David T. Kaplan, 66, of Kensington, Maryland, died Wednesday, Sept. 27, of cancer.
Born April 28, 1951, the son of the late Lillian Westerman and Carl Kaplan and the late Ben Westerman (step-father), he graduated from Hudson High School in Hudson, New York. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in botany from Drew University; a master’s degree from University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and a doctorate in plant pathology from the University of California, Riverside.
He spent most of his career in public service with the United States Department of Agriculture. First he worked as a research scientist in Orlando, Florida, to protect citrus plants. In 2002 he shifted his focus toward plant protection policy work in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2005 he joined the Senior Executive Service in Washington, D.C., and ultimately retired as associate deputy administrator for Plant Protection and Quarantine, Science and Technology at USDA. He played a key role in safeguarding the nation’s plants and food supply and in setting domestic and international agricultural policy.
Dr. Kaplan and his wife, the former Lynne Pevzner, were married in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in June 1973. They shared a deep and abiding love for one another. He had a lifelong love for the Berkshires. After his retirement, he served as a board member of Project Native, an organization that worked to protect the Berkshires from invasive species. He loved nothing more than an evening with Lynne, family and friends sitting on the lawn of Tanglewood and sharing his love of music and the arts.
In addition to his wife of 44 lovely years, he leaves a daughter: Rachel (and Eric) Reicher of Bethesda, Maryland; a son: Benjamin Louis Kaplan of Washington, D.C.; a brother: Jim Kaplan of West Palm Beach, Florida; two grandchildren: Eli and Avi Reicher; and many nieces and nephews.