Barbara A. Kaplan
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Barbara A. Kaplan
Reading specialist, longtime resident, parishioner in Westfield
Barbara A. Kaplan, 85, passed away on May 8, 2020 at Ashbrook Care and Rehab Center in Scotch Plains.
She was born in Mount Carmel, PA, to the late Joseph and Anna (Zuk) Dempskie. She graduated from Irvington High School in 1952, earned her BA from Rutgers University in Newark in 1958 and her Reading Specialist MA from Kean University in 1975. She was a devout member of St. Helen's Catholic Church in Westfield, N.J.
Barbara and her family moved to Westfield in 1968. She taught elementary school in the Westfield Public School District and continued her career as a reading specialist, first at several elementary schools and then at McKinley Elementary School. She was a highly regarded resource person for classroom teachers when they realized one of their students was struggling.
After Barbara retired in 2000, she assumed other resource person roles: the niece her childless aunt and uncle (sister and brother) relied upon to make the 135 mile journey to their home in Mt Carmel, PA, to care for their needs as they aged, and the mother who cared for her oldest son when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
She was active in several groups, including Blue Horizons at St Helen's Catholic Church, AARP Westfield chapter, St Helen's Spiritual Book Club and the Central New Jersey Brain Tumor Support Group. Her lifelong passion was reading, but she also enjoyed attending live theatre at the Paper Mill Playhouse and on Broadway.
Barbara was pre-deceased by her husband, Eugene; her daughter, Susan, and her son, Kevin. She is survived by her son, Keith Kaplan (Rita) of Chester Springs, PA; daughter, Mary Addeo (John) of Rolling Hills Estates, CA; her sister, Diana Skocypec (Ron) of Westlake Village, CA; her grandson, Matt Kaplan (Lorie) of Exton, PA.; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
Private services have been entrusted to Dooley Colonial Home, Westfield. Entombment took place at St. Gertrude Cemetery in Colonia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her memory may be made to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey at 31 Evans Terminal, Hillside, NJ 07205 or A Memorial Mass will be planned for a future date. For additional information or to sign the guestbook, please visit

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Published in The Star-Ledger on May 17, 2020.
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May 19, 2020
So sorry to hear of Mrs. Kaplan's passing. My Mom enjoyed her friendship and many bus rides to Atlantic City. I was friends with her son Kevin (Harry) and enjoyed the family's friendship also. Please accept the Graham family's deepest sympathy on her passing.
Rich Graham
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