Ronald N. Kaplan

Ronald N. Kaplan

November 24, 1931 – April 15, 2021

Ronald Norman Kaplan was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Kaplan and June (Kaplan) Bowers, and his sister, Laurie (Kaplan) Greco.  He is survived by his loving wife, Marlene; son, Terry Kaplan (Ann); daughters, Jodi Kaplan and Cindy Kaplan Hrupek; stepmother Barb Bideaux Kaplan; stepsister, Jackie Brock.   He was adored Grandfather to Kurston Dowd, Hannah Kaplan King, and Taylor, Isabella, and Preston Hrupek.  Many nieces, nephews and dear friends also survive him.

Ron was born and raised in Omaha.  He attended North High School where he was active in all sports.  After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.  He was stationed in Pensacola, FL, where he fell in love with the beaches and was captivated by the water.  He served on the USS Valley Forge and saw much of the world.  Returning to Omaha, he attended the University of Omaha and worked at Blue Star Foods.  He then was a founding partner of Smith Kaplan Advertising Agency.  They acquired Allen & Reynolds and became Smith Kaplan Allen & Reynolds (SKAR).  Ron especially enjoyed mentoring their young employees.

SKAR grew to be one of the largest advertising agencies in the Midwest.  Ron was the recipient of the prestigious American Federation of Advertising’s Silver Medal.  This annual award is given in recognition of service to the community and to the advertising industry.  He received numerous awards for creativity in writing and production of radio and television commercials, print ads and outdoor advertising.  He received a national award for a billboard he designed for a joint KFC/Coca-Cola promotion.  Over Ron’s 40-year career, he received numerous ADDY Advertising Awards presented by the Omaha Federation of Advertising.  He was honored to be named a Viking of Distinction at North High School.

He offered his time and talents to a number of community nonprofit organizations, including the board of directors for the Omaha Hearing School for Children, Nebraska Easter Seal Society, and Camp Fire Girls and Boys. He was President of the West Omaha Lions Club.  He volunteered as a Marketing Consultant for Youth Emergency Services (YES), as well as the Ralston Area Chamber of Commerce.  He was Captain of the Shriner’s DeMolay Knights Mustang Parade Motor Unit.  Twenty-two members each had a 1966 Candy Apple Red Mustang Convertible!  They were the hit of any Parade.  He was a lifetime member of the Omaha Federation of Advertising; a Trail Boss for River City Roundup; and a member of the Knights of Aksarben Public Relations Committee.  He was a 32nd Degree Mason and member of Tangier Shriner’s Center.

He had a zest for life and lived it to the fullest!  He was a great fan of Nebraska University Football and had season tickets for 45 years.  He also enjoyed watching basketball, baseball, and ice hockey games.  His tailgating parties were legendary!

He was devoted to his family and friends.  He and Marlene enjoyed entertaining, traveling, and their condo and boat at Lake of the Ozarks. Marlene called him their Camp Director, as he was always planning something fun!  He was an accomplished amateur chef.  One of his signature dishes was Cioppino.   He was a great story teller and was known for his sense of humor.  He was kind, considerate, and thoughtful of others.  He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.  He is legendary!

Memorial Service and Time of Sharing observing CDC guidelines by wearing a mask: Tuesday, April 20th, 4:00 p.m. at the West Center Chapel. To view live broadcast, go to and click “View Live Cast” button on the home page.  INTERMENT Omaha National Cemetery with Military Honors: Wednesday, April 21st, 9:00 a.m. Memorials are suggested to the Shrine Children’s Minneapolis Hospital c/o the Omaha Tangier Shriner’s Center.



  • Karen Ike (Bahnsen) Posted April 17, 2021 7:05 pm

    I have fond memories of Ron from my childhood and my employment at SKAR as a young adult. My thoughts are with you all.

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much. The family and I appreciate your kind words. Marlene Kaplan

  • Dick and Karlyn Carson Posted April 19, 2021 12:10 pm

    Ron was a treasured friend with whom we spent many happy times through the years. We will remember fondly the shared vacations, special events and casual dinners with Ron and Marlene—always enhanced by Ron’s gentlemanly presence, accompanied by a great sense of humor. We send our love and sympathy to Marlene and to all of Ron’s loved ones.

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 4:44 pm

      Karlyn and Dick, thank you so much for your sweet condolences. Ron treasured your friendship as do I.
      Dear Ron and I would talk about the many wonderful memories of our times together. Love, Marlene

  • Cyndie Niedzielski Posted April 19, 2021 12:36 pm

    Have great memories of Ron from my days in Omaha, the DLB guys and The Drover. Marlene, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 4:47 pm

      Cyndie, thank you for your condolences and fond memories. The DLB guys certainly had a great time together!
      Thank you for your prayers. Marlene

  • DAVID & KAREN KAPLAN Posted April 20, 2021 4:51 am

    Ron was my favorite cousin in the Kaplan family, we corresponded through facebook from time to time and he always called me “cuz:. Dave

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 4:50 pm

      David & Karen, Ron always enjoyed your Facebook correspondence. He was special. Thank you. Marlene

  • Jeanee, Eric & Rowen Weiss-Baptiste Posted April 20, 2021 9:40 pm

    Many prayers and warm thoughts for the Kaplan family…we were blessed to know Ron as a gracious neighbor and friend.

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 4:57 pm

      Jeanee, Eric & Rowen, thank you so much for your prayers and warm thoughts for our family. Ron always enjoyed visiting with you as we took our walks. Marlene

  • Steven S Miller & Delilah Julia Emma Miller Posted April 21, 2021 2:00 pm

    Our hearts go out to Aunt Marlene and all the Kaplan Family. We all lost a beautiful and wonderful man who will be missed dearly.

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 5:01 pm

      Dear Steve and Delilah, the family and I thank you so much for your sweet condolences. Dear Uncle Ron loved you all and always looked forward and enjoyed our special times together. Love, Aunt Marlene

  • James Pekelder Posted April 27, 2021 1:49 pm

    Ron was a wonderful person who lived life to its fullest. He will be sorely missed.

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 5:04 pm

      Jim, thank you so much for your condolences. Yes, he embraced and enjoyed his fulfilling life!
      Thank you. Marlene

  • Manju Hapke Posted May 6, 2021 10:00 am

    Ronald Kaplan will live in our hearts forever. Ron was a gentle, caring soul with a wry sense of humor, a twinkle in his eye and an unrivaled generosity of spirit. He was a wonderful storyteller and regaled us with tales of his voyages around the world. He earned and deserved the sobriquet “Capt. Ron”.

    He had an enormous zest for life and together with Marlene, the love of his life, he lived life to the fullest and on his terms. We love him. We will miss him.

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 5:10 pm

      Manju, you captured his spirit so well! He treasured the friendship of you and your loved ones. He was the
      Captain of our hearts! Love, Marlene

  • Jan Gorman Posted May 10, 2021 2:22 pm

    Marlene, I was so sorry to read about your loss. I’m know he was very special and will be so missed.
    Do take care of yourself. Jan Gorman, retired Ralston/Baright Public Library Director

    • Marlene Kaplan Posted June 14, 2021 5:26 pm

      Jan, thank you so much. Yes, he was very special! I appreciate your kind condolences. Marlene

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