Tobee Wynne Kaplan
Tobee Wynne Kaplan
  • October 13, 1933 - July 19, 2016
  • North Carolina

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Tobee Wynne Kaplan, age 82, died peacefully at home on July 19, 2016 after spending the weekend surrounded by her adoring children and grandchildren. She is survived by daughter, Lyn Chasen (Barry), sons Randall Kaplan (Kathy Manning) and Scott Kaplan (Maeve), grandchildren Brandon Chasen (Catherine), Blake and Ben Chasen, Elizabeth, Robert and Jennifer Kaplan, Sara Stricker (Elon ) Sophia Wells (Jonathan), Aubrey and Henry Kaplan and great-grandchildren Brandon and Brooks Chasen, and Addison Wells. She was predeceased by her beloved husband Leonard Kaplan, and her daughter Lori.

Tobee was known for her beauty and graciousness, her devotion to her family, her strength of spirit and her positive approach to life. These traits carried her through the tragic loss of her first husband, Robert Rosenberg, of Roanoke, VA, who died at age 34, leaving her with four small children. She met Leonard Kaplan of High Point, NC, who, at 36, "was lucky to find such a lovely ready-made family to marry." Leonard was a brilliant and creative businessman, as well as a wonderful husband and father, and Tobee and Leonard became true life partners. Tobee supported Leonard as he built his small janitorial supply company, Kay Chemical Company, into a worldwide supplier of cleaning chemicals to the giants of the fast food industry. When success followed Leonard's hard work, Tobee and Leonard gave back to the community and the broader world through significant philanthropic efforts.

Together Tobee and Leonard made a lasting impact on Greensboro and beyond. They supported educational programs ranging from scholarships at UNCG to new buildings at Greensboro Day school, B'nai Shalom Day School, Elon Law School, and the Hillel House at UNC. They were major supporters of United Way, Urban Ministries, and Habitat for Humanity. They were long-time supporters of the Greensboro Jewish Federation, Beth David Synagogue, B'nai Shalom and Temple Emanuel, contributing generously to support new buildings to each institution. They were donors to the Duke University Medical Center and Cone Hospital, which recently named its Cardiac Rehabilitation Center after Leonard.

Tobee thought it was critical to help those in need. She was one of the co-founders of the Greensboro Jewish Family Services, and she was the impetus behind their gift to build a home for the Greensboro Women's Resource Center. Tobee loved the arts and was a longstanding donor to the Greensboro Symphony, the Eastern Music Festival and Triad Stage, whose Pyrle Theater is named after Tobee's mother, Pyrle Gibson. Through Tobee's encouragement, they made one of the first major gifts to the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, whose theater will be named for Tobee and Leonard. After the death of her beloved Leonard in April 2015, Tobee honored Leonard with a gift to the new UNCG Welless Center, which will be named for Leonard in September.

Tobee and Leonard were honored as the 2014 recipients of the NCCJ Citation Award which recognized their impact locally, nationally and internationally.

Born in Battle Creek, MI, Tobee was raised in Miami Beach, FL, and attended the University of Miami before moving to Roanoke, VA, with her first husband. She and Leonard lived in Greensboro, NC for more than 50 years. Although she and Leonard had a home in Boca Raton, FL, they considered Greensboro home and devoted many of their charitable contributions to making Greensboro a better place and helping others in and around Greensboro.

Tobee's funeral will take place at Beth David Synagogue Thursday at 11:00 am; interment will follow in the Greensboro Hebrew Cemetery. Contributions can be made to the Greensboro Jewish Federation. Online condolences may be made to