Thursday, July 31, 2014 | return to: lifecycles, deaths



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Eva Bluestein, 90, Holocaust survivor, teacher, social activist, loving mother and grandmother, died peacefully in her home on June 12, 2014.

9_Gdeaths_bluesteinBorn on April 21, 1924 in Berlin, Germany, Eva relocated to France shortly after the Nazis gained power in 1933 and lived in Paris until the Germans conquered the north of France. The family obtained false identification papers and fled south to Lyon in Vichy France, where they lived as fugitives until the end of the war.

Eva immigrated to the United States in 1946 and earned a degree in sociology from UCLA. She married Charles Bluestein in 1950 and raised her family in Beverly Hills, where she was a French teacher. After the death of her husband in 1998, she moved to El Cerrito to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

The war left Eva with a strong sense of responsibility to help society, which she did through her involvement in numerous social, cultural and civil causes. Eva was dedicated to ORT, a Jewish nonprofit that provides vocational training to students all over the world, serving in many leadership roles including president of the Western Region. As a senior, she was an active member of the Gray Panthers and key leader of their Peace and Justice Commission, sat on the board of Café Europa (a Holocaust survivors’ group), volunteered at Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and served as health chair for El Cerrito’s Committee on Aging. Eva participated regularly in the Berkeley Elders Guild, classes at the JCC in Berkeley, and the Raging Grannies. In 2007, she received a Senior Leaders Award from U.C. Berkeley.

Eva is survived by her children, Mark Bluestein and Claudia Cohan, and her two grandchildren. Members of the community are invited to a memorial for her to be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 17 at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley.

Ida Martha Chaban

July 23, 1907–July 20, 2014

9_Gdeaths_chabanIn Santa Rosa one day after her 107th birthday party, surrounded by friends and relatives, Ida passed peacefully.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Ida graduated Mission High School in 1925 and in 1931 married Charles Chaban. They had 68 years together until Charles’ passing in 1999 and had two sons, Arnold and Joel.

Ida found creativity in piano playing, painting, needlework and poetry and had an interior design business. Ida had many friends who admired her reputation for being well-dressed and having a great sense of humor.

Ida was the last of her Smith siblings: Art, Ben, Louis, Harry, Myron, Jenny Goldberg and Ruth Burroughs. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Joel and Pat Chaban, many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews.

Private services were held July 27, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations to your favorite charity would be kindly appreciated.

Sinai Memorial Chapel (415) 921-3636

Lois Jean Peal

Jan. 1, 1917–July 21, 2014

9_Gdeaths_pealLois died peacefully at the age of 97 after a short illness with her daughter, Jane Lori Peal, by her side. She is also survived by her twin sister, Carol Tat, a nephew, Robert Tat and a niece, Barbra Morgan. Her husband of 54 years, Marshall, pre-deceased her in 2003.

Lois was active and lived independently until just a few weeks before her passing. She had many adoring friends and acquaintances who often remarked at how sharp and aware she was even into her later years.

Born on New Year’s Day to Albert and Irene Sherwin, Lois was a second-generation San Franciscan. She was reared in the then-newly built West Portal neighborhood with her twin sister, Carol. The twins were inseparable as kids, and later graduated together from U.C. Berkeley with degrees in economics.

Lois was always an active volunteer, most notably in recent years with the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the Marin Food Bank. Her other passion was playing bridge, and she won several awards for her keen abilities at the game. She was a member of Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael for 50 years.

Lois and her late husband, Marshall, loved to travel. After retirement, they made a trip abroad almost every year, visiting many countries on several continents.

Lois wanted no funeral. Her ashes will be scattered privately with a celebration of her life to take place at a future date. Donations to San Francisco–Marin Food Bank or charity of your choice.


Helene B. Weber

Passed away on July 21, 2014 at the age of 83.  

9_Gdeaths_weberBorn in San Francisco, she was a resident of Contra Costa County for 57 years, living in Lafayette for 51 years. Helene graduated from Oakland High School. She attended U.C. Berkeley, where she earned her bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social welfare. Helene had a career as a social worker for almost 40 years, working for Alameda County, the Head Start program, Contra Costa County and Kaiser hospital. She was a member of Temple Isaiah, Hadassah, NASW and the Lafayette Democratic Club.

A life member of the Diablo Valley chapter of Hadassah, Helene served as chapter president. In addition, she helped found the Check It Out program, which introduced self-help breast examinations to high school girls in Contra Costa County. Helene served as the chapter’s card and certificate chair until just a few years ago.

Helene was a member of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette for over 50 years. At Temple Isaiah, she was a member of Chavurah Aviva, formed by a group of empty-nesters nearly 35 years ago.

Helene was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Howard, who died in 2004. She is survived by her three daughters, Roberta Weber (Michelle Guandalini), Susan Weber (Larry Hoffman) and Margo Weber. She was a loving grandmother to Mara Weber-Appleton, Gabby Sandman, Noah Hoffman and Tim Guandalini. She was the sister of Herbert Berkowitz, who predeceased her on July 3, 2014. She was a sister-in-law to Carol Berkowitz, Ruth Haber, Arthur and Judy Weber. Helene is survived by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Services were held at Temple Isaiah and Oakmont Cemetery. Donations may be made in her name to Diablo Valley Hadassah and Temple Isaiah.

Sinai Memorial Chapel (925) 962-3636


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