Cover photo for LUCILLE KAPLAN's Obituary
LUCILLE KAPLAN Profile Photo

LUCILLE KAPLAN

December 3, 1925 — February 25, 2015

LUCILLE KAPLAN




Lucille Nobler Kaplan died peacefully at home on February 25, 2015.  Lucy was born in 1925, the fourth child of Harry and Anna Nobler who were married in Odessa in 1912 and immigrated to the US where Lucy and her siblings were born. She grew up in the far North side of Chicago, where she met her future husband, Lawrence Kaplan, in high school at age 16. After graduation she attended the University of Illinois. When she graduated at the close of WWII she and Lawrence were married (1946) and soon moved to Iowa City where she worked for a time as a medical research technician at the University of Iowa and began her study of cultural anthropology.

After receiving her MA at Iowa in anthropology she was invited to continue her studies toward a PhD in the Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, and awarded a Carnegie graduate fellowship in African Studies and a teaching assistantship. In 1953 with fellowship support from Northwestern and from the American Association of University Women she and Lawrence, then a graduate student at the University of Chicago, began field work on the Pacific coast of southern Mexico. She reported her work in published papers and in presentations at professional meetings.

In this period she and Lawrence began their family with daughters Martha, Emily and Elisabeth.  Lucy taught courses part time at Roosevelt University in Chicago for the next 8 years. In 1965 the family moved to Massachusetts where Lawrence became a founding member of the new University of Massachusetts Boston.  In the second year of the new campus Lucy was appointed part time professor and later lecturer in the Department of Social Relations.  In those early years she spoke vigorously and persuasively in favor of an independent department and courses in anthropology. Lucille taught in the Anthropology Department until her retirement in 1991. Her courses centered around the culture and history of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America.  Lucy enjoyed travel and always connected her travel experiences with her anthropological interpretation and teaching.

From her love of textiles, ceramics, basketry and folk art, Lucy built a small collection of beautiful originals and replicas. Her “mania” for brown and white British transferware resulted in an expansive collection of dishes, platters, cups, saucers and more - all of which were used at family meals.

Lucy was diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in 1975. She was a longtime patient of Dr. Harley Haynes of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the late Dr. Khosrow Momtaz of Massachusetts General Hospital.  As their patient Lucy very much enjoyed participating in the training of multiple generations of medical students in dermatology.

Lucy is survived by Lawrence, husband of 69 years; daughters Martha Kaplan (John Kelly); Emily Kaplan; Beth Kaplan (Bob Horton), and grandchildren Nory Kaplan-Kelly and Rose Kaplan-Kelly, as well as many dear friends who helped to care for her including Tamara Bloch and Deborah Clarke. The family welcomes friends at their Home,on Saturday Feb.28 from 2-5 PM In lieu of flowers donations may be made to planned parenthood or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of LUCILLE KAPLAN, please visit our flower store.

Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree