Hans Clapper

Hans G. Clapper, 88, chairman of wedding-band manufacturer Wright & Lato for the past 20 years, died in April.

Born in Austria, Clapper entered the jewelry industry in 1959 when he joined Imperial Pearl Syndicate, eventually becoming one of its principals. Later, he was named president and chief executive officer of American Gemsmiths, which acquired A. Jaffe and Son in 1972, the Robert S. Fisher Co. in 1978, and Baden & Foss in 1982. In 1983, Clapper purchased Wright & Lato.

He was also an active volunteer in United Jewish Appeal and served as co-chairman of its jewelry-manufacturing division.

His two sons, Greg and Joe, are still involved in the business.

“He was a very loyal, trustworthy gentleman from the old school,” says Fred Racioppi, company vice president and general manager. “He never had a mean word about anyone. He knew everyone and anyone, and he will be missed throughout the industry.”