Josephine Ruth Schwartz Kaplan
January 24, 2019
Josephine Ruth Schwartz Kaplan, 1928-2019 passed away surrounded by loved ones on January 18, 2019. She was the daughter of Clara Helen Adler and Joseph William Schwartz in Schulenburg, Texas, where her descendants settled in 1859. She was known for her love of Schulenburg; was a proud graduate of the Schulenburg High class of 1945, before moving on to the University of Texas for her degree.
She is survived by her children Joe and Joy Kaplan, Kathy and Drew Berkman and Bob and Eileen Kaplan who were the light of her life. She is also survived by her beloved sister and brother in law Diane and Fred Konig who together with her formed the bedrock of the extended family. She considered her greatest blessings to be her nine grandchildren. She loved being Mimi to Haley Berkman Karren and husband Adam Karren, Ali Berkman, Sarah Kaplan Feinmann and husband Joe Feinmann, Hannah Kaplan, David Kaplan, Jane Kaplan, Max Kaplan, Jared Kaplan and Jonah Kaplan. Among her greatest admirers are the many nieces and nephews and their children who she so loved. They each added joy to her life as did she in theirs for many years.
Jo Ruth traveled far and wide and of all the places she visited, she loved none more than the time she spent in Aspen. She thrived on the hiking, skiing, golf, the Music Festival, and the all-around outdoor lifestyle she embraced. She was ahead of her time with her fitness regimen and was until recently in classes with people half her age.
Jo Ruth was a proud member of the Houston Food and Wine Society for more than 35 years. It gave her the perfect opportunity to hone her palate for fine wines and fabulous foods with the best of friends, a pleasure she relished. While she had established a fine wine collection over many years, she also wisely timed her exit to leave nothing on the shelf, all shared between friends and family as it should be.
She contributed her time and expertise with many organizations over the years. and chaired many events including the inaugural ball for the Houston School for the Deaf in 1980. She was proud to still be active on the Methodist Hospital advisory board.
She loved her Judaism more and more deeply as time went on. Over her lifetime she studied and formed friendships with a variety of Rabbis and Cantors in Houston, Aspen and Tucson always enjoying the time they so generously gave her.
Jo Ruth was a loving and sweet friend to so many people. She was an independent woman from early on and had a feisty and sometimes tough nature that served her well and remained with her until the end. She will be remembered for her kindness and fierce love for her family.
If you would like to make a donation in her memory, we suggest Jewish Family Service, the Southwest Region of the Anti-Defamation League, or the charity of your choice.