HILDA KAPLAN FRANK, native Houstonian, dance enthusiast and presenter, passed away on March 12, 2019.
For everyone who knew Hilda, to say that dancing was a vitally important part of her life would be an understatement. She began her love of dance at the tender age of three and continued this passion with serious studies in ballet, tap, modern, and jazz during her teen and adult years. She was awarded a scholarship to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts. Hilda studied at Sophie Newcomb College at Tulane University and the University of Houston. In addition to choreographing many special events for Congregation Emanu El and directing the temple’s Israeli Folk dancers for 16 years, Hilda also taught various disciplines of dance for local dance and gymnastic schools. In 1981, Hilda co-founded Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre at the Jewish Community Center and chaired it for 20 years, along with chairing the Dance Committee for 23 years. Also at the JCC, Hilda served on the Arts and Culture Steering Committee, was on the Board of Directors for six years, and co-chaired the Patrons of the Arts Campaign for two years. In 1985, Hilda was named the JCC’s Volunteer of the Year. Beyond the Jewish community, Hilda was involved with the dance world throughout the city of Houston, serving four terms on the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County as a Dance Panelist, on various dance company boards, and as a trustee for the Houston Dance Coalition.
As great as her love of dance was, her love for her family was even greater. She met Bobby when she was 15, and he was 17, and they were married for 59 years. Hilda could have pursued dancing professionally, but she chose to get married and have a family, and she never questioned the choice she made. Hilda truly loved being a mom, grandma, and great-grandmother. She supported every event, occasion, accomplishment, and day in her family’s life. Hilda enjoyed spending as much time as possible with them, and feeding them as much as possible — especially chocolate. She couldn’t get enough of them and didn’t want to miss a single moment. Even if she couldn’t be there in person, she wanted to hear about every last detail of whatever they were doing, right down to what was served for dessert. Hilda also knew how fortunate she was to have so many lifelong friends.
Hilda is predeceased by her parents Bertha and Sam Kaplan, her brother Elliott Kaplan, and her son Danny Frank. She is survived by her husband Bobby Frank, her daughters and sons-in-law: Karen and Ian Hurwitz, and Nancy and Mike Nuzzo; grandchildren: Isabelle Nuzzo, Amelia Nuzzo, Yael (and husband Yossi) Nathanson, and Miranda (and husband Kenny) Abitbol; great-grandchildren: Dov Nathanson, Remy Abitbol, and Bailey Abitbol.
A Memorial Service will be held on March 14 at 4:00 pm in the Barish Sanctuary at Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Blvd., Rabbi Roy A. Walter officiating.
For those desiring, contributions may be made in Hilda’s memory to: HSPVA Friends–The Danny Frank Music Fund, P.O. Box 52910, Houston, TX 77052.