Deaths

Harvey L. Backman

Harvey L. Backman was born in 1934 in Boissevain, Manitoba, Canada, and made his home in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 60 years before moving to New York City in 2007. Harvey attended Washington High School (S.F.) and U.C. Berkeley before attending pharmacy school at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He met and married Harlene Elkins in 1957, and they recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary.

Harvey was the Brotherhood President at Beth Israel Judea (S.F.) for over 20 years and was very active in the Odd Fellows and became Noble Grand. “Doc” was a trusted pharmacist for over 50 years and worked for Walgreens as a manager for years and owned Corte Madera Pharmacy with his wife, Harlene. He was a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Loving son to the late Charlotte and Morris; brother to the late Ronald, Ted and Roy; devoted husband to Harlene; outstanding father to Georganne (James) Garfinkel, David, Sherrie (Ron Kingston) and Steven; proud grandfather to Gregory (Leah), Elior and Noa; friend to many. He passed away peacefully on Aug. 16, 2015 and will be greatly missed.

Donations may be given to www.birthrightisrael.com.


Sara Wolfson Epstein

Passed away Aug. 12, 2015 at age 92. Wife of the late Harold S. Epstein. Loving mother of Karen and Jerry and grandmother of Jessica and Jacquelyn Epstein. Devoted to family, friends and Jewish organizations.


Arthur Elliott (Pete) Reider, M.D.

Died peacefully at home in San Francisco of lymphoma on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Janet Sampson Reider, his wife of 57 years, and all three of his children were by his side. Dr. Reider and Janet divided their time for the last few years between their family home in Newton, a home in Vermont, and San Francisco, where they grew up.

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Pete married Janet, his high school sweetheart, in the spring of 1958 after graduating from Harvard College. Janet and Pete met when they were 13 years old, and Janet recalls how he chased her up the path at a Sunday school picnic, thus initiating the courtship. They began their married life in Cambridge, as Pete entered medical school.

A retired psychiatrist, Pete had a rich and rewarding professional life, earning the respect and gratitude of hundreds of patients, as an intern at Mt. Zion Hospital, as chief resident at Mass Mental Health Center, and in private practice in Cambridge and Newton.

Pete was a lifelong runner and fan of track and field. At Harvard, he ran cross-country and was the captain of the Men’s Track and Field Team. He was a record holder in the mile run with time of 4:11, the 2-mile with a time of 9:21.8, and cross-country. He was voted to the Harvard Athletic Hall of Fame and named a member Men’s All-Time First Team All-Ivy League Cross-Country Team for both the 1957 and 1958 seasons. Coach Bill McCurdy said that Pete “was one of the toughest little men he has ever known, and that he fought fatigue like a mortal enemy.” Among Pete’s greatest joys was cheering on sons Jacob and Matthew, and grandchildren Sampson, Molly and Charlotte as they continued the great Reider running tradition.

Pete was the son of Dr. Norman Reider, a renowned psychoanalyst, and Mrs. Louise Reider. Born in Topeka, Kansas, he spent his early childhood in New York City before moving to San Francisco, where he attended Lowell High School with Janet. With Janet at his side, Pete enjoyed travel, music, books, science, Red Sox games, the New Yorker magazine, and sharing his quick wit and love of learning with his grandchildren. Pete enjoyed a tradition of taking grandchildren on trips to Venice and never missed a graduation, play, concert, track meet, soccer game or birthday celebration. He was the best grandpa on the planet.

Always curious, Pete took to writing short stories and poetry in recent years. “Stepping Stones,” a book of his poetry and fiction, notable for its quirky humor and characters, was published in 2014. Sharing his love of knowledge with others, Pete taught courses in the blues, humor in literature, and creative writing at BOLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis University.

Pete leaves behind his beloved wife, Janet; children Jacob Reider and his wife Alicia Ouellette, Suzie Reider and her husband Brian Smith, and Matthew Reider and his wife Alison Cohen; grandchildren Molly Reider, Sampson Reider, Charlotte Reider-Smith, Rosie Reider-Smith, Max Reider, and Zoe Reider; his brother, Jonathan Reider; brother-in-law John Sampson and his wife Sharon Litsky; sisters-in-law Deborah Green, Louise Sampson and Leah Reider, as well as dozens of beloved in-laws, cousins and friends. A memorial service was held at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco on Aug. 17 and this fall the family will also remember Pete in the Boston area.


Selma Leah Neustempel Rothenberg

Selma Leah Neustempel Rothenberg, Sima Leah bat Yitzchok Yaakov v’Dvorah, age 88, of Silver Spring, Maryland. Born Aug. 1, 1927, 3 Av 5687; died July 21, 2015, 5 Av 5775 peacefully at home after a long illness from Parkinson’s disease.

Beloved wife for 49 years of Jerome Rothenberg, PE, z”l, mother of Rona Rothenberg (Yehuda Ben-Israel) of Alameda, Susan (Scott) Shay of New York, New York and Rob (Lori) Rothenberg of Morgan Hill, and grandmother of Sarah and David (Jamie Rosen) Ben-Israel, Benjamin, Ariel, Alison and Abigail Shay, and Elizabeth and Alyssa Rothenberg. Cherished friend to many.

Honors student at Hunter College, City College of New York. Served as executive director of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington. Active in Na’amat, Hadassah, League of Women Voters and many other organizations bettering the community, Israel and Jewish causes. Avid traveler, dancer, mah jongg and bridge competitor who loved dancing, fun, museums, theater and the arts.

Cared for lovingly by Jewish Social Services Hospice JSSA of Montgomery County, Maryland, and Betty Johnson. Donations in her memory are appreciated to Na’amat, P.O. Box 12375, Silver Spring, MD 20908, JSSA-donate@jssa.org; National Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SW First St., Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131; Jewish National Fund, www.jnf.org/trees; or any worthwhile charitable cause with acknowledgments to Rothenberg Family, c/o Rona Rothenberg, Alameda, California. Zichrona Livracha, we will never forget her.