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Herbert Nathan Altneu, a resident of the Palo Alto area for over 50 years, passed away on Sept. 13, 2013, at 90 years old. Born in New York City, he lived through the Depression and fought with decorated valor in Europe in World War II. Educated as a civil engineer, he later returned to Europe to assist in its rebuilding via the Marshall Plan.
He met his wife, Gloria, in Germany during that period, returning to the U.S. in 1952, and ultimately moved to the Palo Alto area in 1960. There he and Gloria raised their two children, Stephen and Stephanie. He was a founding member of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, and an avid chess player and stamp collector. Mr. Altneu leaves behind his two children and three grandchildren.
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Esther Kelman, a longtime resident of Bridgeport and Fairfield, Connecticut, died peacefully in San Rafael, Calif. Born in Bridgeport on May 30, 1920, she lived there till 2006 when she moved to San Rafael to be near her children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren).
She was the daughter of Celia and Rubin Levin and part of the large Bridgeport-based Levin family. A graduate of Central High School, she married Wilson (Winnie) Kelman shortly after graduation. They made their home in Bridgeport and raised two children, Stuart and Patti Beth.
Starting as a bookkeeper, she became the Executive Director of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, a position she served until her retirement. Her prodigious memory for people and the minutiae of synagogue life was greatly respected and praised. She was widely known and loved in the community for her graciousness and friendliness.
Her husband, Winnie, and her daughter, Patti, predeceased her. She is survived by her brother Ben Levin of Fairfield and her son Rabbi Stuart and his wife Vicky, her five grandchildren and their spouses: Navah and Michael Becker, Ari Kelman and Eva Jordan, Etan and Ali Kelman, Elana and Adam Naftalin-Kelman and Yoni Mintz and his wife Julie. She is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren: Eliana, Yair, Yoni, Nevo, Dena, Bella, Etai, Yael, Avital and Malachai.
The family is hugely grateful to Manny and Cary Kopstein of L’Chaim House in San Rafael for providing a loving and caring home for Esther these past seven years. Their staff of caregivers (Lita, Gladys, Maribeth, Joy, Patricia, Andrea, Dominique, among others) were amazing. Into her final months, Hospice by the Bay provided additional support and care.
The funeral was held at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Bridgeport on Oct. 1 followed by burial at Rodeph Sholom Memorial Park.
Her memory may be honored by contributions to:
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, the Kelman/Mintz Fund, 2385 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06606; Congregation Netivot Shalom, Kelman Liturgy Fund, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702; The Gamliel Institute, 8112 Sea Water Path, Columbia, MD 21045; L’Chaim House, 777 Montecillo Road, San Rafael, CA 94903.
May her memory be for a blessing.
Oscar “Ockie” Koolpe
“A life well spent”
Born on Jan. 8, 1918 to Freda and Leopold Koolpe, youngest of six children, all preceded him. Raised in San Francisco’s Richmond District, graduate of Galileo High School and Heald College in the heart of the Depression.
He served in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS New Orleans as Chief Petty Officer and worked a long career in the Maritime Industry in Oakland, Calif.
He married the love of his life, Sylvia Utman, who died on Sept. 11, 1984, and continued caring for his mother-in-law, Eva Utman, until her passing.
He traveled the world by sea and air, was an avid sports fan especially the 49ers and Giants, an avid golfer and a member of Congregation Beth Israel Judea and the Pacific Starr King Lodge #136.
“He led a good life”
Survived by his children Gary (Carmela) Koolpe, Lee (Deb) Koolpe and Diane (Steve) Hoying; his grandchildren, Jerica, Stacey and Kristen Koolpe, Matthew Hoying, Amanda Tierney; great-grandchildren, Jackson Tierney and Savannah Powell, and his longtime companion, Joyce Strauss.
Services were held at Congregation Beth Israel Judea with interment at Salem Memorial Park, Colma.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to City of Hope Office of S.F. and Congregation Beth Israel Judea.
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Oct. 19, 1921–Aug. 16, 2013
Sydell’s journey started in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the middle child of Isadore and Sadie Borsky, progressed to Berkeley, where she spent 52 years, and ended in Santa Monica where she moved to be closer to her daughters, Gail and Barbara.
But it was Sydell herself who was the real story. She had an indefinable allure. No matter what she was doing — work, exercising at the Albany pool or YMCA, volunteering at Telecare, being a neighbor, she made devoted friends — friends who she was honored to know and care for and who cared for her. Her friends spanned age groups and identities. She was open-minded and accepting and knew that relationships were the most important thing. The friends of her children and grandchildren became her friends, too. She was there if you needed her or Ray, and those friends paid her back a thousand times over. After Ray died in 1998, she kept going, supported by her family, and by dear friends and new friends and by Sy Levine who predeceased her in 2010. She is also predeceased by her sister, Ruth Borsky of Jersey City.
No life is perfect and Sydell had her medical challenges, especially in her last years, but she always kept going, usually quickly. Whenever her granddaughter, Rachel, would be asked in school to name the person she most admired, it was always her grandmother. Her grandchildren, Reuben, Laura and Rachel, could always bring a huge smile to her face. Having Laura and Reuben and all his friends in the Bay Area added another rich layer to her life.
She will be profoundly missed by her family, daughters Gail (Harold) Zellman and Barbara (Marc) Birenbaum, of Pacific Palisades, California, and by her grandchildren Reuben Zellman (Erika Katske) of San Francisco, Laura Zellman (Robert Cartelli) of San Jose, and Rachel Birenbaum of Oakland, by her great-grandson, Rion Cartelli, and by her brother, Frank, of New York City. And of course she will be missed by all of her friends who made her life so rich and interesting.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at Temple Beth El in Berkeley. Donations in her name can be made to Telecare at Alta Bates, Open Hand in San Francisco, or the Jewish Community Center in Berkeley.
Paul Robert Singer
Died on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, after several long bouts against three or four cancers — winning most of them except the last. He was 82.
He was born in Boston Jan. 28, 1931, to Ethel and Bernard Singer. He graduated from Boston Public Latin School, Hebrew Teachers College and Northeastern University. He went on to Northwestern University, where he received a Ph.D. in Psychology and met his wife, Sandra Joy Sugarman. They had two daughters, Annie and Ruthie.
Sadly, Sandra died in 1982, and Paul moved to San Francisco where he worked for the California Department of Corrections until his retirement. He married Diana Joy Cohen in 1987 and together they began a life of travel, theater, ballet. He loved the Great American Songbook and 19th century novels — especially “Middlemarch,” which he read at least once a year. He loved movies. They were his refuge and his cathedral. He remembered plot lines and the names of actors and directors of any movie he ever saw, and he saw them all. He carried a camera wherever he went. Enthusiastic and full of opinions always delivered with wit and wisdom. If you met Paul Singer you never forgot him.
He is survived by his wife, Diana, his two daughters, Annie and Ruthie, stepchildren Julie Cohen-Wooden and Joshua Cohen, and his adored grandchildren, Justin Verducci and Alexandra Singer. He will be terribly missed.
Graveside services were held Oct. 1, 2013 at Salem Memorial Park, Colma. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to San Francisco Ballet, Yosemite National Park or any progressive political social organization of your choice.
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