20 September 2006
George C. Kaplan, a programmer/analyst and systems manager in Information Services and Technology's Network Services Group, died Aug. 27 of a heart attack and stroke at his home in Berkeley. He was 54.
A Berkeley graduate in astronomy, Kaplan began his campus career in 1986 as a programmer at the Space Sciences Laboratory. He came to IST's Communication and Network Services unit in 1997, where he provided support for the campus's dial-up modems. In fall 2001 he was instrumental in launching the campus wireless network, which has since evolved into the widely used AirBears service.
Kaplan was highly regarded for his technical expertise. According to a colleague, he always believed in doing the job right the first time, and was extremely precise in his thinking and his work. Co-workers found him to be patient and unselfish in helping them with technical problems and considered him "a wonderful person to work with."
A member of the Oughtred Society (www.oughtred.org), Kaplan was an aficionado of old computing devices. A colleague recalls their common interest in collecting slide rules: "When I lamented my lack of a Pickett round slide rule, George was quick to direct me to several good sources. He was a fantastic historian of 'obsolete' technology."
Kaplan was keenly interested in the measurement of time and in timepieces and calendars. On a recent trip to England, he visited the Royal Observatory at Greenwich ("where East meets West") and straddled the Prime Meridian.
He was interested in aviation and had at one time been an avid skydiver. He was also an ardent crossword-puzzle solver.
Kaplan is survived by his wife, Judith Logan of Berkeley; mother Evelyn Kaplan of San Mateo; sister Ann Smith of Bowie, Texas; and stepdaughter Cybele Alexandra (Sandy) Baker of San Francisco.
A remembrance gathering of family and friends was held Sept. 1. Memorial contributions may be made to Project Open Hand (www.openhand.org) or the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org/docroot/home).
- Kalle Nemvalts