Daisy Hockley Kaplan

CAPE ELIZABETH – Daisy Hockley Kaplan passed away on Jan. 30, 2020, as a result of complications from a spinal cord injury. Daisy was born on April 15, 1932, in Berlin, Germany. In 1936, her parents, Ines and Ernest Hockley, applied for visas to come to the United States to escape the Nazis. She fled Germany with her parents on Rosh Hashanah 1938, after a contact of her father’s in the Gestapo notified him that German officers were coming to their home that night to arrest them and bring them to a concentration camp. The family managed to remain one step ahead of the Nazis, fleeing to Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, and England when in 1940, after four years of waiting, the United States finally granted visas to them to come to the United States where they began new lives in Chicago. Daisy attended the University of Colorado, after which she moved back to Chicago, and met her husband of 57 years, Richard Kaplan, who was told to look her up at the store where she worked. Unbeknownst to Dick, Daisy’s father, who she pretended not to see, chaperoned their first date by following them from a distance.Dick and Daisy were married in Chicago in 1953, where they became parents to two children who “never call,” Douglas and Leslie. In 1963, the Kaplans moved to Wellesley, Mass., where Daisy was an avid golfer, Loehman’s shopper, League of Women Voters volunteer, and gardener. She loved playing bridge with her neighbors, hosting dinner parties, and had many friends.Daisy and Dick traveled extensively, visiting every continent except Antarctica. Active in politics, when she somehow ended up in the same elevator as President Kennedy during his inauguration weekend, she reported, “he really was that good looking; I sucked in my stomach the whole time.” Daisy and Dick moved to New York in 1981, where she obtained an associate’s degree from the Parsons School of Design. She built a successful interior design business. She became a master gardener and as her capstone project, taught gardening to at-risk populations. After Dick retired, he and Daisy split their time between Scottsdale, Ariz., and Cape Elizabeth. She remained fiercely active and independent after Dick passed away in 2010, continuing to travel extensively. In 2017, Daisy celebrated her 85th birthday with Leslie, Doug and Ann, hiking in Bryce and Zion National Parks; and attending a Ricky Martin concert in Las Vegas.After returning to Cape Elizabeth for the summer, after an evening of playing golf while pushing her golf bag up and down the hills of the Purpoodock Club she loved, she fell at home and sustained a spinal cord injury, rendering her quadriplegic. Despite her injuries, she still managed to operate a motorized wheel chair, attend movies, get her hair and nails done, torment cashiers at Trader Joe’s, run over crowds to sample everything at farmers markets, and nearly miss her ramp after a martini.People always knew where they stood with Daisy, as evidenced by the number of meals she sent back in restaurants, complaining the food on her plate was “inedible.” In one of her final moments of lucidity, Daisy advised a hospice nurse who called her “Sweetheart” that she was not his sweetheart.Daisy is survived by her son, Douglas and the world’s best daughter-in-law, Ann Kaplan of Cape Elizabeth, their son Samuel of Marlborough, Mass. and daughter Lisa of Washington, D.C.; her daughter, Leslie Kaplan of Boston and her sons, Benjamin Knopf of New York City and Zachary Knopf of Boston.A graveside service for Daisy will be planned for the spring.Condolences may be expressed online at www.hobbsfuneralhome.com.