Obituary Listings

Gary M. Kaplan

March 21, 1949 July 5, 2019
Gary M. Kaplan
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Obituary for Gary M. Kaplan

The great loves of his life were his wife of 45 years; his three daughters; three sons-in-law; and six grandchildren; along with his sister; sisters-in-law; nieces; nephews; and cousins. Besides his family, Gary's other passions were Reform Judaism and social justice. He had a lifelong commitment to economic justice, public school education, services for at-risk children and youth, and the Reform Jewish movement. He was also a lifelong contributor to the Omaha Opera, Omaha Symphony, Joslyn Museum and Filmstreams. Gary's social justice journey began in the early 1960s, when Marion Wright Edelman took Robert F. Kennedy on a tour of poverty-stricken areas in the southern U.S. Soon after, Gary went on a Temple Youth Group-sponsored tour of parts of Topeka KS, where he saw children without shoes and with no educational opportunities. He learned there were things he could do to change those children's lives. In 1968, after his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to Omaha and, along with the Methodist Ministries and Rabbi Sydney Brooks, started a summer tutoring program for children in the North High School neighborhood. Gary's volunteer career included: National Board Member of the National Benevolent Association and the Union of Reform Judaism, President of the Missouri Valley Federation of Temple Youth, Omaha Theater for Young People, Independent Insurance Agents of Omaha, and Uta Halee Girls Village. He was on the Omaha Public Schools Desegregation Task Force, the OPS Accountability Committee, and OTOC. He was on the Board of Child Saving Institute, co-chair of the Habitat for Humanity Interfaith-Interracial Blitz Build, and Chair of the Temple Israel Sacred Spaces Task Force. Gary worked in the insurance business for forty years, including thirty years as a partner in Grace Mayer Insurance. He is survived by his wife Sally; daughters, Elizabeth Kaplan (Steve Christensen), Katie (Michael) Cohen, and Carrie (John) Gobel; grandchildren: Haley Cohen, Jacob Cohen, Samuel Kaplan, Ilana Kaplan, Elliot Gobel, and Emmett Gobel; sister Nancy Marshall; sisters-in law, Suzy Davidson, and Peggy Pulanco; nieces; nephews; cousins; and loving friends. There will be a Family Burial Service at the Temple Israel Cemetery.

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




11:15 AM 7/8/2019 11:15:00 AM
Temple Israel

13111 Sterling Ridge Drive
Omaha, NE 68144

Temple Israel
13111 Sterling Ridge Drive Omaha 68144 NE
United States

Cemetery Details


Temple Israel Cemetery Final Resting Place

6500 N. 42 Street
Omaha, NE 68107

6500 N. 42 Street Omaha 68107 NE
United States

Memorial Contribution

Temple Israel

13111 Sterling Ridge Drive
Omaha, NE 68144



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