Mary Caplan, 96, passed away in Atlanta Dec. 17, 2019, while holding the hands of her daughter Arlene Caplan Appelrouth and her grandson Jed Ian Appelrouth.
Mary, born Yetta Weitzman, was born in Montreal, Quebec, to Mariam and Gershon Weitzman of Radom, Poland, who had immigrated to Canada in 1922.
Mary grew up in Montreal where she was educated and worked in the Park Avenue Bakery, owned by her parents. She moved to New York in 1943, when she married Bernard Caplan of Pittsburgh. She changed her legal name to Mary.
In 1956, she and Bernie moved to Miami, where they raised their two children, Arlene and Barry. Tragically, her son Barry Leonard Caplan died in 1967, the victim of a car accident. She often said her son’s death was the most painful event of her life.
She and Bernie were married for 62 years until 2006, when her soulmate succumbed to cancer at the age of 90.
Everyone said Mary had a green thumb. She enjoyed gardening and loved sharing the mangoes, papayas, bananas and orchids that filled her backyard. Mary enjoyed a career working as an administrator for Lorah Park Elementary School in Dade County, where Clyde Brewer was principal.
She loved dancing and singing karaoke in her retirement community in Pembroke Pines. She frequently called her son-in-law, Dr. Daniel Appelrouth (of blessed memory) and the two would sing duets on the phone.
Mary was a vivacious woman who remained young at heart into her 90s. A romantic, she was happiest when in a romantic relationship. After grieving the loss of her husband for several years, she began dating again in her late 80s and 90s.
She had a strong belief that everyone should be married. She continually reminded her middle grandson, Jed Appelrouth, that she wanted to dance at his wedding. Jed was in his 40s when he finally told his Bubbie she would get her wish. Surrounded by friends and family at an elegant wedding at Atlanta’s High Museum, Jed led a dance with his grandmother during the reception of his wedding to Suzanne Novella Roberts.
They became proud parents of a daughter on April 15 and named her Juliette Marie after Mary, who died three months after having a stroke. She had moved to Atlanta two days before her passing.
Mary is also survived by grandchildren Michelle (Yosefi) Seltzer of Silver Spring, Md., and Rabbi David (Dalia) Appelrouth of Toronto, Canada; nine great-grandchildren Raphael, Yehoshua, Yisroel Meir, Chana Perel, Nissan Tzvi and Hadassah Miriam of Toronto, Elliott Bernard and Caroline Seltzer of Silver Spring, and Juliette Marie of Atlanta; two younger brothers Abe (Rhoda, of blessed memory) and Henry (Ethel) of Montreal and South Florida; many cousins in Canada and America and many friends, including special friend Josie Tavone of Florida.
Mary was buried in Miami, Fla., next to her husband Bernard.