Toby Kaplan

November 19, 1941July 5, 2020

Toby (Russell) Kaplan lost her battle with Alzheimer's disease on July 5, 2020. She was 78.

Toby was born and raised in the beautiful seaside community of Marblehead, MA, where she chose to raise her own family as well, and enjoyed many days at the beach or on a boat in the harbor. She was the youngest child of Ellis and Althea Russell, and sister to Stephen.

Toby was the devoted wife to the late Howard Kaplan and a loving and dedicated mother to Gregory Kaplan (and his wife Theresa) of Chatham, MA, Jodi Kaplan (and her fiancé Allan) of Merrimac, MA and Kimberly Margolis (and her husband David) of Wakefield, MA. She treasured her children and took an active role in their lives and their interests. Her most cherished role, however, was being Grammy to the lights of her life, her beloved grandchildren: Jeffrey, Jenna, Hailey, Kasey, Carter, Ethan and Aliza.

In her 78 years, Toby taught her friends and family many things. She taught us how to improvise when cooking, and that the best way to test if the spaghetti is done is to throw it against the cabinet to see if it sticks. She shared her unique perspective on life and her innate ability to "read" people through a series of infamous Toby-isms, exclaiming things such as, "if bullshit were music, he'd be a brass band." Never one to shy away from a bargain, even though she had a knack for picking out the $125 shoes on the clearance rack at Marshalls, she instilled in us the importance of investing in good underwear and using accessories to transform a look. Most importantly, Toby taught us how to handle adversity with grace and decorum, to focus on what you can do rather than what you can't, to live life out loud and to speak (and believe) with conviction.

Toby was a beautiful, charismatic, tenacious and energetic woman. Her zest for life and unending love and support will be painfully missed.

Due to regulation imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Toby's name to the Alzheimer’s Association via


Toby Kaplan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Gold Randolph

July 20, 2020

Dear Russell Kaplan Family,
Toby (and Stephen) were my cousins. I regret the passage of time not seeing them.
While teenagers, Toby and I took a trip (were sent) to Miami Beach to stay with our Uncle Max and Aunt Sadie, following the untimely death of Harold Zarling. This was a treat for us.
I have never forgotten that trip. Toby was a couple of years older than me and I was in awe. I can remember how pretty she was and her friendship to me.
I certainly remember fondly Toby’s parents, Ellis and Althea. I am wondering if her brother Stephen is still living. If so, I’d like to take this opportunity to reach out to him. It would be very nice to make contact.
Please know that I am sincerely sorry about the family’s loss.
Warm Regards,
Barbara Gold Randolph

Anne DeLucia (Cutting)

July 11, 2020

Just crushed to get the news. She was, hands down, the coolest Mom for miles around, and always looked good doing it! Beloved by both Kittie and Reed, and their clan, the circle was never the same without her. Till we meet again....

Ruth O'Hara Montville

July 8, 2020

A beautiful and funny classmate from Marblehead High School, class of 1959.
To Toby's family I am sure you know what a beautiful and funny woman your Mom was, to her classmates she was the girl who was always bubbly.
Heaven has a special place for people like Toby, and she will be a great teacher to all.
May she rest in peace, and may you all know what a great "gal" she was.

Ernest Nickerson

July 8, 2020

One of the nicest girls in our class of 1959 Marblehead High and will be missed by all.

kathn Valianti

July 8, 2020

All of the staff at Care One want to thank you for letting us care for Toby. We enjoyed her every day and want to express our sadness for your loss. In sympathy.

Kathlyn and Jen

Sandy Cross

July 7, 2020

Toby and I met years ago and she was always a bright light in my life. I loved her "Toby-isms" and her love of shoes . Am so sorry you have lost such a special lady. We were all lucky to have known her and enjoyed her fabulous personality.

Sandy Cross