lit yahrzeit candles

Deaths for the week of May 19, 2017

David J. Friedenberg, 3/22/26-5/13/17

Beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. Like his father, David was born and raised in San Francisco. He was Bar Mitzvah at Sherith Israel and, along with his wife Anne, of Blessed Memory, a founding member of Beth Israel Judea.

David J. Friedenberg
David J. Friedenberg

After serving in the Merchant Marines during WWII, graduating from Cal (GO BEARS!), graduating from Hastings College of the Law and serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he began practicing law, which he did for nearly 60 years. He had a commitment to civic engagement that led him to attend the 1960 Democratic convention as a delegate, and later, his involvement in the civil rights movement resulted in him becoming a founding member of the San Mateo County Human Relations Commission. He also was instrumental in the construction of numerous municipal building projects including a school and a hospital.

David had a passion for life. He loved music, especially live jazz. He played six musical instruments and composed music on the piano. He loved good food and wine. He was a sun worshipper who loved lying in the sun and going for a swim. He loved to travel, especially to Mexico. He loved doing all these things and more, but was happiest when he was doing them with his friends and his family. Most of all, he loved his wife, Anne.

David is survived by his daughter- and son-in law Janis and Mike Grube, son- and daughter-in-law Jon and Dodi Friedenberg, grandsons Ben Grube (Rob Pearson) and Isaac Friedenberg, granddaughter Talia Friedenberg, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice by the Bay or Marin General Hospital Foundation or to the charity of greatest meaning to you.

This week, Redwood City lost a bit of local history. Jack Popik died peacefully at home on May 10, just nine days shy of his 96th birthday. He was preceded in death by his high school sweetheart and wife of 70 years, Anita.

Jack Popik
Jack Popik

Jack was born in San Francisco in 1921 and moved with his family to Redwood City in 1937. His father opened Popik Furniture Co. soon after, and Jack joined him in the family business. In 1942, Jack enlisted in the Air Force and served as a ball turret gunner on a B-17, one of the most dangerous assignments in World War II.

After the war, Jack returned to Redwood City and to Popik Furniture, where he remained the rest of his working life. Even after he “retired” and passed the business on to his nephew, Jack was at the store nearly every day until its 2004 closure. Jack was immensely proud that Popik Furniture was a Redwood City institution for over 65 years and was thrilled when a former customer — or child or grandchild of a former customer — would recount a memory of a piece of furniture that came from “Popik’s.”

Following his retirement, Jack volunteered at the San Mateo County courthouse and in the Records Division of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, working there well into his 80s. As the only man in the group, he especially enjoyed bringing doughnuts to “his ladies” every week. Jack and Anita were also longtime members of Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City and ardent supporters of the Sequoia Hospital Foundation.

Jack had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tell jokes, often laughing so hard midway through that he couldn’t get to the punch line. He also loved tennis, playing several times a week into his 90s. Even after he was no longer able to play, Jack and his tennis buddies met weekly for breakfast.

Jack is survived by a large and loving family: his son, William Popik, M.D., and his wife, Alexis Rankin Popik; his daughter, Susan Popik, and her husband, Steven Leonard; his five grandchildren: Sara Rankin (Eddie Hanson), Jenica Popik Leonard (Heath Hutchison), Benjamin Popik (Joanna), Becca Popik Chambers (John), and Nathaniel Popik (Suzanna); and the five great-grandchildren who were the special lights of his life: Kamiko Hanson, Cole and Rory Hutchison, and Jack and Lyla Chambers. He also leaves many beloved nieces and nephews. In addition to Anita, Jack was predeceased by his sister, Marion Smilovitz.

Funeral services were held at Congregation Beth Jacob on Tuesday, May 16, followed by interment at Hills of Eternity in Colma. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Jack’s memory to the Sequoia Hospital Foundation or the charity of your choice.

Rest easy, Dad. We’ll take it from here.

M. Laurence (“Larry”) Popofsky, former chairman of the Heller Ehrman law firm, passed away on May 9, 2017. He was 81 years of age.

M. Laurence (“Larry”) Popofsky
M. Laurence (“Larry”) Popofsky

Larry was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on February 16, 1936, to Samuel and Fannie Popofsky. Larry’s father ran the Reliable Department Store, later known as Sam’s Store. Larry, a champion high school debater, graduated in 1958 from the State University of Iowa, where he served as vice president of the student body and earned a Rhodes scholarship.

After receiving his degree in jurisprudence from Oriel College, Oxford, Larry graduated from Harvard Law School cum laude in 1962. While in Cambridge, he met his future wife of 49 years, Linda Seltzer, who attended Wellesley College and later received a Ph.D. in European history from the University of California at Berkeley. The two settled in San Francisco, where Larry practiced law at Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe (later Heller Ehrman) and Linda taught European history at Mills College and later ran the Chancellors’ Scholarship Program at University of California at Berkeley.

Larry, who served as Heller Ehrman’s chairman from 1985 to 1992, specialized in antitrust and appellate law, arguing the influential case GTE v. Sylvania before the Supreme Court of the United States. More recently, Larry served as senior counsel at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Larry served on the board of the Jewish Home for the Aged, on the board of Mount Zion Hospital, and as an adjunct professor of antitrust law at Golden Gate University School Law School. He was a longtime member of Temple Emanu-El.

Larry is survived by his son Mark Popofsky of Washington, D.C. (married to Suzanne Yelen) and Kaye Kramer of Los Angeles (married to Jeremy Kramer), as well as his grandchildren Madeleine Popofsky, Maxime Kramer, Jules Kramer and Oscar Kramer.

A memorial service will be held for friends and family Thursday, June 1 at 11 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El, Arguello Boulevard and Lake Street, San Francisco, California. Donations may be made in memory of M. Laurence “Larry” Popofsky to Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco, CA 94118 or Step UP, 510 South Hewitt St. #111, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Jonas Waxman
October 31, 1920 – May 3, 2017

Jonas Waxman was born on Oct. 31, 1920 in San Francisco to Annie Fishkin and Benjamin Waxman. He graduated from Lowell High School and earned his teaching credentials from San Francisco State. In 1944 Jonas enlisted in the United States Army and served as a private in the 32nd division while stationed in the Philippines during WWII.

After his Army service, he moved to Oakland. While pursuing his career in education in the late 1950s, he met a fellow teacher, Betty Bispo. Betty would become his lifelong partner of 55+ years. As his career progressed, he became principal in the Oakland School District presiding over Garfield Elementary School, Burckhalter Elementary School and John Swett Elementary School before retiring at the young age of 55.

Jonas had a wide range of interests, from collecting and selling Singer cars to reading restaurant reviews and dining around town to writing letters and columns on numerous public interest topics.

And he loved to travel. Jonas and Betty traveled extensively throughout Europe and parts of South America. They especially enjoyed their travels to Portugal, visiting twice a year for the last 15 years.

Jonas is preceded in death by his parents, his long-time friends Frank and Lucille Granucci, Bill Aston, Henry Wolf and John Sansome, and his godson Anthony Granucci. He is survived by his loving partner Betty Bispo, his cousin Robert T. Rosen, M.D., and many friends.

He is interred at the Home of Eternity in Oakland, California. If you would like to make a donation in Jonas’s honor please choose an organization of your choice or consider supporting Hospice of the East Bay in Pleasant Hill, California.