Optician ‘Karl’ Grapes dies at 75

HERMAN “KARL” GRAPES died after a protracted battle with cancer on March 25, 2019. He was 75 years old.


Grapes had a wonderful sense of humor. It was said that if anyone could make someone laugh, it was Karl, who always went by his middle name.

His favorite hobby was collecting baseball memorabilia. Grapes amassed a sizable collection of baseball cards and was considered an authority on the sport. He was also a black belt in judo in his late twenties and early thirties.

A graduate of Ridgewood Preparatory, Grapes was a member of Sigma Alpha Rho Fraternity during his high school years. He later became a dispensing optician in his parents’ optical business on Tulane Avenue, New Deal Optical. Always affable, he would spend days grinding lenses and filling prescriptions for glasses and contact lens patients, many of whom received care from nearby Charity Hospital and the LSU School of Medicine.

Also, he serviced patients from small towns in Louisiana such as Thibodaux, Gramercy and other communities that did not have optical stores. After New Deal was closed, he also worked for West Bank Optical for nearly a decade until his retirement around 1995.

Grapes is survived by his daughter Regina Grapes, his son Mark Grapes, his sister Charlaine Grapes Corley, his brother Jack Grapes and a granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to the charity of your choice.

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