Cover photo for Leslie Kaplan's Obituary
Leslie Kaplan Profile Photo
Leslie Kaplan

Leslie Kaplan

d. May 27, 2024

Leslie Kaplan is headed to the 19th hole.

 

After ninety wonderful years as a husband, father, grandfather and friend, Les passed away on

May 27th. He leaves behind a loving family, huge circle of friends and a lifetime full of love and

laughter.

 

Les grew up simply in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. His father Abe worked various jobs as a

carpenter, travelling salesman and, for a time, operated a luncheonette where Les worked as a

short order cook. Perhaps this planted the seed for his legendary Tuna Surround.

 

Following a term in the U.S. Army, Les attended Rider College in New Jersey, then worked a

series of jobs including TV producer and door to door encyclopedia salesman, before getting his

start in the billboard industry. Most importantly, he met and married Barbara Hirsch, a

groundbreaking female executive in the male-dominated advertising world of the 1960s. With

Barbara’s encouragement, he became a top salesman before leaving to start his own billboard

company, Philadelphia Outdoor. From a single wall on the side of a building in Center City, Les

built the company over twenty-five years into a premier operator of major bridge and

expressway signs in the Philadelphia region.

 

He also made time to coach baseball and ice hockey (learning the game and how to skate along

the way), drive a horse trailer and attend virtually every game, match and horse show his kids

ever competed in.

 

And, of course, he found golf.

 

To say Les was an avid golfer is to do a disservice to the rounds he played, the tournaments he

won, and the sartorial splendor of his huge, colorful and carefully coordinated golf wardrobe.

The game became a lifelong passion that brought him many friends at all levels, from playing

partners to golf pros to caddies and club workers. Through his love of the game he deepened

his connections with his brother, son, grandsons and many others.

 

As his kids grew up, and especially after selling Philadelphia Outdoor, Les and Barbara travelled

the world, built a beach house in New Jersey and spent much of their time in Florida, which

eventually became their primary residence. Most of all, he focused on his family, a term he

interpreted very broadly. Les leaves behind his wife of sixty-two years, Barbara, his children

Doug Kaplan (his wife Lauren) and Emily Dodge and grandchildren Oliver and Daisy Dodge and

Lola and Ryder Kaplan, his brother Harold Kaplan and an immeasurable number of lives

touched.

 

Across his business career, coaching activities and the wonderful trips he and Barbara took, Les

collected innumerable friends of all ages, opening his heart and often his home to visitors and

any number of surrogate sons and daughters. The common thread of his life was his ability to

connect with people at all levels, taking interest in their lives, lending his support and

celebrating their successes.

 

By any measure, it was a life above par.

A funeral service to honor and celebrate Leslie will take place Sunday, June 2nd, at 10:00 a.m. in

the chapel at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 321 Belmont Ave, Bala Cynwyd, PA. A graveside

ceremony will be held immediately after, followed by a reception at West Laurel Hill Cemetery.

The family will sit Shiva on Sunday, June 2nd from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at The Kaplan Residence in

Wynnewood, PA.

 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Leslie’s memory may be made to Rider University Women’s

Basketball (www.rider.edu/give) or via check to Rider University, Attn: Advancement Services,

2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 or to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for

Parkinson’s Research (www.michaeljfox.org) or MANNA (www.mannapa.org/donate).

Service Schedule

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Funeral Service

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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Interment

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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