Martin F. Kaplan
1940 - 2017
BORN
1940
DIED
2017
FUNERAL HOME
Ted Mayr Funeral Home
3150 Loma Vista Road
Ventura, CA
Martin F. Kaplan

Oxnard, CA

Martin F. Kaplan, 77, of Oxnard, passed away on October 5, 2017, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his family. Born on April 20, 1940 in Brooklyn to Ben Kaplan, a truck driver, and Bebe Wolinsky Kaplan, a housewife, he married Lydia Martha Eagle, his truest friend and confidante, on July 9, 1960.

Based on NY tests, Marty was placed in a Rapid Advancement class, completing his three years of junior high school in two. He went on to Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, graduating two months after his 16th birthday. He entered Bernard Baruch University, graduating with his BBA in 1960, his MS from CCNY in 1962, and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1965, shortly after his 25th birthday.

He adored his children Jonathan (Yolanda), Jeremy (Debbie), and Jaymie, and his grandsons Donald and Steven were the loves of his life. He was proud and grateful for his children's values, character, and other qualities they learned from him, e.g., their sense of humor, justice, and decency. As for any troublesome qualities they adopted, he apologizes.

As a Professor at Northern Illinois University in De Kalb, he founded the Social Psychology Ph.D. program, directed the research of over 20 doctoral studies, and was named both Presidential Research Professor and Distinguished Research Professor. His graduate students admired, respected, and were very fond of him, as were the Fulbright students who came from overseas to work with him.

His research in Social Psychology produced over 120 published articles, the majority in referred journals. From 1965-2010, he wrote seven books as well as numerous book chapters. Research topics included how people form judgments of others, how groups (including juries) make decisions, how the effects of biases can be reduced, and how people influence one another. He was invited on many occasions to lecture on his jury research at the University of La Laguna in Tenerife, Canary Islands.

International recognition led to election as a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, the American Psychology-Law Society, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, the European Association of Experimental Social Psychologists, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. He was an invited Visiting Professor at University of California San Diego, University of California Santa Barbara, University of North Carolina, Leiden University (Netherlands), University of Melbourne (Australia), and Monash University (Australia). He was also invited to lecture at many universities and scientific meetings in North America, Europe, and Australia. One night, while attending a conference in Poland at the height of the Solidarity movement, Marty found himself as a passenger in a speeding car fleeing state police.

After retirement from NIU in 2000 he moved to Oxnard, California, where he founded the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU Channel Islands. When the economy declined, it was decided that student fees would go up. Marty refused and opted to take a decrease in his part-time salary so that fees would remain the same. Due to his hard work, and his dedication to the students, by the time of his retirement as Director in January 2012 OLLI had grown to over 500 student-members. He was recognized nationally for the quality of courses offered.

Always the "professor," he loved to share his knowledge of broad interests- history, film, musicals, classical music, popular standards and folk music, and a host of other topics- and frequently with a dry, quick, off-kilter sense of humor borrowed from Groucho Marx.

Active in community affairs, especially those related to seniors, he actively served on the Boards of the New West Symphony, Caregivers, Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, and the Oxnard Music Advocacy Group. His work with the Symphony notably included deepening its educational functions, community engagement, and attracting more concert goers. His mission during his academic career was to enhance the power of rational thought, analysis and accumulated knowledge in those he taught. His mission in retirement was to preserve and share the artistic accomplishments of humankind and bring music to the community.

Marty's personal endeavors included criss-crossing the US in a van with Lydia and the kids in search of great BBQ and the perfect bluegrass festival, collecting antique rifles dating back to 1763, and family camping trips. His love of travel led him and Lydia to nearly 40 countries, including China, Thailand, Russia, Croatia, Israel, Spain, Argentina, Portugal and Vietnam.

His family would like to thank UCLA Health doctors May-Lin Wilgus and Joshua Rosenberg as well as Dr. Rosenberg's caring staff of Priscilla, Theresa, Ava, Samantha, Monique, and Brianna, for treating Marty with respect and compassion, as well as friends Guadalupe and Juan Limones and family, and Gail and John Ota for their support.

A funeral service will be held at 12:30 pm on Monday, October 9 at Temple Beth Torah in Ventura. Marty requested that memorial donations be made in his name to either the New West Symphony (Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite D, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362) or Caregivers (1765 Goodyear Avenue #205 Ventura, CA 93003).

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, 3150 Loma Vista Road, Ventura. Condolences may be sent to TedMayrFuneralHome.com.

Published by Ventura County Star from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, 2017.
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Oct
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Ventura, CA
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18 Entries
Dear Lynda,
I just learned of Marty's passing (while creating a mailing list for an upcoming Memorial for another friend, Dick Moreland). Marty was a valued colleague and good friend to me, and I am very saddened at his loss.
Norb Kerr
January 24, 2018
Marty was a wonderful human being! I am so sorry to hear about his death. V. Sharp
Vicki Sharp
November 29, 2017
Martin's sense of humor always made me smile. He could really make me laugh and laugh. He will be missed.
M. Kuropas
November 1, 2017
Dear Lydia - I was saddened to hear of Marty's passing from Nick Fuentes at CSUCI. I did not see the notice in the Ventura Star.

When Marty started the OLLI program at CSUCI I immediately enrolled. I had just lost my husband the year before and the program offered so much to help me through dealing with his loss. New friends, marvelous classes, opportunities to travel to local (and not-so-local) places of interest. Marty's enthusiasm and the great effort he put into getting this program off the ground was amazing. I shall miss him.

I send my love and healing thoughts to you and your family as you deal with a new normal and the loss of your life's companion.

Peace, Joy Hart
October 21, 2017
Michael (fellow Brooklynite and Erasmus student) and I mourn our "leader" of Olli and tireless supporter of the New West Symphony. He will be remembered for his invaluable life. The Bunkins, Joyce-Ruth and Michael
October 17, 2017
Lydia and family we are so sorry got your loss.
Lynne and Harvey Switzky
Daphne, Alabama
October 17, 2017
My deepest condolences to the Kaplan family. Marty joined the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA) Advisory Council in 2006. He brought a wealth of ideas and new perspectives to making a positive difference in the lives of older adults in Ventura County. His energy, vision, creativity and presence will be missed. As a VCAAA staff member, it was an honor to work with Marty.
Christine Voth
October 16, 2017
Dr. Martin Kaplan

Dr. Martin Kaplan or Marty as we know him was a compassionate and caring scholar, teacher and, above all, a good friend.

I judge a person by what they have left behind. What did they do to make us and society better? Marty left us excellent markers for a good, productive life promoting a caring society. These are markers that we desperately need more of today.

As President of Northern Illinois, I was especially blessed to work with and know colleagues who were distinguished in their disciplines and had received many academic honors. During my tenure at the university Marty was named a Presidential Research Professor and then Distinguished Research Professor. He founded the Social Psychology Ph. D. Program and mentored many doctoral students. His research on people, their interaction in groups, and especially juries, gave him an international reputation as a scholar who had moved way beyond the disciplinary confines of Psychology into Law and Justice.

Marty's impact on me and the campus reached far beyond his research and scholarship. Indeed, he lived a life committed to a high standard of scholarship. But, it was one that taught colleagues, students, friends and his children justice, decency and compassion for all, especially those in our society who were less fortunate. Beyond being the consummate teacher, he did not hesitate to speak out against injustice and discrimination, whether it was on campus or out in society. For that he made us better and the campus more responsive to problems in society.

Stepping back to Marty's origins in Brooklyn I note, like me, he came from a very humble background. There was something special in New York City in the post WWII era. Education was highly valued by society and families as a means to better oneself and a way to make a greater contribution to society. A college education was available at a low cost to all who had talent and were willing to work. Marty had that talent and had a bachelor's degree by age 20 and a Ph.D. by age 25.

I mention these early years because Marty's life in retirement here in the Oxnard/Ventura area clearly reflects his origins in Brooklyn and a life-long commitment to helping people and improving their lives and that of society by being a teacher and friend, developing the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU Channel Islands and working with the New West Symphony, Caregivers, the Ventura County Area Agency of Aging, and the Oxnard Music Advocacy Group.

As I have noted, Marty left us with many lessons. His markers provide us with a guide to being better citizens with more compassion for others, to offering help to those less fortunate, and to being bold enough to step up against injustice and indecency. I know these markers will live on as guides for his wife Lydia, his children Jonathan, Jeremy, and Jaymie and their love ones. I too am in debt to him for his markers.

My wife Lili joins me in offering our love and prayers for the Kaplan family.

John E. La Tourette,
President Emeritus, Northern Illinois University
John La Tourette
October 14, 2017
Lydia,
Our prayer thoughts are with you and your family during this time.

Leroy and Drue
October 13, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
October 13, 2017
Lydia and family, I'm so sad to hear of Martin's passing. In true NIU tradition, this was posted a bit late (October 12). Sending you strength in this difficult time and lots of love. Martin was an amazing man.
Shevawn Eaton
October 12, 2017
It was a pleasure to meet you. Your stories at dinner were always great. Thoughts and prayers go to your family.
Tim and Robyn Simon
October 11, 2017
Dr. Kaplan was a gentle, kind and generous soul who was a joy to work with. I feel fortunate to have known him at the New West Symphony. He will be truly missed. Love, Kiren Bansal
Kiren Bansal
October 10, 2017
May the family and friends draw strength from our loving God at this time of loss. Psalms 29:11. JJ. Asheville, NC.
October 10, 2017
Marty welcomed me to the Board of NWS with warmth and friendship. He was a humble, brilliant man who set an example on how to lead a full, meaningful life in the service of others. He will be missed by the untold numbers of us that he affected in such a positive way. My condolences to his family and to all his friends and loved ones.
Sam Bruttomesso
Sam Bruttomesso
October 9, 2017
You will be missed.
Douglas Taylor
October 9, 2017
Dr. Martin Kaplan or Marty as we know him was a compassionate and caring scholar, teacher and, above all, a good friend.

I judge a person by what they have left behind. What did they do to make us and society better? Marty left us excellent markers for a good, productive life promoting a caring society. These are markers that we desperately need more of today.

As President of Northern Illinois, I was especially blessed to work with and know colleagues who were distinguished in their disciplines and had received many academic honors. During my tenure at the university Marty was named a Presidential Research Professor and then Distinguished Research Professor. He founded the Social Psychology Ph. D. Program and mentored many doctoral students. His research on people, their interaction in groups, and especially juries, gave him an international reputation as a scholar who had moved way beyond the disciplinary confines of Psychology into Law and Justice.

Marty's impact on me and the campus reached far beyond his research and scholarship. Indeed, he lived a life committed to a high standard of scholarship. But, it was one that taught colleagues, students, friends and his children justice, decency and compassion for all, especially those in our society who were less fortunate. Beyond being the consummate teacher, he did not hesitate to speak out against injustice and discrimination, whether it was on campus or out in society. For that he made us better and the campus more responsive to problems in society.

Stepping back to Marty's origins in Brooklyn I note, like me, he came from a very humble background. There was something special in New York City in the post WWII era. Education was highly valued by society and families as a means to better oneself and a way to make a greater contribution to society. A college education was available at a low cost to all who had talent and were willing to work. Marty had that talent and had a bachelor's degree by age 20 and a Ph.D. by age 25.

I mention these early years because Marty's life in retirement here in the Oxnard/Ventura area clearly reflects his origins in Brooklyn and a life-long commitment to helping people and improving their lives and that of society by being a teacher and friend, developing the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU Channel Islands and working with the New West Symphony, Caregivers, the Ventura County Area Agency of Aging, and the Oxnard Music Advocacy Group.

As I have noted, Marty left us with many lessons. His markers provide us with a guide to being better citizens with more compassion for others, to offering help to those less fortunate, and to being bold enough to step up against injustice and indecency. I know these markers will live on as guides for his wife Lydia, his children Jonathan, Jeremy, and Jaymie and their love ones. I too am in debt to him for his markers.

My wife Lili joins me in offering our love and prayers for the Kaplan family.

John E. La Tourette,
President Emeritus, Northern Illinois University
John La Tourette
October 8, 2017
Dear Marty,
You have always been there for me and the board of the Symphony. I'm so shocked and sad to hear about your passing. I thought about you on my way to rehearsal on October 5. I was thinking that I would love to visit you after the concert week is over. You were a great advocate for everything that we have done in education as an institution in 12 years you were on the board. You will be greatly missed. God speed. My condolences to Lydia, Jonathan, Jeremy and Jaymie.
Natalia Staneva
Friend
October 7, 2017
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