary Services at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. I first met Bryant at a Chicago Herpetological Society meeting sometime in 1993. At that time, I was really somewhat of an arachnophobe; but, Bryant's energy and enthusiasm for his 'little monsters' were truly infectious and it wasn't until later that I realized that I was already hooked. Fast forward to 1995, intrigued but still a bit reticent, two of my co-workers and I eventually paid a visit to Bryant's old store in northwest Chicago. My co-workers already kept a few tarantulas and were part of the 'fold' (as it were) of the arachnologically enlightened. After hanging out for a while during which we were all thoroughly entertained by Bryant's jokes and antics (my friends were doubled over in apoplexy when Bryant seized the moment to show the arachnosissy what happens when you tap a King Baboon in the butt...I think I jumped about 3 feet off the ground when it stridulated), I began to see the beauty in the beasties. My friends made some purchases, but I was still not 'there' yet. Then, just as we were about to walk out, Bryant handed me a little vial with a baby tarantula in it. His words to me, and I still remember them exactly, were "if you've never raised a baby tarantula before, you don't know what you're missing." It was a Chilean Rosehair; it was hatched at Arachnocentric. I still have that spider today (along with several others which do not include a King Baboon). It's about the same age as my seven year-old son, a boy who is being raised to respect and admire but never fear or hate the "big, hairy spiders" that live on daddy's desk. I would have liked to have introduced my son to Bryant because the last time we were in a pet store, my son wanted to know if he could have a tarantula too.

Have a happy...

Marty Greenwell, D.V.M.
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Chicago, IL

I did not know Bryant and so cannot personally vouch for his sense of humour and personality and so on. I would say though that, by the way that the good people of PetBugs have reacted to his death, he was important to the hobby of keeping exotic pets.

Any early death is bad for the people who knew the person, but this death has touched people who had not even had any dealings with the person. For this reason, my thoughts are with the Capiz family as he must have been an amazing bloke.

Condolences from England, all the best Kat, §am.

To Kat and Bryants family; 

Bryant was a tremendous part of our hobby and his contributions were great. He was known for his quirky character and his sense of humor. He helped get me started in this hobby back in October of 1997. I had had T's before, but this time around I haven't slowed down, partly due to his store in Chicago and his proximity here in Illinois. Also due to his support and helpfulness whenever I had a question. Many people around the world have been touched by his work. His passing was a great loss to us all, and I wish he would have stuck around for another go at this :( 
Kat be strong, you have the support of many, many hobbyists. I'm sure if you need anything, we will be there. 

Tony and Mona

Bryant called me the "batman," because I had been bitten by a bat as a child.
Back in Chicago, around 1992, when Bryant lived in a small apartment on the "Nort"- side, I used to help him feed his hundreds of spiderlings. He only had one room available to him and this one room was filled to the ceiling with his spider collections and spiderlings. I was amazed and truly impressed to see so many species of arachnids under one roof.
Bryant was a great pioneer in that he knew that tarantulas were fantastic before they became the rage, as can be witnessed on the Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC and other TV channels world wide.
Bryant had a heart of gold.
Bryant, I will always love you like a brother.
I'll see you on the other side.
Juan "Tony the batman" Ramirez
San Antonio, Texas

I only knew Bryant for the past 4 or 5 years, yet he really touched my life. The first time I walked into Arachnocentric, his old store in Chicago, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven - so many beautiful tarantulas! As far as I'm concerned, Bryant was THE Spiderman; he was an arachno-nut long before it was cool. And he was very generous with his knowledge and passionate about his subject. He taught me a ton about tarantulas, and I will always consider him my "spider mentor."

As a person, he was one of those unique, fascinating people with a brilliant mind that flew in ten directions at once. He was funny. He was outspoken. He was in your face. I remember the prominent signs posted on the spotless tanks in his pet shop: "You toucha the glass - I busta your ass!" That was Bryant. His personality was so strong you had to either love him or hate him, but he could not fail to make an impression. I generally make several trips a year to Chicago, and after that first visit, I always planned to spend a day in the shop with him and Kat whenever I was in town. I loved the pleasure of their company. And I was obviously not the only one who felt that way about them - all day long people stopped in to pick up supplies, or often just to visit. Bryant and Kat had charisma. 

I was surprised when they left Chicago, but I visited them shortly after they made the move to southern Illinois. They were happy, excited about the future. It was late summer and they had transformed their small back yard into a virtual farm. Zucchini, tomatoes, squash, all kinds of flowers - you name it, it was growing like a weed! In touring their new place, I found it more that a little ironic to learn that their new house had come  with a fitting "bonus" - it was infested with brown recluses! Bryant collected a female for me to take home to PA. This was 2-1/2 years ago, and that little booger is still alive. I had no idea they lived so long - or that that spider would outlive Bryant.

I was stunned to find out about Bryant's tragic passing. My biggest regret is that I didn't know him longer and was not able to share more experiences with him. The bright side of Bryant was so very bright! Truly, he was a bundle of energy, with a tremendous life force. It's incredible to think he's gone. Too soon, too soon. Kay Jamieson, an authority on bipolar disorder, wrote a book called "Touched by Fire" which talks about the connection between genius and madness. Danielle Steele wrote "His Bright Light," an achingly sad book about her bipolar son who took his own life. The brain disease that killed Bryant robs the world of a lot of very special people, and devastates the lives of those left behind. Here's hoping and praying that medical science finds better ways to address this suffering, and stop the senseless tragedies.

I have to say a word about Bryant and Kat... The first and obvious word that comes to mind is "soulmates." I never saw two people so in love and devoted to each other. Truly, Bryant was blessed to find his true love, best friend, and partner, and to share the last seven years of his life with her. I can't imagine how difficult it will be for Kat to go on without him. My heart aches for your loss, dear girl. I am so, so sorry.

Rebecca Valeri

More than a top-notch invert supplier, Bryant was a true friend to hobbyists such as myself and an irreplaceable contributor to the advancement of the invert-keeping community as a whole.

When dealing with him I never felt that I was simply a "customer"- he was deeply passionate about his work and loved to talk about it. I recall many occasions that we'd corresponded via phone or email -all business aside- simply to chat about inverts and the hobby in general. Bryant spiced his conversation with a sharp, witty sense of humor that frequently sparked some very amusing exchanges. I recall one occasion when he phoned (attempting, rather poorly, to disguise his voice) to inquire about the proper treatment of a scorpion envenomation as he'd alledgedly just been stung in the family jewels... Beneath the "spunk", however, Bryant was a supplier as serious and dedicated to the health and well-being of his critters as one could ever hope to find. 

Bryant was not in the business for the money, he was in it for the love of the hobby and the fascinating creatures it revolves around. He will be sorely missed and forever remembered.

Best wishes and support to Kat, friends and family.
Bryant will always live on in your hearts.


Craig Strother
scorpion hobbyist in CT

Today, the page of "In Memory of Bryant Capiz" was found.
What happened in you? I suffer a great shock. It isn't forgotten that it had kindness cope with poor English and a difficult order, too. I was supported by you, and I could introduce tarantulas to many Japanese people. It can't be expressed in poor English which it sometimes wants to say very much.
Thanks Bryant.

Hiroyuki "dee" Kitahara

For some reason I was fearful to click the link, thinking it would hurt. I didn't have a great history with Bryant yet hearing about the tragedy made me ache. Bryant started me on my favorite hobby, and sent me some beautiful animals that I still have. I'm sad I didn't get to hear another "happy...".
Garth G. Hansen

....I was new to the hobby a few years ago. Mr.Capiz educated me to this fascinating "lifestyle." He always took the time out of his busy schedule to educate me in the husbandry of the more unusual species. He always followed up my orders to make sure that his T's would do well. A very passionate man of life and the mysterious world of the arachnid, as well as being a friend though we never met other than phone or mail. Rest in peace, Bryant. I know Heaven has a wonderful place set aside for you... To Kat, my deepest condolences. There is only one Love in a person's life, and we carry their hearts in ours forever.... Sincerely, Jason Beaudyne

Where to even begin. You will be truly missed, my friend. You brought life to the tarantula hobby, and the tarantula hobby to me and my family. For that I am grateful. Your passing leaves a void that will be impossible to fill.

What I will miss most is your friendship. The crazy phone calls laced with jokes and insults (always in good fun)! The visits at your place. Although we didn't get together as often as I would have liked, I will treasure the times we had.

My daughter, Ame, got to see a side of you that most did not. Being chased through and around the house...through Kat's flowers...down the street in the snow. The wrestling, joking, the dreaded "pighole"! There were times I thought Kat and I would have to beat you both. Ame's face would light up every time I would say "I need to run by Bryant's. Do you want to go?". She never missed an opportunity to see you...I wish now I had made more opportunities for her. She loves you my friend, and will forever hold you in her heart. She doesn't go through a single day without you touching her thoughts. I know when she's thinking of you because I can see the tears welling up in her eyes. She just finished a poster for school on Black Widows, and talked about you the whole time. You would have been so proud of her. Bottom line...you made her world a happier place, and there is no better thing.

Love always.
Dwight Whitlock
Ame Whitlock

I've known Spiderman for several years. My favorite memories of him are the phone calls where he'd pretend to be a little old lady or someone with a weird accent. I never failed to get a smile on my face at his "Hi sunshine!" greeting whether on the phone or in an e-mail. I'll miss you, my friend and think of you every time I tell a classroom of kids, this spider came from Chicago from a really cool guy named Spiderman! I love you buddy!! Kat, hang in there we'll all get through this together!
Dawn Schroeder

Tribute To Bryant (the true spiderman)-

You are really going to be missed by all the people that know you. You have touched so many people I just wish I could describe it in words. It was because of you that I became a hobbyist myself. It is because of you that I love these little beasts that you brought for everyone to see. I can still remember the first time you showed me the huge Salmon Pink Birdeater and I became hooked. Every little beast I have is because of you. Your loss can not be described in words. You will always be remembered in the hearts of everyone that know you. Your memory will live on forever. God bless.

Kat, take care and I just want you to know we are all here for your support.
Juan Cervantes

In memory of Spiderman:

The first time I ever talked to Bryant on the phone (1995) I thought "this guy is really hyped about tarantulas" The last time I talked with him (for about an hour last November) I thought "this guy is really hyped about tarantulas". But he not only talked the talk, he walked the walk. I will never forget the trips I made to downtown Chicago each year from 1996 until he sold the store. Bryant will be the model of honesty, enthusiasm, and knowledge that everyone in the hobby should aspire to. 

Kurt Simerman

I know I'm posting this late, but unfortunately I just learned of Bryant's death. I hadn't talked to him since December, you know how days pile into months? I just cant believe it. Bryant wasn't just the guy I bought my bugs from. He wasn't some elitist pseudointellectual snob that rolled his eyes at my stupid questions when I was a novice. He was a friend. Talking to Bryant was the highlight of
whatever day we happened to speak. I don't remember how we got on this but he always called me Patrick James Dio (you know the metal guy Dio?). It was a running joke for like 4 years. In fact we had a lot of running jokes. Nothing ever quit being funny to him. We were a lot alike in this respect. He was my buddy. I don't like many people but I sincerely loved Bryant Capiz. I still have the first
tarantula I ever owned. It's a male Lasiodora parahybana. Bryant sold him to me. It's probably the cheapest spider I own. It is by far my favorite. I'm sorry if I seem out of it but I've just had 2 hours of sleep and taken Benadryl, but when Kat called I couldn't go back to sleep without saying something. I'm thankful though that I can look at my own collection or head down to the Memphis Zoo and be
reminded of my good friend. As Dio would say, he was a RAINBOW IN THE DARK. Thank you for making him fat and as happy as he could've been Kat. I don't know what else to say. I could never say enough goodbye my friend...

I was surprised and saddened to learn, on your site, of the death of Bryant Capiz. I'm not offering this as a remembrance for posting -- others have said it at least as well as I might have. I ask not out of morbid curiosity, but as a child and family therapist who happened to buy his first tarantula from Bryant back in March of '95... how did Bryant die? From one of the tributes I read, I'm guessing that he took his own life as a result of Bipolar Disorder. Many of the children and teens in my day treatment program have been diagnosed with this disorder, and I'm well aware of the havoc it can create, and its potential cost in human life and happiness. I was thinking of Bryant just yesterday, as I want to buy another Avicularia (not sure yet what species I want). I wish I could place that order with him. (By the way, that first tarantula of mine -- a Pamphobeteus of some sort -- is still doing fine.) I am truly saddened, and the hobby is very much the poorer for this loss.

Condolences To Us All,

Henry Vester

What can I say... I truly loved Bryant. I worked for him until they left Chicago. He was intelligent, funny, kind, and he loved his spiders. He loved Kat and Stubby most of all.
He would call the store on his day off with his lady voice "Excuse me, I was wondering can I put doll shoes on my spider?" He had fun with everyone; always wanting to go fishing.
My condolences go out to Kat, the entire Capiz family, and to all who have been touched by Bryant.
To Bryant, until then.. Happy, bro' I'll miss you.
Chris Jensen

Kat & Family, sorry to hear of our loss of Bryant. This news blew me away when I found out! Bryant opened up my eyes to the wide world of T's & Scorps about 10 yrs. ago. He set me up with 70+ different t's & dozens of lings. When I told him what the hobby needed was a good T video what does he do, he makes one. We had some great conversations, and always helped me with breeding info... You'll be missed but not forgotten. 
Randy Shetlin 
Washington State

I just wanted to take a moment to thank Bryant for helping me realize a great passion in my life, SPIDERS. I bought my first spiders from Bryant over five years ago and today, with much hard work and great determination, my collection brings a smile to my face daily. Bryant's enthusiasm and sense of humor helped me to find a road that is very important to me now. I'm very sorry to hear of his passing, as I'm sure many in the Pet industry are. As long as their are spiders roaming the earth, Bryant will live through all of us. Best wishes always to Cat and the family.

Rick Higgins, "Grasshopper".


If you have a memory or tribute you would like to add to this page, please e-mail it to jon@petbugs.com and include your full name. Thank you!