lit yahrzeit candles

Deaths for the week of Jan. 12, 2018


Sheila Ostrow Flodberg (née Sheila Fern Ostrow) died peacefully January 1, 2018, in St. Augustine, FL. She was 81 and, until May 2017, had been a long-time resident of San Martin, CA. With her at the time of her death were her daughters Fran Charlson and Diane McQueen of St. Augustine as well as her cats, Gilligan and Murphy. She is also survived by her son Michael (Susan Austin) of Oakland, CA; son-in-law Harold Fethe; Shawn Tuomey, Diane’s long-time partner; four grandchildren Doria, Meredith, Samuel and Benjamin Charlson; and her brother David Ostrow, M.D. (Lynne) of Dallas, Texas.

Sheila Ostrow Flodberg
Sheila Ostrow Flodberg

Born August 25, 1936, in Pittsburgh, PA, Sheila was the daughter of Harry and Mildred Ostrow. She grew up in Pittsburgh and attended Taylor Allderdice High School. She graduated from Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh as a Registered Nurse, and earned her B.S.N. from Duquesne University. She later earned an M.S. in Counseling from Idaho State University and M.S. in Nursing from the University of Utah. She also became credentialed as a geriatric nurse practitioner and taught nursing at Boise State University for several years.

Sheila was married August 25, 1957 to Ben Charlson, with whom she had her three children. Sheila later married William Flodberg, of San Martin, CA.

Sheila loved animals and volunteered for a variety of rescues and animal advocacy organizations. She was a member of Etz Chayim, Palo Alto, CA. She loved the outdoors — biking, swimming, hiking — and was a member of the Sierra Club, where she met her husband, Bill.

A memorial graveside service is planned for January 14, 2018 at 11 a.m., at the Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, California. A Shivah service will be held on January 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St, Palo Alto, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1634, St. Augustine, Florida 32085.

(Sinai Redwood City)


Armand Hardy Offel

April 2, 1929–January 4, 2018

Armand Hardy Offel was born on April 2, 1929, in San Francisco. He was raised in the Richmond District. He was an active member of DeMolay, an international fraternity for young men during his youth, and later a member of Masonic Pacific Starr-King Lodge F&AM #136. He attended San Francisco City College, where he obtained his AA degree in Business before serving in the U.S. Army for two years. After being honorably discharged, Armand returned to San Francisco and entered the family business started by his mother and father, I. Offel, a wholesale millinery business.

He met his wife of 62 years, Midge Offel, on a blind date. They were married in 1955 and moved to San Mateo where they bought the house on Randall Road that they lived in for almost sixty years and where they raised their children, Janet and Jim.

Armand loved the outdoors and would spend as many weekends as he could hiking the trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains; the Marin Headlands, Mount Tamalpais and Point Reyes; Mount Diablo; and his favorite place — Yosemite.

He also enjoyed tending the garden of their home in San Mateo and spending time at the beach body-surfing and sun bathing.

Armand is survived by his wife, Midge Offel of San Mateo, daughter Rabbi Janet Offel (Michael Nebenzahl), son Jim Offel (Nancy Lewin), and grandchildren Josh and Bryn.

Donations can be made to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary or to the World Wildlife Fund.

(Sinai Redwood City)


Monio Pilpel

August 8, 1935–December 22, 2017

Monio Pilpel, 82, longtime San Francisco resident, passed away in Albany, NY. He was the devoted son of the late David and Lina Pilpel, loving husband of Heddy for 51 years, generous father of David Pilpel and Sylvia Sossner, father-in-law of Hal Sossner, and most adoring grandfather of Leah and Ari Sossner.

Monio was born in Bielsko, Poland, moved with his parents to Vienna, from where he escaped for England, and remained there until 1947, when he emigrated to America and settled in San Francisco with his parents, in time to become bar mitzvah at Congregation Chevra Thilim. He attended Marina Junior High School, George Washington High School, and graduated from the University of California, San Francisco with a Doctorate in Pharmacy.

He owned and operated Crest Pharmacy, and later Surf Pharmacy, on Noriega Street for over 30 years. Upon retirement, he volunteered for San Francisco’s Mental Health Program, performed drug chart reviews at Rhoda Goldman Plaza, and worked as a fill-in pharmacist.

Monio was a longtime member and former officer of Congregation Adath Israel, past president of the Pharmaceutical Society of San Francisco, and member of B’nai B’rith, Hadassah Associates, Hebrew Free Loan Association, and other organizations.

His actions and outlook on life were shaped by the extreme circumstances in Europe early on. Honest in business, he developed and maintained friends and contributed quietly to Jewish and non-Jewish causes here and elsewhere that he believed in.

Funeral was held on December 28 at Sinai Memorial Chapel with interment at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma. May his memory be a blessing for all.


Laurence (Larry) Sanford died Wednesday, Decem­ber 20, 2017 peacefully at home in San Francisco. He was born to Abe and Grace Skalowsky in Norfolk, Nebraska, May 26, 1925.

Laurence (Larry) Sanford
Laurence (Larry) Sanford

In 1943, just out of high school, Larry came through San Francisco en route to being stationed in the Aleutian Islands by the U.S. Army. He fell in love with the City and made a promise to himself to return as soon as he could to build a life here. Before his return, he earned a degree from Northwestern University, where he fell into a wonderful group of fraternity brothers from Phi Epsilon Pi. Those men became lifelong friends, and he considered those days of camaraderie a formative time in his life.

Larry began as an acting student in Northwestern’s legendary theater program but soon realized he was up against some serious talent, so he switched to the business school. This enabled him to return to San Francisco in 1951 to begin his career as a stockbroker. He found early success when he pioneered the idea of selling life insurance stocks and created a boutique firm specializing in that niche, calling it Sanford & Co. He also spent decades working at the distinguished securities firms Kidder Peabody, AG Becker, Blyth Eastman Dillon, and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. Larry had a special talent for selling municipal bonds and spent many years as a member of the San Francisco Bond Club. He was a fixture on Montgomery Street for decades and loved it.

Larry loved calling San Francisco home. It’s where he met and romanced his future wife Ilene, where they were married in 1961 and where they enjoyed socializing and raising their family during their 47 years together. Until just earlier this year, Larry could be frequently seen walking, albeit slowly, the hills of his beloved Russian Hill neighborhood, smiling to everyone he passed, taking grateful deep breaths while remarking that our City’s “champagne” air, as he called it, is better than anywhere.

Larry was a gracious, charming man. He loved words. He quoted philosophical aphorisms with a twinkle in his eye. He was a voracious reader. During his college years, he became enamored with the works of Honoré de Balzac and throughout his life read and re-read all of Balzac’s novels.

Larry loved golf and enjoyed many decades of playing in all the best courses in Northern California. He was a member of Lake Merced Golf Club for many years and also loved the beautiful courses in Pebble Beach.

His love and skill at the game of dominoes — especially the indigenous San Francisco form of the game, “Five-up”—was well known among dominoes circles in the City, par­ticularly at the Bankers’ and City Clubs where he played regularly. He cutely referred to the double-one domino piece as “two ducks on a pond.” Larry played many tournaments over the years, proudly winning a few.

Larry is predeceased by his wife, Ilene Sanford, his brother Earl Sanford, and his great-niece, Grace Magill. He is survived by his son Guy Sanford, daughter Jaimie Sanford (Ted Storey), grandchildren Ella, Abe and Nathan Storey, Hannah Sanford, and niece Anne Magill (Jim).

(Sinai SF)