Alexander "Al" Kaplan (Date Unknown - February 21, 1994)

The Lusk Herald
March 9, 1994

Alexander "Al" Kaplan

Funeral services were held for Alexander "Al" Kaplan, age 73, a Tucson businessman and community leader, who died in Tucson February 21, after a long illness. The service and burial was held at the Evergreen Cemetery Mortuary and Memorial Park in Tucson.

He was born in Lusk, Wyo., and grew up in Chicago, Ill. He moved to Tucson, Az. in 1939 with his family. Mr. Kaplan helped found the Tucson Electric Supply Co. in 1941 with his father, Samuel and brother, Irving.

He eventually became president and chairman of the board of the company. He sold the business in 1986 because of his failing health. Kaplan received a Jefferson Award in 1983 for his community involvement in Tucson.

Kaplan was active in several credit unions and was on the board of directors for the local chapter of the National Association of Credit Managers.

He was the Tucson Credit Man of the Year in 1974-75 for the Wholesale Credit Association of Arizona, and also served on the board of the Electric League of Arizona.

Kaplan kept a black and white photograph on his office wall, a picture of a small wooden shack in Lusk, Wyo., where he was born. "It was a one-room shack" he said, "I look at it to remember where I came from."

He said he had memories from that time of hunger and the meals he missed when he was young. The fact that people were still hungry bothered him and his wife, Pauline he said.

He also said in an interview that he donated to the Community Food Bank, using his company's profits. In 1977 the company began to offer voluntary payroll deductions for the Food Bank at Kaplan's suggestion, and about half of the 45 employees donated more than $1500 a year.

In July 1982, he learned the local Department of Economic Security office was putting food stamp applicants on a month long waiting list and he offered to pay the salary of an additional employee to help out.

He is survived by his wife, Pauline; two sons, Bruce and Ray Kaplan, all of Tucson, Az.; a daughter Susan Gould of Denver, Colo.; two sisters, Helen Plotkin and Martha Gore; two brothers, Irving and Paul Kaplan, all of Tucson, Az. two grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family suggests making donations in Kaplan's name to the Food Bank, Cancer Society or the ALS Association, Southern Arizona Chapter.

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