NORMAN — Helen Bell Kaplan, 87, of Norman, passed away Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Oklahoma City. She was born Dec. 31, 1926, to Victor Lee and Savella Mae (Reed) Bell in Chickasaw, Ala.
Helen loved dancing and while attending a USO dance, she met William “Bill” Sol Kaplan. They were married on Nov. 22, 1947, in Mobile, Ala. Helen and Bill raised three sons together as they moved to different parts of the country, changing addresses 56 times before settling in Norman in 1991.
Helen was in the Subway restaurant business with her sons for 20 years in Norman until 2006.
She loved traveling with her family, especially to the Alabama Gulf Coast. Other than family, Helen’s greatest passion in life was dancing. In their early years, Helen and Bill won many jitter bug contests, which explains why one of her favorite TV shows was “Dancing with the Stars.” In later years, it was not uncommon for her to dance with a broom or her walker.
She also looked forward to a friendly game of Scrabble, poker or bowling. Helen was an avid Facebook user and loved keeping in contact with friends and family all over the world. Whether you knew her as mom, Aunt Helen, grandma, mama Kaplan or GiGi, she will always be remembered by her motto, “I hope you dance.”
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 47 years, Bill; daughter-in-law, Joan Kaplan; brother, George William “Billy” Bell; and sister, Doris Wheyland.
Helen is survived by her three sons, Steve Kaplan, Randy Kaplan and wife Andrea and Russ Kaplan and wife Emily Dutcher Kaplan, all of Norman; brother, Jack Bell and wife Shirley of Bishop, Ga.; sister-in-law, Emily Bell of Ono Island, Ala.; five grandchildren, Seth Kaplan and wife Toni, Sara Kaplan and husband Matt Runkle, Joe Kaplan, Sam Kaplan and Millie Kaplan; one great-grandchild, Stella Runkle; and a host of extended family and friends.