NEW YORK — Jane Evans, former chief executive officer of Monet Jewelers, died Sunday while on a trip to Buenos Aires. She was 59.

The cause of death was a bacterial infection that overwhelmed her immune system, which might have been weakened by her arthritis medication, said her husband, George Sheer.

Evans, who lived in Paradise Valley, Ariz., was in Buenos Aires in connection with the World Presidents’ Organization, a group that pulls together people from various countries to exchange ideas.

“She never had a down day in her life and she touched people in a way that was quite remarkable,” Sheer said Wednesday. “She just lit up everybody that she ever met. She was always available to all of her friends.”

Evans’ career included stints at Genesco Inc., I. Miller and the Fashion Group of General Mills, where she was executive vice president with responsibility for six divisions: Izod Lacoste, Ship ‘n Shore, Foot-Joy Shoes, Lord Jeff Sweaters, Lark Luggage and Monet Jewelers.

In 1984, she became president and ceo of Monet, which was later spun off along with the Fashion Group to become part of Crystal Brands Inc. She left the company in 1986.

Evans joined the InterPacific Group as president and ceo of the InterPacific Retail Group in June 1989. At the time, she said, “I’m so excited about the opportunity to go back to my first love of retailing and fashion and to get to do it in an area which is the most growing and dynamic part of the world.”

Most recently, she along with seven other women put together the Director’s Council, which is dedicated to finding board openings for women, especially minority women, said Sheer.

In addition to her husband, Evans is survived by her son, Jonathan Sheer; her mother, Kay Pierce; a brother, James, and a sister, Judith Thompson. No services are planned, but her husband said a “celebration of her life” is being planned for January.

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