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Dorothy Kaplan Light

May 20, 1937 — January 6, 2024

Parker

Dorothy Kaplan Light

Dorothy Kaplan Light of Parker, Colorado, affectionately known as "Mama D,” was born Dorothy Mae Kaplan on May 20, 1937, in Lee Township, Iowa and passed into eternal life on January 6, 2024, at the age of 86.

Viewing and visitation for relatives and friends will be held Thursday, January 11, 2024, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Horan & McConaty, 5303 East County Line Rd, Centennial, CO 80122. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, January 12, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at Ave Maria Catholic Parish, 9056 East Parker Road, Parker, CO 80138, with the Recitation of the Rosary to begin at 10:30 a.m., immediately preceding the Funeral Mass. (For those desiring to join virtually, a live stream of the funeral mass can be viewed at this link: https://youtube.com/live/7mcQa3XfzKc?feature=share).

 A luncheon reception at the Parish will immediately follow the Funeral Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Seeds of Hope of Denver, 1300 South Steele St., Denver, CO 80210 (https://seedsofhopedenver.org/). Please use the Guestbook to share memories of Dorothy and messages of condolence with her family.

Dorothy is the daughter of Bessie Nachazel and Edward Kaplan, and was raised in Bradford, Iowa. The youngest of four children, Dorothy was a loving, supportive, and caring presence in her family life and a pioneer in her professional career.

Dorothy is survived by four children: Christy (Jordan) Dorchuck of Parker, Colorado; Bill Light, of Centennial, Colorado; David Light, of Terra Alta, West Virginia; and Sam (Jessie) Light, of Broomfield, Colorado, by twelve grandchildren (Matthew, Danny, Ellie and Sam Dorchuck; Charlie, Gus, Daisy and Walden Light; Carly and Joey Light; and Chancellor and Hannah Light); and two great grandchildren (Theodore and Henry Light). She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest I. Light and her siblings, Laverne Edward Kaplan, Mildred Louis Kaplan, and Merle Joseph Kaplan.

Born on the family farm in Iowa, Dorothy attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in 1959 and Juris Doctorate in 1961. While she was in law school and Ernie was in dental school, the two wed in December 1959. After law school, Dorothy and Ernie balanced busy careers and a fast-growing family, with Christy born in 1961, Bill in 1963, and twins David and Sam in 1965, and lived in Marshalltown, Iowa and Iowa City.

Professionally, Dorothy practiced law with private firms and as an Assistant County Attorney in Marshalltown and Iowa City, and then as a Staff Judge Advocate for the U.S. Army at Fort Monmouth after she and Ernie moved to New Jersey in 1971. Dorothy joined Prudential Property and Casualty in 1974 as Assistant General Counsel and played a key role in the company as Director of Public Affairs and Vice President for Government Affairs at a critical time of insurance reform in New Jersey.

Dorothy then rose to the position of Vice President and Corporate Secretary for the Prudential Insurance Company of America in Newark, New Jersey. She served as Chair of the Prudential Foundation, overseeing the corporation's philanthropic pursuits. She also served on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Resources Corporation, and as a Trustee for the New Jersey Center for Analysis of Public Issues and the Atlantic Legal Foundation, Inc. She was a member of the transition team of New Jersey Governor-elect Christine Whitman, and was appointed by Governor Whitman to serve on the New Jersey State Economic Master Plan Commission. She also served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Professional Ethics.

Outside of work, Dorothy was active in public, church, and charitable organizations. She served on the National Advisory Board of Leadership America, was President of the Monmouth Ocean Development Council, Chairperson of the Capital Campaign Committee for the Women’s Center of Monmouth County, and was a member of many local, state, and national groups, including leadership roles in her church, Girl Scouts, and the New Jersey Women’s Forum. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including an honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree from Georgian Court College, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Iowa, and Honorary Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society for Business Administration. She was a frequent speaker and presenter on executive leadership and corporate governance and, with K.S. Pushor, co-authored the book Into the Boardroom: How to Get Your First Seat on a Corporate Board.

Throughout all her professional, philanthropic, and community pursuits, Dorothy was a thoughtful, calm, determined, and respected leader, and a trailblazer passionate about empowering the roles of women in the workplace. For all those who were blessed to know her, Dorothy was a graceful, kind, and loving presence, and she will be dearly missed.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Kaplan Light, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, January 11, 2024

5:30 - 7:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Horan & McConaty Funeral Service and Cremation - South Metro/Centennial

5303 E County Line Rd, Centennial, CO 80122

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Recitation of the Rosary

Friday, January 12, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Ave Maria Catholic Church

9056 E Parker Rd, Parker, CO 80138

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Mass

Friday, January 12, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Ave Maria Catholic Church

9056 E Parker Rd, Parker, CO 80138

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Reception

Friday, January 12, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Ave Maria Catholic Church

9056 E Parker Rd, Parker, CO 80138

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