Recent Passings:

Ed Jardines, M&A '41

We were recently alerted to the passing of Ed Jardines (M&A ’41) who died in June of 2018.


George Lois, M&A '49

George Lois (M&A ’49), passed away on Friday, November 18. He was 91. Mr. Lois was legendary in the world of advertising, known as a creative visionary. “He was Madison Avenue’s best-known 20th-century art director, who put the counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s into postwar advertising and created stunning covers for Esquire magazine that rebuked American racism and involvement in the Vietnam War. Irascible and uncompromising, Mr. Lois created witty, irreverent campaigns that shattered the ham-handed advertising conventions that had relied on testimonials and romanticized images. In one campaign, a chimpanzee demonstrated the simplicity of a Xerox machine; in another, the former heavyweight champion Joe Louis, who was deep in debt to the I.R.S., appeared in a brokerage ad asking, ‘Where were you when I needed you?'”   Read his full obituary in the New York Times here.


Regina Axelrod, PA '59

Regina Axelrod (PA ’59), passed away on November 3, 2022 after a long battle with lung cancer. Following Performing Arts High School, she earned a B.A. from City College, an M.A. from Wayne State University and a Ph.D. from CUNY Graduate Center. Professor Emeritus in the Political Science Department at Adelphi University, where she taught for more than 40 years and served as Departmental Chair for more than 25 years. She also served as Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. Author of multiple books and many journal articles in the fields of energy and environmental policy and politics. She was an invited guest lecturer in major universities in Prague and Budapest. Regina was a lifelong dancer, having studied ballet for more than 70 years. She was a founding member of the Dance Theatre of Detroit and also danced with the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company. She was still taking ballet classes until shortly before her death at the age of 80. She is survived by her husband Leonard Kahn, of Hampton Bays to whom she was married for more than 40 years, her sister Gaye Borgo of Huntington, her son Gregg Shapiro of Atlanta, GA and her beloved grandsons, Samuel Shapiro and Ari Shapiro of Atlanta.


Barry McCall, M&A '56

Barry Douglas McCall (M&A ’56), passed away on October 22, 2022. He was born in the small country town of Walnut Cove, NC, to Mary Campanelli McCall and Glenn McCall on July 22, 1938. Barry grew up in Brooklyn, surrounded by his mother’s extended Italian family. After graduating from M&A, he continued his studies at F.I.T., Brooklyn College, and then Julliard.

He and his partner moved to Lancaster, PA in 1978 and restored an 1892 vintage townhouse on West Chestnut Street, converting back from a six-unit rooming house to a single-family home, where Barry taught piano for many years. He was active in many musical events in Lancaster, was the Vice President and then President of the Musical Arts Society, and was a founding member of the WYPA (Workshop for Young Performing Artists), an organization that taught, coached, and encouraged youngsters studying in various musical activities.

In addition to his love for music, he loved old houses, antiques, cooking (and eating) working in his garden, and particularly just hanging out with his many friends. He sang in his church choir for many years, making arrangements of various pieces for both the choir, and also for Harpsichord and Organ. Barry is predeceased by his older brother Tom, and is survived by Bill Morgan, his partner/husband of over 50 years.


Robert Kalfin, M&A '51

Robert Kalfin, M&A ’51, passed away on September 20, 2022 at age 89. Kalfin was a director and producer of innovative theater, and co-founded the Chelsea Theater Center. Read his full obituary from the New York Times here.


Celia Milich Cantor, M&A '67

Celia (Milich) Cantor (M&A ’67) died of breast cancer in February 2022. Celia was born in New York City in 1949, just weeks after her parents – Polish survivors of the Holocaust – arrived in the U.S. to build a new life. During her sophomore year at Hunter College she met Alan Cantor, then a student at Cooper Union, and the two moved to the Washington, D.C. area shortly after marrying in 1971. There Celia earned a master’s degree in early childhood education and taught Kindergarten while Alan established his career in patent law. Together they raised four children and were married for 50 years. Throughout her teaching and parenting careers, Celia remained an active and accomplished singer, performing with the Vienna Light Opera Company in Northern Virginia and in venues all over the D.C. area. She owned a local entertainment agency, Mostly Music, and was known to Whole Foods customers as “Miss Celia” through the Mommy & Me classes she taught in numerous stores. A devoted and beloved friend, mother, and Grammie, Celia is remembered for her bright smile, her warmth, her energy, and her enviable culinary skills (especially her soups, many of which live on in the freezer for her family to enjoy). We should all aspire to leave this world as Celia did – declaring that she did everything she ever wanted to do in life, and had not a single regret. She is survived by her husband, Alan; her children, Danielle (Fred), Matthew (Shiri), Joshua, and Stephanie; her grandchildren, Ayla, Noah, and Benjamin; her brother, Warren; and her mother, Helen.


Richard Cutler, M&A '48

We were sorry to learn of the passing of Richard Cutler, M&A ’48, who died on February 16, 2022.


Phyllis Baron Plattner, M&A '56

We are sorry to report the passing of Phyllis Baron Plattner, M&A ’56, who passed away in September of 2022. Following graduation from Music and Art, Phyllis went on to earn a BA in art at Bennington College and an MFA in painting at Claremont Graduate School in California. Her career as an artist was long and varied, with solo exhibitions in St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Washington DC, Princeton, and international solo exhibitions in Paris, France and Florence and Tavarnelle, Italy. Her first major museum exhibition was in 1984 at the St. Louis Art Museum, and her latest and most important was in 2015 at the American University Museum at the Katzen Art Center in Washington, DC. Grounded in careful observations of everyday moments underlined by sociopolitical commentary, her work ranged from early post-expressionist portraits to large-scale realist domestic scenes, to enormous watercolors of tropical plants. In the 1990’s she created moody multi-panelled oil pastel paintings of fruits and vegetables being cut open, titled “Murder in the Kitchen.” Her latest body of work, “Gods of War!” provided a visual commentary about society’s interrelated drives towards both war and peace. Over her more than fifty-year-long artistic career, working in her studio every day, she pushed herself to explore different themes with curiosity and intense focus.


Melvin Kaplan, M&A '46

We were sad to learn of the passing of Melvin Kaplan, M&A ’46, who died on September 25, 2022. After high school, Melvin entered Juilliard School at the age of 16, earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, playing the oboe. Upon graduating from Juilliard, he became a member of the faculty and taught oboe and chamber music from 1952 to 1982. His intense passion for contemporary music led to the formation of the New Art Wind Quintet, followed by the formation of the New York Chamber Soloists in 1957. The NYCS remain a professional classical music group, and Melvin played with them until 2015. In addition, he organized, contracted and performed with the Musica Aeterna Orchestra in a regular yearly series of concerts sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1965 and 1982. Later efforts included the formation of the Mozart Orchestra of New York and dreaming up interesting and diverse programs for them to play. Melvin was a consummate creator with an unmatched mind for musical programming. His extensive musical contacts led him to form Melvin Kaplan Inc., a music management company, in 1961. He managed this business while continuing as a performing musician. He continued to develop ambitious ideas long after selling his management business, in 2014. The business maintains an office in Burlington, Vt. under a new name. In 1976, he moved his family from New York City to Charlotte, Vt., where his musical ambitions continued. In 1974, he and a friend from Burlington, Vt., came up with the idea for the Vermont Mozart Festival, which provided classical music to thousands over its 37-year run in and around Burlington. Melvin was the artistic director of the festival throughout its history.

Melvin is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ynez Lynch Kaplan; his brother Burton Kaplan; his son Jonathan Kaplan, daughter Christina Kaplan Rohan; his son Eric Kaplan (M&A ’71); his daughter Karen Kaplan Chambers; eleven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.


Lucile Williams, M&A '60

We are sorry to report that alumnus Lucile Williams, M&A ’60, passed away on January 8, 2022. We extend our condolences to her daughter, Lucile Bosche, her friends and M&A ’60 classmates.