by | Jun 22, 2018 | Obituaries

Norfolk —Mrs. Bernice Levinson Kaplan passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 17, 2018.

Bernice was born on March 9, 1919 to Julius and Lena Kirsner Levinson. She was the beloved wife of Milton H. Kaplan. A native of Norfolk, Bernice lived in West Ghent and graduated from W.H. Taylor, Blair Jr High, and Maury High School. She attended Ohio State University where she studied sociology, and Norfolk Division of William and Mary.

Bernice and Milton had a loving happy life together for 70 years. In their retirement they traveled extensively spending a month in different European countries. Bernice always returned with beautiful pictures which she meticulously labeled, wonderful stories, and new friends. However it was her large family and her lifelong friends that filled her life with contentment. When she lost her life partner, she proved to be independent and engaging, reading the newspaper nightly to be well informed. To her grandchildren, great grandchildren and all of their friends she was “Mimi.” That was the role she loved best. To her nieces and nephews, she was Aunt Bebe and Bernice adored them like her own children.

Bernice was actively involved in her community. She served as a “pink lady” at Norfolk General Hospital (now Sentara) for 15 years, as auditor for the Norfolk Community Fund and on the PTA board of Taylor School. She was a charter member of the Magnolia Garden Club where her ‘green thumb’ won her many awards. Bernice served on UJFT’s Woman’s Cabinet and on the board of Beth Sholom Ladies Auxiliary. She was a Life Member of Hadassah and also served on the board of Beth El Temple Sisterhood, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Ladies Hebrew Charities. She was a long time member of the Unity and Gold Band social clubs.

Left to cherish their own special memories are her daughter, Joan London Baer and her son, Stanley and Sue Ellen Kaplan; her grandchildren, Robert and Alicia London Friedman, Dr. Scott and Stephanie London, Dr. Jonathan and Betsy London Rubenstein, Nancy Kaplan, Steven Kaplan and Kelly Voss, Lauren Kaplan, Justin and Marissa Baer, and David Baer, her great grandchildren Jamie and Hallie Friedman, James, Charlie and Kate London, Jack, Ryan and Alexis Rubenstein, Lucy Voos Kaplan, Skylar and April Baer.

She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Tamra Kruger and Libby Kaplan. She was predeceased by her sons-in-law James London and Stephen Baer; her brother, Seymour Levinson; her sister, Rose Frances Glasser; as well as her sister-in-law Hanna Shapiro; and brothers-in-law, Bernard Glasser, Sydney Shapiro, and Howard Kruger.

A graveside service took place in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz officiated.

Charitable donations to Beth Sholom Home, Congregation Beth El or donor’s choice. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences at