Eric Ray Kaplan
  • 62 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 20, 1952
  • Place of birth:
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Date of passing: Feb 1, 2015
  • Place of passing:
    Cary, North Carolina, United States
At the end of the day, when everything's said and there's nothing to say, all that's left is love. ~Quinn Sullivan

This website was created in memory of Eric Kaplan, 62, born on March 20, 1952 and passed away on February 1, 2015. He was an amazing husband, father, son, brother, friend and person. 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Rachel Leinfelder on 20th March 2016

"We were just reminiscing about Eric the other day at work.  Eric hired me in the car business 20 years ago ( even though he said he "zigged when he should of zagged" when he made that hiring decision) . He truly had the biggest influence on me when it came to staying in the business.  I will remember his great humor, his love of golf and of course his love of Disney ( can still picture him with his Mickey Mouse ears on lol).  Every once in a while, when it's just a little slow at the dealership, I will say one of my favorite sayings in Eric's honor..."cars for sale, red ones blue ones".  Or tell one of the sales guys "I zigged when I should have zagged " and I will think of my friend.  You are missed my friend.  Happy Birthday Eric."

This tribute was added by Colin Watson on 20th March 2016

"I can't believe it's been a year since we lost Eric. Those of us still at Crossroads Ford Sanford that worked under Eric still miss him greatly. We think of him and still talk about him quite often and remember what a great guy he was. Eric left an indelible mark on us all. One quote he used to preach of Vince Lombardi's that stays with me to this day. "If you're not ten minutes early, you're late". Thanks Eric, you were the best guv'nor I ever worked for. I miss you more than you could know."

This tribute was added by Larry Watson on 2nd February 2016

"Hi Folks, I want you to know Eric is always in our thoughts and our conversations. Eric was a great manager and more than that a great person. He is forever missed."

This tribute was added by Sylvia Rickett-Halama on 15th February 2015

"Kaplan Family,

I knew Mr. Kaplan as Jess' Dad, when he was here in the Keys visiting. In the early days he participated in one of our dolphin encounters - complimentary for staff family members... Well, with this giant smile, he joked about just how much the complimentary program had cost him - alluding to college, internships and whatnot that Jess needed to land her dream job. Even to someone who didn't know him, the beaming face said it all. After that, whenever visiting, first thing in the morning he would check in to say hello and chat for a little while. He always had a joke, a hug and a "see you later". Later was each time his daughter was on docks, working at the job of her dreams, and every time, there he was, with Mrs. Kaplan... Silently cheering her on. I am sure he continues to do just that. I will miss him and am so glad I has the opportunity to meet him."

This tribute was added by jimbo dixon on 15th February 2015

"Having worked with Eric a number of years at David Oneal was a one of my great  opportunities in life. What a great guy - we had a lot of fun not only working together but enjoying that time. We both had families and being involved with our wives and children was very important to us . Eric always helped in making that happen for me as he knew how important that was - he never grew tired of sharing stories about his girls and Patti and how much they meant to him always being involved as much as possible . When i was making my first trip to Disney he insisted that i read his Disney book and follow it to the letter - in doing so i had many very successful trips to Disney . i am very thankful for my friendship with Eric and my sincere condolences to all the family. When i think of Eric my memories will be good ones."

This tribute was added by AJ Farnsworth on 15th February 2015

"I worked with Eric for many years at Crossroads  and I will miss the way he always tried to make it fun while trying to inspire others. Rest in Peace my friend you will be missed."

This tribute was added by Krystal Munday on 15th February 2015

"I met Eric when he became our GM at Crossroads Ford of Sanford.  I have to say he was the best GM that I have ever worked with.  The thing that stood out to me was everyday he made his rounds through the dealership to say Hello.  He would always come to service, sit at my desk and we would just talk about work, family, and life.  I have never met his family but I feel like I know them.  He loved his family so much.  When he would talk about them his face would just light up.  He was very proud of his daughters and their accomplishments.  Y'all are very blessed to have had such a wonderful man as your father.  Since Eric left the dealership I still sometimes wait for him to come around the corner to Service to pick on me and throw peppermints at me.  You will always be in my heart and I will miss you greatly.

Love You,  Krystal"

This tribute was added by Scott Smith on 14th February 2015

"Very sad to hear of Rick's passing.  Our prayers are with you.  I met Rick a few times over the past 25 years and each time was a pleasure.  He was always happy and a very kind soul.  Much love to the Kaplan family."

This tribute was added by Jerry Hodge on 12th February 2015

"Patty, Jess and Shelby, Beau and I are so saddened to hear of Eric's passing. We will always remember Eric as a fun loving friendly guy who loved life. We enjoyed spending time on the soccer fields and school activities with him and especially loved his great sense of humor!
You are in our thoughts and prayers. Beau and Jerry Hodge"

This tribute was added by Frank Nappi on 9th February 2015

"I worked with Eric at a few Crossroads Ford stores over the past 9 yeas. He was a fine man who made everyone feel good about life...including myself. He took a sincere interest in the people around him and spoke quite often of his family. So as I look at the wonderful photos posted on this memorial site and read the various tributes, it gives me great comfort to know that he was truly loved in return.

May God be with you Patty, Shelby and Jess during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you."

This tribute was added by Liz Hynson on 9th February 2015

"Ben and I were so sad to hear of Eric's passing.  We have very fond memories of what a nice person Eric was and how he always had a smile on his face.  When we were with him he always spoke of his family and how much he loved them.  
Patty both Ben and I are very involved with the Lung Cancer Initiative and if there is anything we can to help you please feel free to reach out to us.  My Mom had lung cancer and so after she passed I reached out to this organization and have been very involved since.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you."

This tribute was added by Colin Watson on 8th February 2015

"Eric was our boss in Sanford for 2 years and I have to say, it was a great pleasure. He was one of the best guv'nors I've ever worked for. He had a great work ethic. He wanted us to work hard but encouraged us to have fun whilst doing so. He could be a tough boss but was always fair. He'd let me know if I did anything wrong as he'd throw the book at me, literally. Those little black books mostly or any other projectile that was close to him at the time. One of his many attributes is that he always made a point to greet all his staff every morning which always made a good start to every day. He would often regale us with his people stories beginning with  "I swear, you can't make this stuff up". How I'm going to miss those stories and miss Eric. He was a good bloke and a great guv'nor."

This tribute was added by Kaitlin Stock on 6th February 2015

"I have known Mr. Kaplan since I was a child as Jess is one my best friends. I grew up spending numerous nights over at the Kaplan house. Mr. Kaplan had an amazing sense of humor and always had me laughing. I will always remember him calling us "boneheads" in a very loving way. My fondest memory involves a trip to Disney World. I was lucky enough to be invited to join Jess and her parents for a week down in Disney. We had a blast from riding all the rides to hanging out at the resort. We went to this one place at the resort for ice cream sundaes multiple times. Mr. Kaplan was constantly cracking jokes and comparing us to disney characters! Needless to say it was an amazing vacation. I am honored and blessed to have known Mr. Kaplan and his love for both of his girls was beyond evident. You will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.

Mrs. Kaplan, Jess, and Shelby I am thinking of you and your family through this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Amy Gamber on 6th February 2015

"Patty, Shelby and Jess,
I knew Eric for a little over a decade through my work connections at CrossRoads.
He was a great man and friend to all he met.  Happy by nature, he always had a (joke and a) smile to share and I always left our conversations in a happier place than when I started.  Every time I caught up with Eric, the subject always turned to the three of you.  He spoke of you with love and great pride.  
I am so sorry for your loss.  My heart and prayers go out to you.  

This tribute was added by Mary Dascanio on 5th February 2015

"Patty, Shelby and Jess,
Although it's been just over a year since we have gotten to know Eric and your family, we are so happy Jess and Nick brought our families together. Our time with Eric was much too short yet in that short time we got to know what a great man and father he was. We will miss his smiles, sense of humor and devotion to his family, and just wished that we had met Eric and the Kaplan family sooner. Our prayers are with you all."

This tribute was added by Katie Sommers on 5th February 2015

"Patty, Shelby & Jess,

Larry and I are so very sorry for your loss.  Eric was such a cheerful, upbeat, fun-loving neighbor. He always had a smile and a wave for us whenever he was out and about. Our prayers are with you all during this difficult time."

This tribute was added by tony barber on 4th February 2015


This tribute was added by John Charlesworth on 4th February 2015

"Eric was a fantastic person, he made everyone else's day better!
I got to know Eric over the past 10 years, all starting with the purchase of an F 150 (followed by several more purchases). I haven't met Eric's family but I feel like I know them because of the lengthy conversations we've had, all of which included his family - he was very proud of them.
A wonderful person - honest, sincere and caring. My heart and prayers go out to his family."

This tribute was added by Suzanne Turnburke on 4th February 2015

"Patty, Jess, and Shelby,
I am so very sorry to hear of Eric's passing!  Though we have not seen each other for a few years, I have such great memories of our girls soccer team together; many long practices and a few long road trips!  My heart goes out to you and your family and my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
With our deepest sympathy,
John and Suzanne, Lauren (LT) and Connor Turnburke"

This tribute was added by Stacey Lee on 4th February 2015

"The Kaplan family was basically my second family all growing up given my friendship with Jess.  I have countless memories of Mr. Kaplan - every one of them good, and mostly funny.  I think my best memories of Mr. Kaplan were when he took Jess and I to Disney World - just the three of us.  First of all, how many dads would take their daughter and her best friend to Disney World by himself?  This is just who he was.  I can remember him ordering a phone call from Goofy to wake me up in the morning.  I also remember he was just as excited, actually a little more so, than Jess and I to be at Disney World.  He rode everything.  I was called a "bonehead" a lot of times around him - always in jest, just like a fun dad would do.  He was goofy, but he had the best heart.  He loved his kids and anyone in their lives.  He was completely invested in the lives of those he loved.  All who knew him will miss him greatly, but I am so glad I will see him again in heaven one day."

This tribute was added by Larry Phillips on 3rd February 2015

"Our family has fond memories of yours through our days with soccer.  What fun times we all had together traveling and being with our girls.  We always remember Eric as such a kind and fun person, always with a smile. Meghan, Jo Anne, and I have been praying for Eric and your family for many months and are sad to hear of his passing.  We will continue to hold you up in prayers during this difficult time.

Larry, Jo Anne, and Meghan Phillips"

This tribute was added by sherry baker on 3rd February 2015

"Patty and the girls. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Eric. He was the best manager I ever had. Even when I would be so mad at him sometimes he would always find a way to make me feel better.  He refuse to let me be mad. I really missed him when I left Crossroads. If there was ever a man that loved his kids that was him. He always had something to tell me about them. It really sadden me when I found out about his sickness, but he was a trooper and determined not to give up. Even on days he didn't feel his best he would still squeeze out a smile. I would always call back to see how he was doing. I will miss him. But it gives me pleasure to know heaven has gained another angel. He was the best. May God bless him and May God give you and your family strength to endure the pain. He will always ha a special place in my heart. R.I.P. ERIC.  Love you my friend."

This tribute was added by Jamie Wilkins on 3rd February 2015

"Eric was the best General Manager at Crossroads Ford of Sanford that I have ever had, nice, kind, always smiling and easy to work for.  Always made a point to go around the whole Dealership and speak to everyone before he started his day.  He will be greatly missed!!!
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

This tribute was added by Sycamore Farm on 3rd February 2015

"Patti, I was so sorry to hear of Eric's passing, He is in a better
place though and I know that gives you comfort. You and your
family are in my heart and prayers.
Love, Chloe'"

This tribute was added by Gary Gearner on 3rd February 2015

"I, like many others, have worked with Eric off and on over the last 13 years. When Eric arrived in Sanford to start 2013, we were in dire need of a GM. We were very lucky to get Eric here; and, it was a pleasure to
work with him. He really set the mark for being a true leader and gentleman; and, he made sure to go see and talk with each of my employees at the start of his day. His presence here has been missed since he retired. After getting to share stories with him about living in Houston to our daughters having graduated from ECU, I can see that he must have been a wonderful Husband and Father. He was quick to throw a jab as well as take one. I will miss you my friend. To The Kaplan Family, my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you!"

This tribute was added by Dmitri Kazanski on 3rd February 2015

"You will live in my heart forever and one day we will go places"

This tribute was added by Tim Nelson on 3rd February 2015

"Eric my friend, You are the best. Having you throw black books at me, or listen to you plan your next adventure with Patty to see one of your daughters was your way of getting through the days work. Work was fun with you around. Your love for your family and how proud you were of your daughters kept you smiling.  I will miss the insulting phone calls we always had after we were in different stores. I will miss you my friend, but I will see you later."

This tribute was added by Craig Maxa on 3rd February 2015

"We all have fond memories of Eric, and of course our favorite stories. He was a great man who loved his family, and gave it his all at work. Praying for the whole Kaplan family."

This tribute was added by larry watson on 3rd February 2015

"It was great knowing Eric. He had a way of making you better. We missed his presence at the store once he retired. GOD seems to always take the best ones early. Eric we miss you. To the family, we are with you in prayer."

This tribute was added by Bunny Bobbitt on 2nd February 2015

"What a wonderful person that I worked with at CrossRoads Ford! Treated everyone with such respect and kindness! Prayers for the Family with much sympathy!"

This tribute was added by Rachel Leinfelder on 2nd February 2015

"Eric hired me in the car business about 20 years ago. He would always say "I zigged when I should of zagged". All these years later I say the same thing to my sales guys... Along with several other of his sarcastic , funny comments.  He was always upbeat with that big mischievous grin. He was truly one of a kind. He is and always will be missed."

This tribute was added by Doug McGinnis on 2nd February 2015

"It was also my honor and privilege to work with Eric for many years at Crossroads Ford. Eric possessed the natural ability to make you feel like a old friend from the moment that you met. He did that for many many people. We all will miss him. My prayers go out to the family."

This tribute was added by ray mabe on 2nd February 2015

"What a great honor it has been to be able to call Eric a friend. Truly a real genuine family man. I had the pleasure of working with Eric starting in the early 90's and learned many things not only professionally but personally.  I enjoyed many rounds of golf and no matter how we were playing it was always a great round. As he would always say " a bad day on the course is better than a great day at work" God bless you my friend. May God Bless Patty and the family.
Ray Mabe"

This tribute was added by randy moody on 2nd February 2015

"Eric was a great friend to everyone he met. I had the honor to work with Eric for many years at  Crossroads Ford. He would always put a smile on your face every day. Our prayers go out to his family."

This tribute was added by Jimmy Megginson on 2nd February 2015

"Always had a good time at work when Eric was around. Gonna miss you "Old Guy." RIP. God bless your family."

This tribute was added by Mark Collins on 2nd February 2015

"I had the pleasure of working with Eric for many years at Crossroads. He always kept spirits high and laughter close. He had a good way about making you want to strive to be better. If you were just not mentally ready for the day, he got you there fast with his cheery personality. He always greeted me with that big grin of his, and loved to pick with his crazy humor.

You were always one of my best friends at Crossroads and after. Thinking of you and your family during these difficult hours."

This tribute was added by Tim May on 2nd February 2015

"Eric was our consistent, positive people person. He knew no strangers. He always had a positive approach to anything that happened. He knew he was blessed to be able to be healthy for his daughters weddings and enjoyed tremendously the outpouring of love and affection that those events brought to all. I will miss you my buddy.

Love you

This tribute was added by Conrad Flick on 2nd February 2015

"I had the privilege as well of knowing Eric on many levels, professionally as we bought many vehicles from him over the years, living across the street and in the neighborhood and being there through this illness from the beginning.  He was my friend before I was his physician, and while the tragedies that we see in our own lives and those around us take a huge emotional toll, I find inspiration in how some, like Eric, handle them in a way that serves as an example for all, a true tribute to his faith and to his family.  He will certainly be missed, but for myself, the impact he had on me, can be summed up by his favorite word, "Wow".  Thanks Eric."

This tribute was added by Frank Leonard on 2nd February 2015

"Eric was a friend to all those who knew him. I knew him for several years while I worked for Ford Motor Co as well as my time working for Crossroads Ford with him after my Ford retirement. We will miss him dearly. My condolences to his family."

This tribute was added by Terri Klay on 2nd February 2015

"I had the privilege to work with Eric for many years at Crossroads Ford.  He always had a smile & was happy go lucky.  God has another angel.  Sending prayers to his family & friends.  You will be greatly missed:-("

This tribute was added by Dave Hunter on 2nd February 2015

"Eric was a friend for 13 years . Proud father and husband. The Crossroads family misses you"

This tribute was added by Quinn Koontz on 2nd February 2015

"I met Eric playing golf at MDCC and enjoyed many rounds with him, to the extent we became partners at the annual Member-Member. We all kidded Eric about what " the real price of a car is" and as he always did --he came right back at us with snappy answers. He was always passionate about his career and took great pride in doing a good job. More importantly, Eric took great pride in his family and always kept us up to date as to where his girls were and what they were doing. I have NEVER been around any parent that was more proud of his children. This is a very sad day. I have lost a golf partner, a guy with a great sense of humor, but more importantly a great friend........."

This tribute was added by Anita Flick on 2nd February 2015

"Kapan Family,

We all have mental images of those we meet and pass along the way burned into or minds and memories and as I just sat here watching the slide show with tears in my eyes I also had a great warmth in my heart because my mind memory of Eric is of his amazing smile the radiated a warmth and friendliness that was so natural and kind.  As I have shared with you already - I was amazed at the courage and grace with which Eric faced his recent illness that I believe he willed from within because of exactly what he radiated in that smile - a need to give us all peace to follow him in this journey - he was a great husband, father and to us - FRIEND and I will always remember - How he made me FEEL.  As the great poet Mya Angelou (who we also recently lost) once said in one of my favorite poems -  

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

With warmest memories


Full Poem which I believe is how Eric lived his life and inspired others as well -

“I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it
seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:
a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.  I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've
learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.  I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”"

This tribute was added by Ken Brandt on 2nd February 2015

"I believe the hottest and most humid day of my life was spent with Eric shortly after he and his family moved into our neighborhood.  Eric had made some connection that allowed us to play golf for free at a new Arnold Palmer golf course in the Sandhills.  The catch was that we had to play in the middle of the day in the summer and the temperature that day was actually 103 degrees!  We had a great time and an experience I will never forget.

More recently Eric and I were standing in my driveway when he told me that he had become a follower of Jesus Christ!  We hugged each other for the longest time with tears in our eyes and unable to speak for the moment.  We were both so happy!  

Eric always made you feel like he was so glad to be talking with you.  I loved his sarcasm.  He will be terribly missed by everyone."

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