Ziona (Goldstein) Kaplan-Weber
Ziona Kaplan-Weber passed away July 26th in West Hartford. She was 91.

The daughter of Anna and Abraham Goldstein and younger sister of Ellie Goldstein, Ziona was born in Hartford and lived there and in West Hartford her entire life. She graduated from Hall High School and attended Ohio University. Following college, she married Bernard Kaplan, also from Hartford, who became successful in the insurance business. They were married for more than 45 years, raised three children and had seven grandchildren. Together, they were active in the community and participated in local and state politics. They were longtime supporters of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation, Huntington’s Disease Society, Hartford Symphony, Hartford Stage Company and numerous national arts and charitable organizations. They were founding members of Beth El Temple.

After raising her children, Ziona returned to college and received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Hartford. Following that, she attended the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, from which she received a Master’s Degree. Subsequently, she worked at Catholic Family Services and in the Foster Care department of the Village for Children. As a therapist, she was recognized for her love, caring and perceptiveness, and she became close not only to her co-workers but to the families she worked with and supported. In fact, she remained in touch with many of them throughout the years.

Following Bernie’s death, Ziona married Saul Weber (deceased) of West Hartford. They enjoyed five memorable years together, traveling and spending time with each other’s families. Ziona became close to Saul’s children and his grandchildren.

She spent her later years with her loving companion Bernard Matlaw, a lifelong friend with whom she spent many happy, fun-filled days in Connecticut and Florida. Together they shared a unique sense of humor. They were truly devoted to one another until her very last moments. She was also close to Bernie’s two daughters, Jane and Martha, whom she thought of as family.

Ziona was a Justice of the Peace who married both her daughter Liz and her granddaughter Lauren. She was deeply devoted to her grandchildren, and they all loved spending time with her, frequently sought her advice and saw her as fun and young at heart with a great sense of humor. Ziona was known for her strong opinions and was always ready to stand up for anyone she thought was being treated unfairly. Never shy to speak her mind or afraid to break a few rules. She will also be remembered for her generosity and empathy for others, always willing to help in whatever way she could.

Ziona had an abundance of friends and enjoyed an active social life in Longboat Key, Florida and Westerly, RI in addition to West Hartford. She was a wonderful cook and loved to entertain. She enjoyed golfing, playing bridge with her weekly bridge group, was an avid reader. In addition she closely followed politics, current events and art, and cherished classical music and opera. Her family, friends, books and conversation were her life. Her home was always open, warm, welcoming and comfortable.

Ziona is survived by her three children and their spouses, Carol Kaplan (Rick Cohn), Teddy Kaplan (Bobbie Woronow) and Liz Kaplan (Bill Howard). She is also survived by six grandchildren – Lauren and Alex Kaplan, Zack Cohn, and Jeremy, Jessica and Evan Howard. A seventh grandchild, Alex Cohn, died at the age of 18. In addition, she leaves her two nephews, Lew Goldstein and Avram Goldstein, and their families; Bernie Matlaw; her friend and attendant, Barbara Richards, for whom she had a deep affection; and Delores Bajjo and Keya Hunt, who cared lovingly for Ziona during her final years and to whom the family is forever grateful.

Losing someone as colorful and vibrant as Ziona is never easy. But those who loved her are comforted knowing what a truly rich and rewarding life she led. The memory of her strength and character will serve as a lasting inspiration for us all.

A private graveside service will be held for the immediate family. The family will receive friends and relatives at The Hartford Golf Club, 134 Norwood Road, West Hartford, CT on Sunday, July 29th from 1:30pm-4:30pm for a celebration of Ziona’s life.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Mandell Jewish Community Center, 330 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117; Huntington’s Disease Society of America, 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 902, New York, NY 10018; or Dana Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA. 02284.

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