Funeral services for Alan Brent Caplan will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the sanctuary of the Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim at 2021 Turner St. in Alexandria, La.
Caplan, who was known as Brent, was a retailer at the family-owned Caplan’s men’s store in Alexandria. He died July 4 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. He was 54.
Caplan’s wife, Stacey, posted on Facebook that he passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and close friends. “We have both been humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers, and appreciate each and every call, text, meal and visit during this unfortunate journey,” she posted. “In the words of Brent’s favorite, Frank Sinatra, ‘I’m gonna live till I die.’ And that he did.”
Caplan graduated from Louisiana State University in 1986 with a degree in business administration. After college, he joined the Maison Blanche department store in Baton Rouge, La., in the buying department and was promoted to men’s clothing buyer. He returned home in 1991 to join the family business, Caplan’s, in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary. He spent the remainder of his career there.
Caplan served on many national professional organizations’ committees and boards including the National Retail Organization, the board of directors of the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Dealers, and Universal Unilink. In his home town, he served as president of the Downtown Alexandria Lion’s Club, chaired the Central Louisiana Better Business Bureau, was president of the board of directors of the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, and was a longtime member of the Christus St. Frances Cabrini Foundation board of directors. He also served as president of the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce, was on the board of directors of the Central Louisiana Community Foundation and the Alexandria Housing Authority. He served several terms on the board of directors of the Jewish Temple, Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim.
“Brent was one of my closest friends, and I’m still processing his loss,” said Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy, who will serve as a pall bearer at Caplan’s funeral. “He had a love affair with life and friends and wit — he was whip-smart and could make a pun out of any moment worthy of publication. But, perhaps most importantly, he was a great father, son, brother, husband and counselor.”
“Brent had a vision for the future of our community,” Deborah Randolph, president of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, told the local newspaper, The Town Talk. “He wanted to help make it a place where his own children would want to live. He was a strong supporter of the revitalization of downtown Alexandria, and was so pleased with each milestone reached.”
In addition to his wife, Caplan is survived by his sons, A. Ben and Sam; his parents David and Norrine Bloomenstiel Caplan; brothers A. Marc and Donald; a grandmother Lillian H. Bloomenstiel and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family requested that contributions be made to the Endowment Fund Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim, 2021 Turner St., Alexandria, La., 71301.