Ruth M. Kuzin
July 31, 1919–August 31, 2012
In San Francisco, at age 93 (13 Elul 5772).
Ruth was born into a large extended family in Berlin, Germany. In 1938, she, her parents and her fiancé fled Nazi persecution and found temporary refuge in Cuba. After marrying in Havana and being granted permanent asylum in the U.S., Ruth and her husband settled in Los Angeles. Acquiring work as a factory seamstress, Ruth used her fluency in Spanish and vivacious personality to absorb herself into the largely Mexican-American community of East L.A. Three years later, Ruth became the 24-year-old CEO of Warner Sportswear after her husband, who’d started the company, entered the U.S. Army.
At the end of WWII, now caring for a disabled vet, Ruth leveraged her experience and mastery of English to go to business school at night and become a bookkeeper. Later, Ruth gave birth to her daughter and began her lifelong affair with ballroom dancing. Divorced in the mid-’50s, Ruth raised her daughter as a single parent and became active in the then-new Parents Without Partners and her synagogue, Temple Israel of Hollywood.
During the next chapter of her life, Ruth remarried, returned once to Europe, and was reunited with her beloved cousin Heinz (Brazil). After the death of her husband, Ruth began traveling as an amateur ballroom competitor, winning several championships. In 1988, retired, she moved to Oregon, where she savored the verdant outdoors and a new community of friends. She returned to California in 2001, five years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. For the last nine years of her life, Ruth made her home at the Jewish Home San Francisco, where she enjoyed a rich assortment of musical activities and the wonderful discussions, holiday celebrations and services led by Rabbi Sheldon Marder.
Ruth is survived by her daughter Rafaella Cohn (nee, Patricia Warner); the families of her husband Maurice and aunt Gertrud Scheidemann, z”l; second cousins Susan Michelson Palmer and family (Australia) and Jean Schleuderer (Brazil); Ruth Henning, her childhood friend from Berlin, and Bill Franklin, her oldest friend in California; and the circle of friends in Los Angeles, Beaverton and San Francisco who treasured Ruth for her exuberance and infectious laugh, quiet intelligence and wit, strength of character, love of music and sweet neshama (soul).
Friends are invited to attend a celebration of Ruth’s life on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, 3:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road, Kensington. A funeral service was held at the Jewish Home on Sept. 6, with private interment in Carmel, California (Fernwood Mortuary, Mill Valley).
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, people who wish to do so make donations to the Activities Program, Jewish Home; Alzheimer’s Association; Bay Area Jewish Healing Center; or Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center, U.S. Holocaust Museum.
Of San Rafael, CA and Sun City West, AZ, died on Sept. 25, 2012 in Novato, CA at the age of 91 from natural causes. Cherished husband of his beloved wife, Sallylove, for 57 years; loving father of Jeanne Lee-Yee; father-in-law of Frank Yee, Greg Ah Yat and Chris Ryberg; adoring grandfather of Aaron Lee Bouskila (Nicole Ecker) and Tali Eliza Bouskila; step-grandfather of Christopher Yee and Anna Wilson; dear brother-in-law of Nancy (Richard) Zerbe. He is predeceased by his loving daughters Leslie Lee Ah Yat and Julia Lee Ryberg.
Gene was born in NYC and served in the U.S. Army for 21 years. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. In 1963 he and his family settled in San Rafael.
Upon retirement he was the District Director of Public Buildings Services for GSA. Gene was a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His many volunteer activities included phone counselor for Marin County Suicide Prevention, participant on archaeological digs and consumer mediator for Marin County District Attorney.
Funeral services were held at Sinai Memorial Chapel, 1501 Divisadero St., San Francisco, 94115, followed by interment with military honors at Cypress Hills Memorial Park, 430 Magnolia Ave., Petaluma, 94952. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104, www.spicenter.org, 1 (888) 414-7752.
Sinai Memorial Chapel
Robert Stanford Lauter, z’l
December 25, 1928–October 1, 2012
Bob Lauter passed away peacefully the morning of October 1, after a long struggle with illness. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy: his wife of 61 years, Naomi; his four children, David (Liz), Jonathan (Deborah), Sarah, and Sam (Stephanie); his 10 grandchildren, Louie (Mara), Devorah (Jean Bernard), Mimi, Rachel, Jesse, Margie, Eliana, Shoshana, Aliza and Jacob, and great-granddaughter Mollie.
Bob was a fourth-generation San Franciscan, growing up in the Marina District before his parents moved around the West Coast during the Depression. He returned to the Bay Area to attend the University of California at Berkeley, where he was set up on a blind date with Naomi while she was attending Lowell High School. It was the day of the Big Game and it took Bob four hours to get to San Francisco from Palo Alto, but she went out with him anyway and they’ve been together ever since.
After Cal, Bob graduated from Hastings Law School, became a member of the California Bar Association and then joined his father-in-law’s company, Ets-Hokin & Galvan Electrical Construction.
Bob had many passions and was engaged in numerous organizations. He was the first Chair of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Northern California Board of Directors in 1963, the organization he gave the most time and energy. Among many other activities, he also was Chair of Israel Bonds, President of the Bureau of Jewish Education, Chair of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and, one of his personal favorites, Chair of the late Leo McCarthy’s first political campaign for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Leo won that race and went on to be Speaker of the California Assembly and California Lt. Governor. Over the years Bob’s guidance was sought out by numerous other organizations and individuals, but his community devotion was primarily to AIPAC and whatever his friends needed.
An avid birder, one of his favorite moments was when he was hiking through a forest at dusk in the Grand Tetons and nearly lost his hat to a Great Grey Owl. He had many other birding stories he enjoyed sharing, almost all of them true. He was also a devoted San Francisco Giants fan, having attended his first Major League game at the old Polo Grounds in New York. The 2010 World Series Championship never ceased to bring a smile to his face and he was absolutely sure Willie Mays was the greatest player ever.
Perhaps his favorite passion was art. He was a dedicated collector and partner of Feingold Gallery in the late ’50s and early ’60s and Traditional Artifacts in the ’80s. He was also extremely proud of helping launch Art Forum Magazine. His loves ranged from North American Native and Mexican tribal art to California Abstract Expressionism, and everything in between.
But his friends and family are what truly made him happy. Other than his family, he didn’t enjoy anything more than being with his friends. Whether it was in Ashland at the Shakespeare Festival, on some trail looking for a new bird for his life list, at the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning or at the movies, his friends gave him great joy.
But as an extremely proud and devoted husband and father, nothing brought a smile to his face quicker or easier than a conversation with or story about his grandkids. It
didn’t matter whether it was their accomplishments at work, school or their latest hobby, enthusiasm or sport, he wanted to know every detail and couldn’t stop beaming while listening to every word. His family will greatly miss catching him up on the latest news, and watching him take it in with huge pleasure.
Funeral services were held on Oct. 4, 2012.
If you are considering a donation, please make a contribution to AIPAC (P.O. Box 207, San Francisco, CA 94104), the Jewish Community Federation (121 Steuart St., San Francisco, CA 94105) or CARE (c/o Margie Lauter, 1825 “I” Street, NW, Suite 301, Washington, D.C. 20006).
Sinai Memorial Chapel
Harold “Hal” Stoll
Harold “Hal” Stoll, in San Rafael on September 27 at age 89. Beloved father of Valerie Stoll Schwimmer and Roger Stoll, grandfather of Henry and Elliott Schwimmer, brother of Alvin Stolowitz (deceased) and uncle of Michael, Mark and Micah Stolowitz.
Hal was born in Oakland, California to Jack and Rose Stolowitz. He served in the Air Force in World War II as an aerial photographer and motion picture cameraman. After the war he worked as a photographer, a chicken rancher, and a golf starter for the City of San Francisco. He was also a successful investor in rental property, teaching himself plumbing, electrical work, painting and roofing in order to maintain his property himself with the help of his then-wife, Lois Arrow of Novato, California. The two divorced in 1972 after 26 years of marriage. Later Hal lived with Louise Pierotti of Foster City, California, for more than 30 years, until he began living at the Rafael Convalescent Hospital two years ago.
At times in his life Hal had been an enthusiastic bowler, a serious golfer and a gin rummy master. He loved to sing and had an astonishing memory for lyrics of popular songs of the ’30s and ’40s. He was truly as he described himself, “a people person,” valuing above all his close ties with his immediate and extended family and a very wide circle of friends. Despite his Alzheimer’s disease, which had become severe in the past year, Hal’s personality, humor and quick wit continued to charm and delight all who met him.
Donations to Hebrew Free Loan Association, 131 Steuart St., Suite 425, S.F., CA 94105, firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 546-9902.
Sinai Memorial Chapel
Passed away in her sleep on Yom Kippur, September 26, 2012. She was 96 years old. The great-granddaughter of a rabbi originally from Crimea who settled in Jerusalem, Sarina was born in Cairo, Egypt, to Esther and Lieto El Kodsi. She, her family and the 80,000 Jews of Egypt were ethnically cleansed during the 1950s-’60s. She found asylum in France, where she lived till 1969 when she came to America.
Sarina was a true woman of valor, loved by all her large family and friends. Her greatest joy was to bake cookies for her family and prepare delicious meals for all who came to her home. While in Paris, she and her late husband, Leon, opened their home to many of the refugees who passed through Paris on their way to America, providing a safe, familiar haven for those who’d been dispossessed. Sarina was an active member of the Karaite synagogue in Daly City, B’nai Israel.
Sarina was a talented seamstress who designed and sewed lovely clothes, as well as knitted many exquisite items, for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She spoke 3 languages, learning English at the age of 53 by watching Sesame Street. She is survived by her daughters Sylvie Gordon of San Francisco, Simone Mourad and Susie Cohen, both of Hallandale (Florida), her son Joseph Wahed of Moraga (California), her daughter-in-law, Kathi Wahed; her 8 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
Sarina was buried in Eternal Home Cemetery, Colma, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012.
Richard Stern Weir
May 17, 1919–September 20, 2012
In Palo Alto, at age 93. Husband of Geraldine Weir and the late Faye Adler Weir. Father of Neal David Weir (Stan), Susan Hamlin and Andrea Estrada (Duane). Grandfather of Cameron and Caroline Weir, Jake and Seth Hamlin, Rebecca and Catherine Estrada. Brother of Robert Weir (Tita). Uncle to many. A native of Boston, MA. Member of the Santa Clara Valley Rifle Club, the American Legion and former docent at the Hiller Aviation Museum. Services have been held. Donations preferred to VA Hospice Care Center, 3801 Miranda Ave., Unit 100-4A, Palo Alto, CA 94304 or Peninsula Sinai Congregation, 499 Boothbay Ave., Foster City, CA 94404.