Ashley D'Aubert Denechaud Capra
Aug 4, 1970 - Sept 21, 2020
Ashley D'Aubert Denechaud Capra died peacefully on September 21, 2020 at her home in Oakland, California surrounded by her loving family, after a courageous two-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 50 years old.
Ashley is survived by her beloved husband of 18 years, Daniel Michael Capra, her cherished son, Aidan Michael Capra, her mother Patricia Crouere Denechaud, her sister, Julie Denechaud Gahagan, her brother-in-law, William Wiley Gahagan, Jr., her three nephews Charles, Wills and Patrick and her numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by her late father, Charles Isidore Denechaud III.
Ashley was a proud alumna of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, where she graduated with the Class of 1988. She deemed her time at the Academy as some the best years of her life, forging friendships there that would last a lifetime. During her debut year, Ashley participated in several formal presentations and served as maid in the Court of Rex and queen of the Prophets of Persia.
In all aspects of her life, Ashley lived up to her moniker "Wonder Woman." As Executive Vice President of Client Service at Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events, where she worked for over twenty-five years, she managed some of the most prestigious and complex events in Northern California, including the America's Cup, countless galas for the San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Symphony, the Black & White Ball, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, events for Tiffany & Co., events for President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, HRH Prince Charles and events for Lucasfilm. A highly-respected leader in the San Francisco Bay Area hospitality industry, Ashley served as former President of the Northern California International Special Events Society and was member of many industry organizations including the International Caterers Association, ILEA Northern California, Meeting Professionals International, National Association for Catering & Events, Professional Convention Management Association and Wedding International Professionals Association. "The incomparable Ashley was a star among stars and will be missed deeply" said Paula LeDuc. "She led our industry with heart, excellence, generosity, boundless energy and incredible passion."
As a ninth generation New Orleanian, Ashley was passionate about New Orleans, particularly for Mardi Gras and for the New Orleans Saints. She loved board puzzles, music, the California coast, good food and Rosé wine. But mostly, she loved people. She was a mentor, manager and champion to hundreds of event professionals throughout the years, leading by example and guiding with a generous spirit. Her remarkable network of friends in New Orleans and California is a testament to her power to connect, nurture and care for others. She was loyal to a fault. Above all else, Ashley was passionate about her family. To have known her was to have known her special relationship with her late father Charles, was to have witnessed the indominable strength she shared with her mother Pat and was to have felt her deep bond with her sister Julie. Her great, true passion in life was her husband, Daniel. Their twenty-year relationship was the stuff of dreams, and their profound love is reflected in their extraordinary son Aidan.
Ashley will be remembered for her radiant smile, her infectious laughter, her quick wit, her keen intelligence, her genuine love of others and for the innumerable lives she touched personally and professionally.
A private mass will be held in Pleasant Hill, California on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The family is grateful to Alofa Smothers and Virginia Havea for their tender care and compassion. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Columba Catholic Church in Oakland, the Ashley Denechaud Capra Memorial Fund or the charity of your choice