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Dr. Murray Kappelman, pediatrician, dies

Dr. Murray M. Kappelman, a retired pediatrician and teacher who once headed Center Stage’s board, died Friday at his Pikesville home. He was 87.

His daughter, Lee Kappelman, said no cause of death has been determined.

Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Leon Kappelman, an attorney, and his wife, Irene, an executive secretary. He was a 1949 graduate of Baltimore City College and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland College Park.

A top 1955 honors graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, he was then a chief resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center and served in the Army as a captain in Nuremberg, Germany, where he was pediatrics chief at a military hospital.

He had a private pediatrics practice from 1960 to 1967 on Old Court Road and later opened a medical clinic for children in downtown Baltimore.

He was named a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1974, retiring in 2000.

He was named the 1999 pediatrician of the year by the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He was a founding board member and past president of Center Stage. After the theater suffered a 1974 fire at its old North Avenue playhouse, he worked with its officials to secure its home at Calvert and Monument streets.

“My father was fantastic fundraiser, and people relied on him to help rebuild Center Stage,” said his daughter, a Baltimore resident. “He read Variety every week and he could tell you the grosses of the shows. He loved the business of producing plays.”

“Murray was a beloved cornerstone of Baltimore Center Stage,” said Michael Ross, its managing director. “He was a member of our first board. ... Murray’s love for theater ran deep. He could often be seen at curtain time in theaters from New York to Washington, D.C.”

Family members said Dr. Kappelman and his future wife, Joan Marilyn Goldberg, began attending plays in New York before their marriage. Throughout their marriage, they sought out early performances of plays and musicals before they reached Broadway.

He was also active on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s board. Marin Alsop, the BSO music director, said in a statement, “I always enjoyed chatting with him at board meetings and seeing that sparkle in his eyes.”

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Sol Levinson and Brothers, 8900 Reisterstown Road.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include a son, Ross Kappelman of Baltimore; two other daughters, Karen Kappelman Mendelsohn of Atlanta and Lynn Kappelman of Boston; and three grandchildren. His wife of 66 years, a speech pathologist and audiologist, died in 2013.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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