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Harriet E. (Gingerich) Caplan

Harriet E. (Gingerich) Caplan, 67, Hays, died peacefully at home on Aug. 2, 2013, after a two-year battle with colon cancer. Her loving husband, Lou Caplan, was by her side.

She was born in Denver on Oct. 13, 1945, to John and Roberta (Crow) Gingerich, and grew up in Colorado, Oklahoma, Iowa and Japan. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her father, her sister, Robin Gingerich and husband Tom Mersmann, Lawrence KS, brother John Clark Gingerich Jr., Kansas City, MO, nephew Michael Hazel and wife Diane, Washington D.C. and niece Sara Hazel and husband Dan Goldhamer, Denver, CO as well as members of her book club and many more wonderful family and friends. Her mother preceded her in death.

She graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Social Work and worked in Cleveland as a parole officer before beginning a 25-year career in banking around the country. She earned a law degree at Washburn University and a master's degree from the National Graduate Trust School in cooperation with Northwestern University.

In Hays, she found her true calling, teaching Business Law at Fort Hays State University, and her true love, Lou. They married on May 27, 1995. It was the first marriage for both, and Harriet liked to tell people, "We just skipped the first two." (

Harriet was grateful to travel the world professionally and with Lou. In particular, she appreciated seeing the benefits of Heifer International in many countries. She was an active member of the Democratic Party and served as treasurer of the Ellis County Democrats and the First District Democratic Committee for a number of years. She also served as a board member for Hays Public Library, the Humane Society, the Kansas Film Commission and several others. She also was an avid supporter of the arts, especially regional artists.

In honor of her lifelong commitment to improving the lives of those less fortunate, the family suggests memorials to Heifer International, the Adopt-A-Library Program or Geneva Glen Camp (Indian Hills, CO).

Services are pending at Brock's North Hill Chapel.