Chesterton Tribune



Services Thursday for Michael E. Caplis, PhD

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Michael E. Caplis, Ph.D., Forensic Toxicologist, internationally recognized innovator, philanthropist, and Ambassador to the DEA and FBI, age 79, passed away Monday, February 12, 2018, in Portage, Michigan.

Dr. Caplis was born to John Edward Caplis and Marie Katherine Hochrein on July 25, 1938, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and grew up in Wayne, Michigan. After graduating from Wayne High School, Dr. Caplis earned his bachelor of science degree in Chemistry from Eastern Michigan University, and his master of science degree and doctorate of philosophy in biochemistry from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

As the son of a detective, Dr. Caplis's career focused on public safety by aiding law enforcement and contributing to the health care industry. His 45-year career included cutting-edge development of methodology and implementation for Forensic Drug analysis and Toxicology, DNA and Serology-Immunology, methodology for drugs of abuse and therapeutic medications in Oral Fluids, and firearms and tool mark identifications. Additionally, Dr. Caplis provided educational pro-bono work for Indiana University's Northwest School of Medicine for first-and-second-year medical students in Clinical Biochemistry and Toxicology and taught an introduction course in Criminalistics for Indiana University Northwest's Department of Environmental Affairs. His contributions continue to affect public safety all over the United States and on an international scale, since he recruited and directed the training of twenty-six degreed examiners who qualified as technical experts.

As a Diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT), Dr. Caplis contributed and maintained membership in the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, American Academy of Forensic Science, National Academy of Clinical Biochemists, American Institute of Chemists, American Association of Clinical Chemists, and the American Chemical Society.

A staunch believer in giving back to his community, Dr. Caplis had a passion for serving others and mentoring them along their career path by directing the research of Ph.D. Fellows, M.S., and Co-op college students within the laboratory. He championed people throughout the industry and contributed to community welfare though best practices and current research/technology. He loved spending time with his family, golf, skiing, photography, reading, crossword puzzles, hunting, fishing, and boating.

Dr. Caplis is survived by his children, Kathleen Tuttle (Jeffrey) of Texas, Michelle Volk (Richard) of Indiana, Maureen Jonas (Robert) of Michigan, Therese Hagewood (Byron) of Michigan, Matthew of Indiana, Philip (Faith) of Illinois, nine grandchildren, and one great grandson. He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Lucille Truitt Caplis, and son, Michael Caplis II.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 from 3:00 7:00 p.m., at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Rd., Valparaiso.

A funeral will begin on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with burial to follow at Chesterton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Purdue University's scholarship fund, the American Heart Association, or a charity of your choice.


Posted 2/13/2018




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