Jacque Caplan, who co-managed Caplan’s Men’s Shop in Alexandria, La., for over four decades, died Saturday at the age of 81. The cause of death was cancer, which was her third bout with the disease, according to an article in a local newspaper provided by Brent Caplan, vice president and general merchandise manager of Caplan’s Inc., and Jacque’s nephew.
Born in New Orleans, Jacqueline Segall Caplan moved to Alexandria with her husband, Edwin Caplan, to manage the family’s men’s fashion business. They worked there for 43 years. Caplan’s closed its men’s store in 2007 to focus on its uniform and corporate identity business.
In addition to her retail career, Jacque Caplan was especially active in the arts in Louisiana. Shortly after graduating from Tulane University, she directed her first musical theater production in central Louisiana and continued to be active for decades.
She was president of the Arts Council of Central Louisiana and served as chairwoman of the executive committee when the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center opened in 2004.
According to the Town Talk, the local newspaper in Louisiana, Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said: “She was a close friend, along with her wonderful husband, and was a giver all the way. Smart as a whip and yet balanced a great sense of humor and intellectual heft with a kindness not often seen. Truly, Alexandria has lost a contributor.”
Caplan was also the first female president of the Jewish Temple, served as chair of the Rapides Regional Medical Center Board and was on the boards of the Rapides Foundation and the Central Louisiana Community Foundation, the newspaper said. In 2002, she received the Louisiana Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, she also was honored by the YWCA with the Spirit of Giving Award and the Women of the Decades Award, by the Junior League as the Sustainer of the Year and by the Rotary Club, along with her husband, with the Service Above Self Award.
She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Edwin Caplan; her children, Judy Caplan Ginsburgh, Stephen Caplan and Sherry Frye; six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kramer Funeral Home at 2905 Masonic Drive in Alexandria. Funeral services will be Thursday at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary of the Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim, 2021 Turner Street in Alexandria.