• Demaine Funeral Home
    Springfield, VA
In partnership with the Dignity Memorial® network
Louis J. Kaplan 1916 - 2013

Louis J. Kaplan

March 23, 2013
May he rest in peace, he was a well talented man nearly 100years of age, wish I could have his knowledge. For sure a man that knows GOD the Almighty very well. Really appreciate his hard work and effort and contribution to the medical world.
February 22, 2013
What a remarkable man! He's work in New Haven endures and we are greatful for his caring spirit. He left the world better than he found it. His life was truly an inspiring one. Thank you, kind sir!
January 29, 2013
My mother, Lea Berliner (widow of Dean Robert Berliner) would like to get in touch with Freda Kaplan. Would it be possible to email her address and phone number to hankdabooksella@sbcglobal.net

I didn't actually know how else to do this. Thank you, Henry Berliner
January 25, 2013
Dear Jeff

We all knew this day would come. Lou himself knew it would come. Knowing Lou over this past quarter of a century I am certain he would not want us to mourn him too much. He would want us to remember the kind of a man he was--kind, intelligent,hard working, generous, thoughtful, and let us not forget, an ardent Democrat until the end waiting to watch the Rachel Madow program.

I always loved being with him. It was always something I looked forward to and I always learned something from him...always. He was a devoted husband to Freda and also a wonderful father-in-law to Alison and a devoted grandfather to all of his grandchildren.

How wonderful it must have been for you to introduce him to other people and proudly say "this is my dad. Lou Kaplan". That is a gift I can only imagine. I never has that with my father. I was always ashamed to admit he was my father. Mine was the polar opposite of yours.

Lou Kaplan was an absolute original edition in every way as far as I could see. A lot of us are going to miss him. His death will leave a big hole in the lives of a great many people.

He led a good life and a long one and he had a good death being with his wife, Jan, and having just talked to his son of whom he was so proud and loved so much.

I am very grateful that he was able to maintain his dignity until the end because all his life he was a very dignified man. No breathing tubes...no feeding tubes...no putting himself or his loved ones through the ordeal of all those awful extraordinary methods that just prolong life at any cost.

My deepest sympathy to all of you on the loss of this extraordinary man.


January 23, 2013
I will miss my telephone conversations with Lou, although in recent years they have grown less frequent, as we both continued with the inevitable-the aging process and time constraints. Lou and I became friends when if I first arrived in New Haven in 1959 to join the exciting administration of Mayor Richard C. "Dick" Lee. On our first meeting we immediately found common ground. We had the same moral and social values. And throughout our friendship those values never changed. Indeed, they were strengthened by our continuiing friendship and the cause we jointly embraced. Lou represented the "other side" of the New Haven Green, Yale University and its medical school where he had his office. I represented the City of New Haven with my office in City Hall. There always existed some tension in the "town gown" relationships. We both knew where our loyalties rested. But we both had a greater loyalty--the people of the city. And most particularly those among us who were lest fortunate.We were able to empathize because we both had similar life experiences at an early age. We grew up as members of the less fortunate. In our quite way we collaborated in nudging and convincing the powers of our respective institutions to make policy decisions that would be of benefit to both institutions and the people we most cared about.There developed between us an unstated trust. We would confer by telephone. Quite often Lou would stop by office for a "friendly chat." There was no set agenda. We were just "comparing notes." Two anecdotes will illustate our working relationship.
In the 60's there was a major effort by the federal government to initiate a "war on cancer." Vast amounts of money were made available to construct and support cancer centers strategically place throughout the nation. The allocation of these funds required the states in which the centers were to be located to participate financially. Yale Uniersity and in particular the medical very much wanted to be selected. One of my many reponsibilities as Director of Administration for the City of New Haven was to direct and partiicipate personally in lobbying before state departments, the governor's office and the legislature. On the occasion of one of our chats I asked Lou how the Medical Schools efforts to obtain financing for the cancer center was progressing. He responded very positively. I had learned differently. I innformed him the state had decided not to partiicipate in funding a cancer center anywhere in the state-including at Yale. Lou thanked for the information. We chatted about other things. Lou never asked where and how I had learned this. Two days later he called me to say that I was correct and they were working on the problem. The state did fund the cancer center to be located at the Yale Medical School. I never learned how Lou and his associates reversed the decision. I never asked. There was no need. Lou did what needed to be done. The University and the City gained including those people who would benefit from the cancer center. Subsequently, Lou approached me before the cancer project was completed asking me if I knew of anyone who had the ability to become the center's communications director. I responded by say the only local person I knew who could handle that position was Marion Morra. She was selected. I learned about the selection from a news release appearing in the local paper.We collaborated quietly. Today they would say "under the radar."
The 60's were also a time of crisis for American cities and our nation. The civil rights movement was flourishing and much in the news. Cities were experiencing riots initiated primarily by young blacks tired of the sting of racism and discrimination. Like many other city administrators across the nation I made a decided effort to understand the problems of this segment of New Haven's population.Lou was making similar efforts inasmuch as the medical school was located close by where many of the black militants lived.In one of our sharing chats, Lou informed that RJ (a young black militant with a strong following) considered me a "straight shooter." I did not ask Lou where or how he had obtained the information. It came from Lou and therefore it was valid. With
that knowledge I decided to reach out
to RJ. We developed a relationship to the point we were on a first name basis. Several months later RJ and his followers were successful and call for a meeting with some of New Haven's business leaders.The meeting was held at an old public elementary school during the summer months vacation period.Once the leaders were assembled in a classroom RJ had all the doors to the school locked with black militants guarding the doors. The thrust of the meeting (held in threatening tones) was to obtain money from the business community because they were making profits by selling to poor blacks and not returning any of those profits to the community. Learning of the situation I rushed to the school. RJ allowed me to enter. I was able to broker a solution to what would otherwise have been a volatile solution.
In addition to our trusted working relationship we enjoyed a social relationship which included Freda and my first wife Connie. The same relationship continue with my current wife Beau.
Lou was a gentleman's gentleman. But he also was a gentle man. He was passionate about he believed. A unabashed strong liberal who never forgot his humble roots. Lou was civil, unassuming and effective. I shall forever treasure our relationship.
My best to Freda, Jeff and Jan.

Deennis Rezendes
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