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 www.heafeyheafey.com 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.