Dr. Harold Leo Kaplan, 90, a family physician in Beacon for more than 40 years, died Dec. 8, 2018, at his home in Boynton Beach, Florida.
Born in January 1928 in Newburgh, he was the eldest of three brothers. He graduated from Cornell University in 1948. earned a master’s in psychology from Syracuse University in 1950 and received his medical degree in 1954 from the State University of New York College of Medicine.
Following an internship at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, Dr. Kaplan deployed to Japan with the U.S. Air Force, where he was attached to the 374th Tactical Hospital in 1955 and the 6407th USAF Hospital. He was captain in charge of the hospital’s outpatient department at Tachikawa Air Force Base near Tokyo, which was the chief American logistical and equipment center for the Far East.
Following his military service, Dr. Kaplan became the third partner in a general practice in Beacon in 1957. Over the course of his 41 years in practice, he only reluctantly raised office-visit fees from $3 and house call fees from $4. At its peak, the practice delivered more than 300 babies every year, in addition to setting broken bones, suturing lacerations and caring for a legion of loyal patients.
After Vassar Brothers Hospital purchased the 16 N. Elm St. practice in 1991, Dr. Kaplan stayed on for seven years before his retirement in 1998. He was known as the consummate country doctor who possessed superb diagnostic skills and a charming smile. For a time, Dr. Kaplan served as the chief of staff of the now defunct Highland Hospital in Beacon.
Dr. Kaplan also was an avid stamp collector and reader of mystery novels and historical fiction. He eagerly read both Smithsonian and Military History cover to cover. He spent a term as president of the Beacon Hebrew Alliance, where his family worshipped.
In 2000, Dr. Kaplan and his wife of 59 years, the former Ruth Greenwald, relocated to Boynton Beach to be closer to their grandchildren. Besides his wife, he is survived by his brother, Stewart Kaplan, of Tarpon Springs, Florida; his sister-in-law, Mady Kaplan of New York City; and by his children, Edward Kaplan (Zerlina) of Boca Raton, Florida; Deborah Clancy (Scott) of Seattle; and David Kaplan (Hannah) of East Haven, Connecticut.
He was a zayde to eight grandchildren: Jared, Brynna and Trent Kaplan; Ethan and Noah Clancy; and Clif, Jacob and Jennifer Fisher; and to a great-grandson, Farrest Fisher.
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