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Thursday, May 23, 2013 | return to: lifecycles, deaths


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Dr. Sylvan Eisenberg

Aug. 30, 1913 - May 10, 2013

Died at his home in San Francisco at age 99.

Sylvan Eisenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, the only child of Mae Kauffman and Morris Eisenberg. His parents divorced when he was very young and he grew up in the Catskill Mountains, north of New York City, with his maternal grandparents at the Elmshade Hotel, which they owned. He attended a one-room schoolhouse; learned electricity, plumbing, carpentry and other skills from workmen at the hotel. He became the hotel photographer and started building/inventing things including a cannon that backfired with the spark plug penetrating two walls before it was stopped by an enamel bathtub.

At age 12, he moved to New York City to live with his mother. He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, winning its prestigious Mathematics Award. He then earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania; and after he moved to California in 1936, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University.

He was granted patents for inventions as diverse as coat hangers, coffee additives and tracers for animal feeds. In 1949 he was one of the first to observe the efficacy of low-level electrolysis in killing bacteria in swimming pool water, a technology now widely used around the world.

He taught Chemistry at the University of Santa Clara and then at the University of San Francisco.

He founded two businesses – Anresco, Inc., a commercial analytical laboratory focused on foods testing, and Micro-Tracers, Inc., a manufacturer of analytical tracers for formula feeds and other specialty feed micro-ingredients. He wrote numerous published technical articles. He considered his purpose in life to be “to increase the stock and store of human knowledge.” He considered himself more an inventor than a chemist.

He treated all people with dignity and respect and had a wonderful “dry” sense of humor.

He lived a long and productive life and will be missed by his numerous friends and especially by his family — his wife of 44 years Ruth; his three children by Eleonore (deceased 1960): Paul (deceased 2008, wife Christine), David (wife Chitty) and Harriet (husband Gerry Bowen); his grandchildren by Paul — Dr. Shawn Eisenberg (wife Jan) and Scott Eisenberg (wife Lise); his grandchildren by David — Zachary and Amanda Eisenberg; and his great grandchildren by Shawn — Deborah and David Eisenberg.

The world is a better place because he walked on it.

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Linda Goldspinner Wittlin

Born 2/6/1949. Died 5/13/2013

Linda died peacefully at home with her loving husband Bud at her side after a 2-year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). She left behind a legacy of professional and educational accomplishments, loving family, and a gift for friendship and love.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, her organizational talents led her to produce musicals at summer camps and act as high school regional staff for BBYO and synagogue youth activities. After graduating from Cornell University she moved with her husband Byron “Bud” Wittlin to Los Angeles and began a 32-year career in Industrial and Labor Relations. She worked briefly for the U.S. Department of Labor, and then became a chief negotiator for Manor Care and later for Centerplate Corporation. A signature accomplishment was successfully negotiating a last minute concessionaire contract agreement for the newly opening AT&T Park, averting an embarrassing strike on opening day.

After two years at Manor Care offices in Silver Springs, Maryland, the Wittlins move to the Bay Area in 1989 and Linda opened her consulting practice. Linda “retired” in 2003 and began her second career in Jewish community and charitable causes. Her organizational and management skills were manifest as a board member for New Bridges, and as Jewish street festival volunteer coordinator. She served six years as membership chair and board member for Congregation Etz Chayim in Palo Alto.

In her spare time, she created gorgeous needlepoint, cooked gourmet international dinners for friends and family, and played the piano.

Linda always worked hard to engage and connect with people and include them in her world. She loved her family and her community. She also loved to share her two passions: reading, and the Los Angeles (formerly Brooklyn) Dodgers. She started and chaired the synagogue book club, sending out a monthly e-newsletter about books and movies of interest to the members. For five years with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy she loved to help children develop their reading skills at the Northshore (San Mateo) Elementary School. In addition she volunteered weekly at their after school homework center. And she managed to get to Dodger Stadium at least once every summer.

Linda is survived and terribly missed by her husband of 40 years; sister-in-law Wendy Davis of Denver; two aunts Dorothy Kagan of Comack, N.Y., and Jan Wolinsky of Manhattan; nephews Bart Chernow of Palm Beach, Ron Chernow of Brooklyn, and Craig Davis of Denver; and nieces Marcy Binder of Portland and Terri Block of Pennington, N.J. Linda’s favorite charities were Second Harvest Food Bank and ALS Association Golden West Chapter.


Marjorie Hefter Stern

3_death1Marjorie Hefter Stern passed away on April 23 at age 94 surrounded by children Robin, Michael, Charley and Rachel and grandchildren Ben, Marisa, Michael, Mira, and Noah.

Born in Chicago in 1918, Marjorie moved to San Francisco in the late 1940s. Graduating from high school in Chicago in the depths of the Depression, college was not an option. Working as a secretary and mothering four children, she started college at age 36 at San Francisco State University and graduated fourth in her class. She was discouraged from going to law school after receiving advice that women could not get attorney jobs. She instead became a junior and senior high school and community college teacher in San Francisco and excelled.

Marjorie became an elected official of her AFT local, and was an organizer for the AFT locally, statewide, and nationally. An advocate for women’s rights and educators, she was a founding member of the AFT Women’s Rights Committee and the Coalition of Labor Union Women. She served as an appointed member of San Francisco’s Commission on Aging. She received numerous honors for her efforts for women, educators and senior citizens, including those from the National Organization for Women, CLUW, and the Senior Action Network. She is honored in the Hall of Fame of San Francisco State University, where a scholarship is named for her.

A memorial service will be held at Congregation Sherith Israel at 2266 California St., San Francisco, CA on Friday, May 31 at 11 a.m. RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Esther Ososke

In San Francisco on May 17, 2013. Dearly beloved wife of the late Herb Ososke; loving mother of Don (Sue) Ososke and Jeff (Julianne) Ososke; cherished grandmother (Nana) of Julie Ososke, Melissa (Igor) Nemirovsky, and Jacob Ososke; dear sister of the late Art Zimmerman and his special friend Carol Weitz, and the late Hersh and his wife Norie Zimmerman; sister-in-law of the late Art and his wife Doris Ososke, and Mort (Hilda) Owens; also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. The family is especially grateful to Esther’s wonderful “angel” Mary, who has helped make the last few years of Esther’s life a blessing.

Services were held Monday, May 20, 2013, at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma. Donations to the Beverly Shirlee Zimmerman Bock Fund for Girls and Women at Risk (http://www.jfcs.

org/give/beverly-shirlee-zimmerman-bock-fund-girls-and-women-risk) are preferred.


Stella Savage Zamvil

3_death2Stella Savage Zamvil, age 87, of Palo Alto passed away peacefully at Stanford Hospital on May 11. Stella was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 1, 1926 to Orthodox Jewish parents who emigrated from Russia. She spent her childhood in New York where she met her future husband, Louis Zamvil. Stella excelled in school, graduating high school at age 15, and enrolling in Brooklyn College. In June 1944, she joined her fiancée at Stanford, where they married. Stella attended Reed College in Portland while her husband was assigned to the University of Oregon Medical School by the military. After the completion of her husband’s medical school, they returned to the Bay Area.

Stella received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing from San Jose State and M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State. She was active in the Jewish Community, where she, along with her husband, co-founded Temple Beth Am and Congregation Kol Emeth.

Stella served as Sisterhood President. She taught Latin and poetry to middle and high school students. She taught creative writing and film at Foothill and De Anza Junior Colleges, as well as at Senior Centers. She published three books, including collections of short stories in, “In the Time of the Russias” and “My Father Hunts Zulus, My Mother Puts Up Pickles,” and a collection of poems in, “Silently You Taught Me Much.” Stella sang in West Bay Opera and the Kol Emeth choir. Stella was recognized as a fervent supporter of Israel.

She is survived by her three children, Kenneth of Windsor, CA, Linda of Stowe, VT and Scott of Palo Alto, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Donations can be made in her memory to Adobe Veterinary Hospital at 4470 El Camino Real, Los Altos, CA 94022.


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