Gregory David Kaplan

Date of Birth

September 25, 1956

Date of Death

January 18, 2021

Greg Kaplan, beloved life partner, brother, uncle and friend passed away on the 18th of January 2021 – a victim of hypothermic drowning (while doing one of the things he loved most in life), bodysurfing at Marina Park in Ventura, California. He was born in Inglewood California to Leon Martin Kaplan and Ellen Dorothy Ann Hogan. Greg was a longtime resident of Santa Barbara with his family moving to the area in 1967 (he also lived in Hawaii for a time and resided in Ventura at the time of his passing). While living in Santa Barbara and Ventura, Greg enjoyed sharing his love for Santa Barbara by collecting and handing out copies of the Independent to friends and neighbors. Greg also knew every street in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Montecito. I would often come across what I surely thought was an obscure street in a remote part of town and would try to stump him about it. Each time, however, Greg was able to tell me exactly where it was located along with a history of his encounters there – and sometimes, a history of the location itself! He turned this amazing ability into being one of the best Cab Drivers in Santa Barbara.

Greg’s first love was the ocean followed closely by his pet dogs, Tico, Radar, and Augie – and his cat Bonita. Greg would be disappointed if I didn’t also mention Simon and Jade who passed before him and, oh gosh, don’t forget his cat Blossom! Greg and his pack were often seen around the neighborhood on their frequent walks; at least three times a day or more. Upon arriving home, there was always the obligatory update on the quantity and quality of poops – and on how well everyone behaved! An avid practitioner of Yoga, Greg also regularly attended Della Addison’s class at LA Fitness. Greg’s dedication to the practice was admirable. When not taking Della’s class, he would perform his asanas (hatha yoga postures) every morning in his room – usually under the close observation of his dogs.

Greg Kaplan and Elixeo Flores were life partners and shared more than thirty years of their lives together. Greg brought a tremendous amount of love, joy and happiness into the relationship. His spirit was so pure and his curiosity and love for people was a joy to experience. He was particularly happy when he would encounter someone of another nationality or ethnicity. He would always ask what town or area they were from and would more often than not amaze the person with how much he knew about the place. It also gave him an opportunity to practice his foreign language skills. He was most fluent in Spanish, but also was able to impress with his knowledge of Japanese, Cantonese and Tagalog. Greg’s curiosity also extended to his love for world religions and regularly attended services at the Vedanta Temple. One of his favorite streaming stations was The Great Courses, where he would watch lectures on philosophy, religion, literature, language, and history. He also loved to watch Jeopardy – often scoring as well as the leading competitor.

Finally, Greg had a deep love for family – both his own and that of his partner. Phone calls from his brother and sister were exciting for him and he would talk about the conversations for days after. Greg is survived by his life partner Elixeo Flores, his sister Linda Kaplan and his brother Larry Kaplan and their spouses as well his nieces and nephew. A celebration of life gathering will be held once the pandemic restrictions on group gatherings have been lifted. If you wish to be contacted when Greg’s celebration of life occurs, please fill out the form at this link. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Greg’s name to the Surfrider foundation and/or Grand Paws Senior Sanctuary.


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