1921 – 2014

SOUTHBURY, Connecticut — Eugene H. Kaplan, born Aug. 23, 1921, to Louis and Sarah (Harris) Kaplan at Worcester, Massachusetts, died on Sunday, May 4. The family moved to Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1922.

He was educated in Waterbury schools, graduating from Hendrickson Grammar School and Crosby High School where he was principal clarinetist of the Waterbury combined high school band and orchestra and won the Connecticut state swimming championship gold and bronze medals for the medley relay and 100-yard breaststroke. While at the University of Pennsylvania, he was on the swimming team for four years and swam in numerous meets while in the Army Air Force.

He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with the degree of Bachelor of Science in economics where he sang with the Pennsylvania Choral Society that performed the Verdi Requiem with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy; the University of Connecticut School of Law with the degree of Bachelor of Laws; and the New York University Graduate School of Law with the degree of master of laws (in taxation).

During World War II, he served in the Sixth Army Air Force in Panama as a crew chief on a F38 fighter plane.

He practiced law in Waterbury for 48 years, retiring as senior partner of the Waterbury, New Haven and Southbury Law Firm, Carmody and Torrance.

He served as assistant engrossing clerk of the Connecticut State Legislature and as clerk of the City Court of Waterbury, no longer in existence.

During the administration of Joseph McNellis as mayor of Waterbury, he served as corporation counsel and was responsible for arranging for the settlement of 10,000 appeals from the revaluation of 1965.

He served as president of the Waterbury Bar Association, Temple Israel, United Way of Greater Waterbury and the Jewish Federation of Waterbury. He also served as vice president of the New England Region of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District and the U.S. District Court as well as all Connecticut Courts.

He served on the Assembly of the Connecticut Bar Association and on several committees of the American Bar Association. He lectured on many tax and employee benefit matters and participated in writing articles for various Bar Journals.

Although not a member, he was named Young Man of the Year for Waterbury by the Jaycees in 1953 and as Young Man of the Year for the State of Connecticut by the Jaycees in 1954.

He was elected to the Finance Board of the Town of Southbury and served for six years and as chairman of the Town of Southbury Pension Investment Advisory Committee from 2002 until retiring in 2006.

He served as a member of the Democratic Town Committee of Southbury for ten years. He was a member of the former Waterbury Club and a former member of the Country Club of Waterbury, Rotary and the Exchange Club.

He sounded the shofar for the High Holidays at Temple Israel in Waterbury and B’nai Israel in Southbury for 50 years and was renowned for the tone and for the length of the last note.

He served as the first director of the Foundation, Jewish Communities of Western Connecticut and later as a trustee and chairman of the board and as such was responsible for increasing the endowment fund from $1,700,000 to ultimately $18,000,000.

He won honors in age group tennis, downhill and cross-country skiing and in running. He ran seven marathons, running two in one week and running his last one, the Boston Marathon at the age of 60.

In 2005, he won the gold medal in tennis in the 80-year and over division of the Connecticut Senior Olympics, in 2006, the gold medals in tennis and the 100-meter sprint in the 85 and over division.

He and Florrry skied downhill every winter at Bromley Mountain in Vermont until 2011 and played the euphonium at the Tuba Fest, along with 500 tubists, on the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza.

He was a serious cook and took classes at the Cordon Blue and Escoffier schools in Paris, at the New School in New York City and the Connecticut Culinary Institute in Farmington, Connecticut.

He loved clothes, was always dapper and was noted for his bow ties, pocket squares and hats.

He is survived by his loving companion of 22 years, Florence Richards of Southbury, Connecticut; his son, Kenneth H. Kaplan, M.D., of Greeley, Colorado, his wife, Jody, and his two children, Jessica Kaplan and Matthew Kaplan; his daughter, Jane Kaplan Naliboff of Chesterville, her husband, Jay A. Naliboff, M.D., and their three daughters and husbands, Courtney Naliboff and William Trevaskis (who are about to have his great-grandaughter), Dr. Lauren Naliboff and Dr. Nicholas Bessman and Dana Naliboff and Jonah McBride.

He was predeceased by his wife, Kitty C. Kaplan; his parents; and his brother, Jerome Kaplan.

A memorial service and reception will be held at the Jewish Federation in Southbury, CT on May 18, 2014 at 1:P.M.

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