Judge Lawrence W. Kaplan
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Judge Lawrence W. Kaplan

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Judge Lawrence W. Kaplan
KAPLAN: Judge Lawrence W. Kaplan of Oakland, age 90, passed away on Monday, February 18, 2019, in the company of his beloved wife of 66 years, Natalie. He leaves behind a legacy of dedicated public service and community leadership, culminating in 30 years as a judge in the Family Division of the county’s Court of Common Pleas. Judge Lawrence was a man of wisdom, integrity, a keen sense of humor that everyone loved. Son of the late Dr. Edward and Libby Kaplan and brother to the late David Kaplan, Larry was the devoted father of Thomas Ross (Pamela) Kaplan, Ellen Teri Kaplan (Michael) Goldstein and Jon Adler Kaplan, and he treasured his grandchildren Samantha, Sydney, and Matthew, as well as his granddaughter-in-law-to-be, Samantha. Larry warmly embraced his wife’s family and will be dearly missed by the Adler clan: brother-in-law extraordinaire Dr. Lawrence Adler, nephews Jason (Mandee) and Aaron (Lauren), and great-nieces Rebecca, Sara Pearl, Langley, and Roxanna. He is also mourned by nephew and great-nephew Paul (Stacey) Kaplan and Drew Kaplan. Born and raised in Uniontown, Larry graduated from Uniontown High School, earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He was an Army lieutenant, serving as a Judge Advocate General officer in the Pentagon for three years. He began his legal career in Pittsburgh as a bank trust officer and then joined the law firm of Kaufman and Harris, where he remained as partner for 22 years. Judge Kaplan was appointed to the bench through the merit selection process in 1978 by Governor Milton Shapp. He was elected to a 10-year term in 1979, retained for another term in 1989, and became nationally recognized for his judicial expertise in domestic relations law. The judge took particular pride in his work to promote mediation for conflict resolution and his efforts on behalf of children. It was at his urging and with the help of his wife that the local chapter of National Council of Jewish Women established the Children’s Rooms in the Courts, providing children whose parents or guardians were tied up in judicial proceedings with a safe haven removed from the difficulties of the courtroom. The Allegheny County Bar Association recognized his achievements in the area of mediation by creating an annual lecture series in his honor. After assuming Senior Judge status in 1998, Larry remained on the bench until required to retire in 2008. He then continued to use his legal skills to help families by joining Rothman Gordon as part of the law firm’s alternative dispute resolution practice group. His leadership positions, professional associations, distinguished awards and community activities were simply too numerous to list here, and they reflected his keen interest in the law, social justice, his neighborhood, the city at large and the Jewish community. He was also quite the song-and-dance man and made many appearances singing onstage with various organizations. Services at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Avenue (at Morewood) on Friday, February 22, 2019, at 11 AM. Visitation one and one half hour prior to services (9:30 – 11 AM). Interment West View Cemetery of Rodef Shalom Congregation. Contributions may be made to Carriage House Children’s Center Scholarship Fund, 5604 Solway Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 or Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, 2000 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 or Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 or Alph House, 435 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated.
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