Anita Kelinson Gersick, a longtime resident of Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco, died on July 2 after a brief illness. Anita was born in Muscatine, Iowa, on Aug. 2, 1921, the oldest child of Rose and Harry Kelinson. She graduated from Sullivan High School in Chicago in 1938 and worked in a variety of shops and offices until meeting and marrying her husband, Milton Gersick, in 1943. They had been married for 71 years at the time of his death in 2014.
In Illinois during the 1950s and ’60s, Anita was an active volunteer at the Tri-Cities Jewish Center and St. Anthony’s Hospital, where she eventually served as president of the Hospital Auxiliary. In 1972, Milt and Anita retired to California, living in Palo Alto, Burlingame, Rossmoor and, ultimately, San Francisco. Anita was very involved in the San Francisco Jewish Home for the Aged, as a tutor of elementary children, and as an organizer for the Democratic Party. Throughout her life she was dedicated to her family, which was her first and enduring passion.
Anita is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, three sons and their spouses, five grandchildren and their spouses, and six great-grandchildren.
Francis (Frank) Koplowitz
Oct. 17, 1920–June 30, 2016
Francis (Frank) Koplowitz died at age 95 at Stanford, California, survived by his children Edward Koplowitz (Ellen Rothman), Linda Law (Skip Law, deceased), and Jeri Finch (Jim); by grandchildren Daniel, Gabriel, Jeremy, Jenna and Kaitlin; and by many relatives and friends.
Raised in New Haven, Connecticut, with his brother Benjamin (Bob), Frank served with distinction in World War II as a navigator and bombardier in the Air Force, flying 37 missions over Germany, eventually retiring as a colonel. He was honored for his wartime and then subsequent civilian contributions to society with an entry in the Congressional Record on his 80th birthday in 2000.
Frank worked as a jeweler in San Francisco for half a century and was a member of Starr King Masonic Lodge. He was married to Bertha Berger for 60 years until her untimely death in 2005, when he retired to the Vi in Palo Alto. During his last 10 years, Frank enjoyed a close relationship with Rita Brown, deceased in this year, and continued his philanthropy as a leading senior fundraiser for City of Hope.
Frank was a man of uncommon good humor, absolute honesty, generosity of both spirit and pocket, and someone who knew that real friendship meant giving as well as sharing.
Funeral services were held at Hills of Eternity Cemetery Chapel, Colma, under the direction of Sinai Memorial Chapel, San Francisco. Donations in Frank’s memory may be made to City of Hope.
Sinai Memorial Chapel
April 29, 1923–June 18, 2016
El Cerrito resident Henry Linker passed away on June 18, 2016, in Berkeley, California, at the age of 93. He is deeply missed by his family, friends and the community he served. He is survived by his children Anita Linker, Fred Linker (Mary Fran Miller), Sherry Linker, Deborah Howe (Christopher Howe, died in 2015), Larry Linker and Joel Linker; his grandchildren Rachel Benedict (John Benedict), Elizabeth Howe, Warren Howe, Amy Linker and Cindy Linker; and his greatgrandchild, Mila Benedict. Henry was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 63 years, Eva Linker, in 2011.
Henry’s parents, Aaron and Sarah, were both born in the town of Csercs, Hungary. They married in 1908 and had three children. Aaron immigrated to the United States alone around 1912. He settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. After several years, Aaron earned enough to send for the rest of his family. Henry was born in Pittsburgh on April 29, 1923, followed by his sister, Ellen. The family spoke Yiddish at home and Henry didn’t learn to speak English until he went to public school at age 5. Henry grew up very poor, although Henry said that he did not think of himself as poor.
Henry attended the University of Pittsburgh from 1941 to 1943. He was drafted into the Navy, where he served from 1943 to 1945. Later, a visit to an optometrist for his own eyesight encouraged him to become an optometrist himself. He enrolled in the University of California in 1945. He met Eva Straus in Berkeley, where she was studying nursing. Eva was an émigré who had fled Germany with her family to escape the Nazis. Henry graduated in 1948 with a degree in optometry, and he and Eva were married that same year. After the family’s move to Richmond, California, Henry established an optometry practice, where he worked until he retired in 1997 at the age of 75.
Henry acted on his commitment to social justice and inspired his synagogue to help found the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) in 1965. GRIP provides food, vocational training and emergency housing for homeless families. Henry also helped found the National Institute of Arts and Disabilities (NIAD), which helps people with special needs. He was active in other community groups, including the California Autism Foundation, the Human Relations Commission, and Alzheimer’s Respite and Adult Day Care. He was a member of the Kiwanis for over 60 years. He joined the Flying Doctors, a group that flew to Mexico to provide medical services in impoverished communities. Henry would give vision tests and provide donated eyeglasses.
Judaism was a dominant theme in Henry’s life. Henry and Eva were founding members of Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond, California. Henry loved going to weekly Torah study sessions, and many in the temple admired his extensive knowledge of Judaism. Henry also played the shofar on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a skill he learned from his father. Henry led the family’s Pesach seders, Hanukkah celebrations and Shabbat on Friday nights.
Henry and Eva shared a wonderful life together. In later years they often traveled to different parts of the world. Henry loved classical music, folk music, operettas and the theater. He played the mandolin and the harmonica and wrote short stories. He loved discussing politics, reading, telling jokes and puns, and learning new things. Henry was kind, generous, intellectual and eloquent. He was known for his integrity and humor.
Donations may be made in Henry Linker’s memory to the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program at www.gripcommunity.org.
Elaine Friedman Nemer passed away peacefully at home last Sunday.
She was born Nov. 25, 1923, to Monroe Friedman (a retired Superior Court judge) and Frances Davis Friedman in Oakland, California.
She graduated from Piedmont High School. She earned her pilot’s license and served in the U.S. Army as a crypto-analyst during World War II in Arlington, Virginia.
After the war, Elaine earned her AB in psychology and MBA (with an emphasis in accounting) from U.C. Berkeley, a JD from the University of San Francisco and an MS in taxation from Golden Gate University. She then received her CPA certificate and was admitted to the California State Bar.
She was a partner with her husband, David B. Nemer, in their law and accounting practices. Later she worked in the accounting firm Seiler & Co.
She also became a Grand Master in duplicate bridge and was active in multiple charitable and service groups, including Brandeis University, the PTA and the Girl Scouts.
She is survived by her three daughters, Susan Nemer Stuelke and her husband Richard R. Stuelke, Julie Frances Nemer, and Martha Nemer Hooper and her husband Scott A. Hooper; her daughter-in-law Maria Gilbert; and her grandchildren Patricia Rachael Stuelke and Benjamin Richard Stuelke and his wife Vicki Petropoulos Stuelke. Elaine is predeceased by her husband, David Bernard Nemer, in 1974 and her son David Bernard Nemer Jr. in 2011.
Herman Novinsky, M.D., beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home on July 5, 2016, surrounded by family and friends. Herman was born Dec. 8, 1929, in Newburgh, New York, to Tillie and Sam Novinsky. He graduated from Syracuse University and went on to study medicine at U.C. Irvine. He met the “light of his life,” Myrna Berlin, while in the Los Angeles area and the two married and moved to the Bay Area to raise their three daughters, Laurie, Lisa and Andrea. Herman worked as an anesthesiologist for Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Redwood City, and later on as Chief of Anaesthesia in Vallejo and Hayward.
Throughout Herman’s life, he had several hobbies. He was a member of the Sierra Hiking Club, played tennis and enjoyed planning trips for his family, near and far. Every summer, he would take close family and friends to enjoy Lake Tahoe’s beautiful scenery. Later on in life, he tapped into his artistic side and created lamps and jewelry boxes using stained glass. The Novinskys always opened up their home for anyone who needed a “home away from home” or a place to go for a Passover seder. Herman never missed a chance to challenge you to a game of Boggle and loved watching episodes of Lawrence Welk’s musical jubilee. He enjoyed his six grandchildren and would often be found writing poems for one of their birthdays or bar/bat mitzvahs.
Unfortunately, in the later stages of Herman’s life, he developed dementia but was always able to remain in his home, his true “comfort zone.” He was cared for by his wife and wonderful caretakers Al and Eneida Iman, Ron Nuqui and Ellen Guanzon. Herman is survived by his wife, Myrna (“Mitzi”); daughters Dr. Laurie Novinsky, Lisa Jaffe (Dr. Marc Jaffe) and Andrea (Dr. Joel Falk); and grandchildren Josh and Daniel Gilbert, Alex and Adam Jaffe and Jason and Rachel Falk.
A graveside service was held July 8, 2016, at Skylawn Memorial Park with Rabbi Richard Steinberg officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Mission Hospice of San Mateo, 1670 S. Amphlett Blvd., Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94420, attention: Irene, (650) 445-1000; or to missionhospice.org.