Lynn Susan Kaplan

06/30/1940 - 09/17/2020


Obituary For Lynn Susan Kaplan

Lynn S. Kaplan

June 30, 1940 – Sept. 17, 2020

Lynn Susan Auerbach was born in Easton, daughter of Minerva (Bugen) and George Auerbach. She went to grade school, junior and senior high there, graduating from Easton High School. Lynn then attended Arcadia University and then the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in elementary education. Lynn went on to earn a Master’s degree in elementary counseling from the University of Pennsylvania. She taught fourth grade in the Gladwynne school district outside of Philadelphia for seven years until she became a mother and then she focused her energy on raising her children and volunteering in the community.

Lynn met the love of her life, Dr. Stephen Kaplan, after his return from serving in the U.S. Public Health Service in Ecuador. They later dated and were married on Dec. 18th, 1966. They began their family life in Philadelphia, later moving to Harrisburg and ultimately relocating to the Altoona area in 1978 where Dr. Kaplan started a gastroenterology practice.

Lynn’s life was dedicated to her husband and her children: Dr. Julie Kaplan, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer and Jon Kaplan; and later to her grandchildren, including Ben Borenstein, 22, Jake Borenstein, 20, George Kaplan-Mayer, 17, Max Borenstein, 17, June Kaplan-Mayer, 15 and Mira Kaplan, 10. She was also a devoted mother-in-law, aunt, cousin, and friend. Lynn was a dog lover, having shared her life with beloved pets Joshua Russel, Charlie, Suzee and most recently, Bengee.

Her volunteer energy helped many community organizations, including Hadassah, the American Heart Association, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and Family and Children’s Services. Lynn was a dedicated and beloved member of Temple Beth Israel since 1978. Lynn also loved acting and performed onstage at the Altoona Community Theater and at Allegheny Highlands Regional Theater.

Lynn was known for her sparkling personality, for her great sense of humor, outgoing nature and beautiful, inclusive way of treating every human being she met with dignity, kindness and caring. She was down to earth and lots of fun to spend time with. Her faith and spirituality were strong and deeply personal. In addition to observing Jewish rituals, she asked for her family to be blessed every night before she went to sleep.

She had a love of celebrities and pop culture. Inspired by her Uncle Mace Bugen, whose life story was captured in her daughter Gabrielle’s book, “The Little Gate-Crasher,” Lynn never missed an opportunity to meet an actor or performer whom she admired. Most recently, her son Jonathan arranged for her to meet the actor Harvey Fierstein after a performance of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.”

Lynn had a terrific, smart sense of fashion. She loved to accessorize, change up her hair and find fabulous clothes on sale. She was always looking for special items to send to her grandkids and most recently sent them a special gift to wish them well at the start of the new school year.

Lynn loved conversation. She enjoyed spending time at the former Tea Merchant 101 where she became good friends with owner, Joe Doyle and other folks. She more recently enjoyed spending time with her precious dog Bengee at the Poochey Chef.

Lynn was blessed to meet her half-sister Shirley, who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2015. Lynn’s beloved father George fled Europe during World War II and was never reunited with his daughter Shirley.

Lynn’s family is deeply saddened by her sudden passing but know that her legacy of love and caring will live on through her family, friends and community.

A private funeral service will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lynn’s memory to Temple Beth Israel, the American Heart Association or the American Autism Society.

Arrangements are by E. Merrill Smith Funeral Home Inc., 2309 Broad Ave., Altoona.

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


  • 09/20/2020

    Prayers to Dr. Kaplan and the family. Lynn was a beautiful woman inside and out. We are better for knowing her and she was a positive light. Encompass Health staff loved and adored and admired this amazing lady.

Add a Candle

Click a candle below to add a candle to your message.


Funeral Director

Joseph J. Stevens III


Joseph J. Stevens III