a lit memorial candle with a Sinai Memorial Chapel logo on it

Deaths for the week of April 20, 2018


Alkmene Georgia Bandar, née Smernes

July 15, 1929-April 13, 2018

Alkmene Bandar entered into peaceful rest at home as per her wishes after an extended battle with Parkinson’s disease. A native of Napa, California, she graduated from Napa High School with the Class of 1946 and enjoyed attending her high school reunions through the 70th year in 2016.

Alkmene was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Raymond “Bones” Bandar (on 12/23/2017); sisters Artemis Smernes, Elle Smernes and Electra Butler (Tom); brother Harry Smernes; nephew Wayne Mulgrew; and niece Janice Svendsen. She is survived by sister-in-law Nancy Smernes; nieces Jeanette Mulgrew, Dori Jaroslow, Jeanne Godwin and Faylene Bandar; and nephew Nick Smernes, as well as several great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and many friends.

With innate positivity, Alkmene lived her life to the fullest with confidence, resilience, and great joy. She also brought those qualities to the lives of all who knew her. She was an accomplished artist, avid race walker, swimmer, cyclist and world traveler. The family would like to thank the loving home health providers who cared for her at home for several years until the last day of her life.

Donations in Alkmene Bandar’s memory can be made to the Parkinson’s Institute or the charity of your choice.

(Sinai SF)


Jeff Levinger was a pianist, a poet, and a loving father, grandfather and husband. He passed away on Friday, April 13th at the hospital from complications arising from a year-long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and loved ones at the time of his death.

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Jeff Levinger

Jeff was born in New York City and spent his childhood in Cincinnati and Chicago. He was an avid reader and an insatiable thinker, with wide-ranging interests in religion, philosophy, history, politics, sociology, linguistics, nutrition and science. He attained his bachelor’s degree from MIT in Mathematics and moved to San Francisco in 1968.

Jeff was an early pioneer in the computer fields, beginning work as a computer programmer when computers were so large that a single computer took up a whole room! He later switched disciplines to become a technical writer by trade, a profession he continued for the next 40 years. He also studied the Japanese martial art Aikido for several decades.

Jeff was married for 46 years to Lucretia Duncan-Levinger, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and Dallas, Texas. Jeff and Lucretia met in San Francisco and had two children, David and Leah. Jeff was a devoted and adoring father who took obvious delight in his children and, later, his grandchildren. His infectious playfulness, capacity for downright silliness, rigorous and far-reaching intellect, unbridled passion for music, unceasing curiosity, and incurable proclivity toward debate (even when inconvenient!) will be deeply and keenly missed.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Lucretia, and his sisters, Enid and Andy. He lives on in his children David and Leah, his daughter-in-law Heather, and several grandchildren, Hannah, Jasmine, Misia, Rachael, and Ziva.

Services were held April 17 at Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas in Redwood City.


Jacqueline (Jackie) Levy Mayer, born August 3, 1933, passed away peacefully at her home in San Rafael on 3/31/2018. She will be deeply missed by her many friends, children, and husband of nearly 60 years.

Jacqueline Levy Mayer
Jacqueline Levy Mayer

Jackie was born in Oakland, California, to Pauline Wise and Jack Aaron Levy. She spent much of her childhood in Stockton, before moving first to Dallas and then to Sumter, South Carolina, where she graduated from high school. The moves occurred because her father, whom she adored, was a Rabbi and led congregations in different cities. In 1936, Jackie became an instant sister when her parents adopted her brother, Werner, 13 years old. Werner was a Holocaust survivor who escaped as part of the Kindertransport effort.

Jackie attended two colleges, William and Mary and University of Richmond, from which she graduated with a degree in sociology. She knew California was the only place for her, so after graduation she immediately packed her bags and headed to San Francisco. There she met the love of her life, Fred Mayer; they married in 1958. Jackie had four children — David, Heidi, Charles and Jonathan, whom she lovingly cared for. She also worked as a salesperson and bookkeeper for Sausalito Pharmacy, which she and her husband owned for 35 years. In addition, Jackie helped manage Fred’s nonprofit organization Pharmacist Planning Service Incorporated (PPSI).

Jackie was a pistol. She was tough and opinionated, but she loved her friends and family deeply and always made them her number one priority. Jackie loved entertaining her friends and family at her home in Terra Linda. She was an environmentalist long before it was fashionable, always teaching her children to recycle and be mindful of all resources.

Jackie was an active community volunteer. A founding member of Congregation Rodef Sholom, she served on its board for several years. One of Jackie’s happy places was on the pool deck. She enjoyed being a timer and time coordinator at Ann Curtis Swim Club and Terra Linda High School.

Jackie loved sports. She was a swimmer and a tennis player and enjoyed taking walks with close friends. A dedicated Giants and 49ers fan, she and Fred rarely missed watching a game. She also loved traveling and was fortunate to have traveled the world many times over with Fred as well as her family and friends.

Jackie is survived by her husband, four children and six grandchildren.

Donations can be made in her honor to the Jack Levy Israel Scholarship Fund c/o Congregation Rodef Sholom, 170 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael, CA 94903.