MANSFIELD: Dr. Jerome Kaplan died on December 20, 2009 at Mansfield Memorial Homes, an organization that he had served as Executive Director from 1958 until his retirement in 1988.
He was an internationally renowned gerontologist who served his nation, state and community. Dr. Kaplan was President of the Gerontological Society of America, Vice President of the World Congress of Gerontology, Founding President of the Ohio Network of Educational Consultants In The Field of Aging, and Founding Chairman of the Ohio Research Council On Aging. He was a consultant to the Ohio Commission on Aging and the Ohio Department of Aging. He was a Delegate to three White House Conferences On Aging. Dr. Kaplan was also secretary for the Center on Aging in Albany NY, a leading resource for physical fitness and aging. He had over 300 professional publications including articles, chapters and books. He served as Editor-In-Chief of The Gerontologist, a leading journal in the field. Dr. Kaplan was also a former member of the Mansfield Rotary Club.
A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, he was born on November 22, 1922. He held B.B.A., M.A., M.S.W. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. During World War II, Kaplan served as a Lt. In the U.S. Navy and was Captain of the Rocket Ship LCI(R)-707 taking part in the Battle of Iwo Jima. After WWII Kaplan served as an aide to Hubert H. Humphrey, then Mayor of Minneapolis, and as Special Assistant on Aging to Orville L. Freeman, then Governor of Minnesota. He married June Stephan in 1954. In 1958 Dr. Kaplan moved his family to Mansfield to become Executive Director of Mansfield Memorial Homes.
Not only was he an outstanding practitioner and leading authority in long-term care, he was also a highly regarded educator holding professorships at The Ohio State University, Main Campus and Mansfield Branch and as a visiting professor and lecturer at Heidelberg College. After his retirement in 1988, Dr. Kaplan became Adjunct Professor of Nursing Home Administration and Gerontology and Senior Fellow of the Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology at The University of Akron. He also served as Elderhostel Coordinator until 2005. He was well regarded and respected by his colleagues and students. In his honor, the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education gives an annual award in his name to the Outstanding Graduate Paper at its annual meeting.
Jerome was known for his leadership, dedication to service, humor and charisma in all areas of his extraordinary life.
He is survived by his wife, June; daughters, Stephanie Barnet Kaplan of Emerald Isle, North Carolina; Tamis Kaplan and husband William Wright of Jacksonville, New York, Kimberly Kaplan of Hillsborough, North Carolina, and Becky Kaplan of Columbus, Ohio; grandchildren, Jason Eagleston and his wife Anna of Mansfield, Ohio, Callie Kaplan-Wright, and Aidan Kaplan-Wright; and great-grandchildren, Jason and Andrew Eagleston.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Leonard Kaplan.
The Kaplan family will be receiving friends on Sunday, December 27, 2009 from 1-2 at the Finefrock Chapel of the Marion Avenue Snyder Home where the funeral will begin at 2 p.m. with a reception following the service. In honor of Dr. Kaplan's sacrifice for our country he will be buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Dr. Kaplan's name to The American Parkinson Disease Association, the Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology at the University of Akron, or Mansfield Memorial Homes through Snyder Funeral Homes.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family through Snyder Funeral Homes at: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com
Published in the News Journal on Dec. 23, 2009