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SCCO Alumnus, Beloved Professor Emeritus, Marshall B. Ketchum University Board Member and V-Award Honoree, Morris Applebaum OD, ’68, Has Passed Away


Morris Applebaum OD, ’68, passed away at home on November 10, 2020. He was predeceased by his mother, father, and first son. He leaves behind his wife, Arleen, sons Jordan and Michael, and two granddaughters, Alana and Taryn. Dr. Applebaum moved with his family to Southern California from Passaic, NJ, when he was 13. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1968 from the Southern California College of Optometry, then known as the Los Angeles College of Optometry. He immediately began his teaching career at his alma mater and progressed through the academic ranks throughout the decades.

Dr. Applebaum was later recruited by Kaiser Permanente to practice at their hospital in Bellflower, where he quickly became the chief of optometry. Eventually he returned to SCCO to teach and was named Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. He went on to serve as Dean at the New England College of Optometry, before returning to SCCO to complete his career. At the time of his retirement in 1998, he was named Professor Emeritus in recognition of his dedication to SCCO and the profession. He was a member of the American Optometric Association, American Academy of Optometry, Association of Optometric Educators and Beta Sigma Kappa.

Morrie and Arleen moved to Sun City in 2001, where they participated in many activities including the Performing Arts Club, as singing was one of the great loves of Morrie’s life. During retirement, they also pursued their passion for travel. In the last ten years alone, they enjoyed at least 20 international cruises and tours. Dr. Applebaum also continued to be involved at his alma mater as a member of the MBKU Board of Trustees from 2012 until his passing. In 2019, Marshall B. Ketchum University awarded the V-Award, the University’s most prestigious award, to Dr. & Mrs. Applebaum for their contributions to health care professions, as well as their generous philanthropy and gift of volunteer time to MBKU.

Dr. Applebaum made friends easily and will be remembered for his kindness and generosity by his family, friends, and the many organizations and causes he supported. His legacy lives on through the many students who were fortunate to have had his mentorship and guidance and the generous endowments that he established at SCCO to support student scholarships and continuing education.