Raye Kaplan, 93, passed peacefully from this world in the early hours of February 19th, 2021, attended by her loving children. Born December 14th 1927 in St. Augustine to Louis Sachs and Mary Klyman Sachs Toomer, she was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Henry Kaplan, and by her sister, Selma “PeeWee” Weil of Thunderbolt, Georgia. Brought to the Savannah area as a little child, Raye grew up in Thunderbolt in a family of shrimpers and boat builders, and her memories were rich with colorful tales of a young life on the Wilmington River. She graduated from Savannah High School and studied at The Washington Studio School of Art in Washington D.C. just after WWII. Raye had a creative soul and enjoyed painting landscapes and still life oil paintings throughout the years. As a young mother in Savannah, Raye was the quintessential PTA volunteer and eternally patient Brownie leader. Later, as a longtime resident of Pinellas Point and Gulfport, Florida, she volunteered in her Temple gift shop, and she logged over 30 happy years at the Christmas Toy Shop in St. Petersburg, where she found great joy in helping those in need, and wonderful friendships with Jane Cook, Ginny Murray, and many others. A natural tinkerer, she could fix anything, be it a broken lamp or broken heart. She is survived by her children, Chrissie Kaplan Karp of Rincon, Georgia; Sarah (John) Epstein of Portland, Oregon; Joel Kaplan of St. Petersburg, Florida; Adam Kaplan (Robin Sprague) of Chicago, Illinois; her beloved grandchildren, Evan Karp, Miles Karp, Caroline Epstein, Melanie Epstein, Andrew Kaplan and Avery Kaplan; and by numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members, all whom were devoted to their “Aunt Sister.” Raye Kaplan led a long, wonderful life full of kindness, humor and friendship, which she bestowed upon all fortunate enough to know her. She was the kind of parent everyone wants to be, always young in spirit, always making life fun for herself, her husband and kids, and for everyone else. She made new friends in every stage in her life and will forever be an example of how to live the Golden Rule, which was her motto. Her memory will serve as a lasting blessing.
A private burial will be held later this year in Savannah, Georgia, at Bonaventure Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mom’s memory can be made to Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg, Florida, and The Christmas Toy Shop, also in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The care of Mrs. Kaplan and her family has been entrusted to David C. Gross Funeral Home in St. Petersburg.