Sam (Sabrina) Kaplan
In Memory of
Sam (Sabrina)
Kaplan
2001 - 2018
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Obituary for Sam (Sabrina) Kaplan

Samuel J. Kaplan died from metabolic causes on September 17, 2018 in Syosset, NY, at the age of 17. Sam is survived by his mother, Nicole Turano of Chappaqua, NY; grandparents Margot and Vincent Turano of Carmel, NY; father David Kaplan, stepmother, Alice and younger half-siblings, Natalie, Arthur and Benjamin of Syosset, NY.

Though much of the beautiful life chronicled below may feel deeply associated with “Sam” in our hearts and memories, later in life, Sam’s chosen name was Sabrina. The name Sabrina and appropriate pronouns will be used out of respect for her journey and her wishes.

Sabrina’s remarkable young life began on January 19, 2001 in New York City. She grew up in Chappaqua, NY, and attended Douglas Grafflin Elementary School, Robert Bell Middle School and Horace Greeley High School.

Sabrina was born profoundly deaf and received her first cochlear implant at eighteen months and her second at six years of age. She worked incredibly hard and persevered learning to listen and talk. And, although a late talker, Sabrina excelled in all things academic from an early age. She enjoyed astronomy -- as a young child she decorated her room with 13 solar systems -- and was an avid reader and chess enthusiast.

She would ask for problems to solve just for the fun of it. A fan of Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, she was fascinated with particle physics, relativity, dark matter and energy.

A straight-A student, Sabrina was honored at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Grand Ceremony for academic excellence and Davidson Young Scholars. Her most recent honor was as a National Merit Semi-Finalist, just named last week.

She loved working on anything math- and science-related. She was active in Academic Challenge, Science Olympiad, chess, and First Lego League. She attended Columbia University’s Science Honors Program, and numerous computer and academic camps for science and math.

Although writing was not her first love, she was extremely adept and eloquent, and although she would never admit it, she had a true interest in history.

Sabrina had many joys outside of academics, as well.

Her love of roller coasters was boundless -- the higher and faster the better.

She loved reading, skiing, and hiking. She also enjoyed time with her friends that shared her interests and supported her dreams.

She volunteered at Westmoreland Sanctuary, the Chappaqua Library Teen Zone, and the Ossining Children’s Center. Most recently Sabrina became involved with the Debate Club and the Gay Straight Alliance.

She had a very close and loving relationship with her grandparents. Sabrina spent five summers in a row hiking with Gramps in the White Mountains, including Mount Washington and most of the remote mountain huts. She loved crafting and baking with Yaya, and spending many holidays with them.

One of her mom’s favorite memories from when she was young was pajama day, when they would spend the day at home in their pjs, reading together and playing games. They read the Harry Potter series to each other. As she grew older her mother was always in awe of how much she learned from Sabrina, life lessons of patience, determination, and sincerity. Her mom also learned more about science and the Universe, as Sabrina would try to explain all that she was learning beyond the classroom.

Sabrina was affectionate, kind and passionate about all that was important to her. She loved to learn and her hunger for knowledge was infectious. Her smile and sense of humor complimented her precocious personality. She was truly a bright star that will continue to shine in all of us that had the privilege to know her.

A wake is scheduled for Friday, September 21, 2018 from 4pm-8pm at Beecher Flooks Funeral Home, 418 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY. The family is requesting no flowers/donations at this time.

A memorial service will be planned for a later date in January with details to follow.

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