Donald (Don) Kaplan of 36 Silvercrest Lane in Greenfield, MA went to join the Lord on December 26, 2013.
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The son of David and Margaret Kaplan, he was born on December 8, 1933, raised in Worcester and lived in Iowa, Long Island, NY and sites in Eastern and Central Massachusetts. He spent the last 10 years in retirement in Gill, Massachusetts, in a country setting that he and his lovely wife Marlee, enjoyed for its peace and tranquility.
Don was schooled through secondary school in Worcester, Massachusetts. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956, and later received a Bachelor's degree in electrical and nuclear engineering at the University of Iowa. He worked for short time as an engineer with a handful of high-tech companies before settling on technical writing as his life's vocation.
In his younger days, Don was an avid outdoors person, embracing hiking, backpacking, skiing, rock scrambling and ice climbing activities, mainly in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but also in the mountains of Maine, Vermont and New York, as well as two trips to the Austrian and French Alps. He and Marlee settled in Northbridge, Massachusetts, a small town in the Blackstone Valley, and they enjoyed hiking and skiing in the mountains, bicycling on as many bike trails as they could find throughout the area. He was supremely happy that he found a mate in Marlee who shared his fondness for the active life. Their last few years were limited by Don's illness but they managed to make walking an adequate substitute for earlier endeavors.
Don had been indifferent to religion until he and Marlee met and married, but he was introduced to God and the Lord by Marlee and soon became a committed Christian. He and Marlee became members of the 1st Congregational church in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and Don was baptized there by Pastor Dick Germaine. He felt that being a believer helped him to become a more giving and loving person, and was encouraged by his belief to volunteer his time working at a recovery house helping men who had been incarcerated for various crimes work themselves back into the community.
After relocating to Gill, Don and Marlee joined the 1st Baptist church in Greenfield until it disbanded in 2008. Then they discovered the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Northfield and found a small but active congregation of loving and giving people; they joined that church and have been blessed since by their membership.
Don is survived by his loving and loved wife of 28 years, Marlee, by his brother Stuart Kaplan (YouMei) of Sutton, MA, his sister Phyllis Parker (Norm) of Chicago, IL, his stepdaughters Cindy Caplice (Byron) of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Nancy Edwards- Pearson (Marc) of Turners Falls, MA and Cheryl Gendron (Bill) of Alameda, CA, and his stepson, Jeff Carlton Newton (Sharon) of Brattleboro, VT, as well as grandchildren Jesse Edwards (Sara) of Greenfield, MA and Haden and Micaela Carlton Newton at home.
He also leaves a handful of good friends, in particular Ken and Grace Prior of Douglas, MA, and Will and Helen Banning of Whitinsville, MA, with whom Don and Marlee spent many happy times. They especially enjoyed their stays at their time share at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire with Ken and Grace, as well as frequent visits to Jackson, New Hampshire, visits that Ken and Grace made more enjoyable with their presence.
A Memorial Service to celebrate Don's life will be held at the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Northfield on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM.
A reception will follow in the church social room.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Trinitarian Congregational Church, 147 Main St., Northfield, MA 01360 or to Hospice of Franklin County, 329 Conway St., Greenfield, MA 01301.
Published in The Recorder on Dec. 27, 2013