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

Deaths for the week of May 25, 2018

Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel.

Helen Berloe Caplan

It is with great sadness that the family of Helen Caplan announces her passing on May 15, 2018 at the age of 97. She will be lovingly remembered by her three daughters, Paula Jorne, Bryna Reisinger, and Sara Anderson, and her stepsons John and Robert Caplan. Helen will also be fondly remembered by her nine grandchildren, David, Donald, Jay, Cindy, Eli, Ari, Lindsey, Jaime and Stacey. Helen was also fortunate to have a loving relationship with eight great-grandchildren, Lauren, Jackie, Aidan, Clay, Kyle, Ryan, Wally and Linus.

Mrs. Caplan was preceded in death by husbands Julian Caplan and Henry Slager. She was the daughter of Hyman and Sarah Berloe of England and Malden, Massachusetts.

Helen was an accomplished musician and vocalist, earning her master’s degree in music from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. She generously volunteered her talents with many organizations, including the choir at Congregation Beth Jacob, local senior centers and Music for Minors in local schools.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Helen can be made to Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City, California.

(Sinai Redwood City)

Harry Walter Gluckman passed away May 1, following a short illness. He is survived and remembered fondly by his loving wife Doris Weiner-Gluckman of Alameda and her family; his three children, Larry Gluckman of Potter Valley, Ron Gluckman of Bangkok, Thailand, and Judy Guzman of Union City; their spouses; grandchildren Ezekial Gluckman, Zorah Everson, Janelle Krell, Alisia Gonzalez and Nicole Garcia; and many grandchildren and step-children.

He was buried May 3 at Salem Memorial in Colma, beside his first wife and high school sweetheart Jeanette Pivnick, near his parents Walter and Alice Gluckman. Harry was 88 and is remembered as a beloved husband, father, Holocaust survivor, son, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Harry Walter Gluckman (left)
Harry Walter Gluckman (left)

He was born Heinz Walter Glucksmann in Berlin on October 4, 1929. Both parents were from Breslau in East Prussia, and his father was posted to the family wood business in Stuttgart, where he grew up with sister Marianne until the nightmarish rise of the Nazis. She was sent to safety in England, among the youngest children rescued by the Kindertransport.

His family escaped in a dramatic fashion in late 1940 as the war raged across Europe, ending all sea crossings. Instead, they went by train across East Europe, Russia and Manchuria to Korea, by boat to Japan, then across the Pacific to San Francisco. Harry was 10 when they left Germany, 11 when he passed through what he often called “The Golden Gate to Freedom.”

His grandparents and most other relatives perished in the Holocaust.

Harry sold newspapers and did odd jobs as a child to help his family. He enjoyed sports, particularly football (soccer), graduating from Lowell High School in 1947. He married Jeanette in 1950; He was 21, she 20. Honeymoon was by bus to Lake Tahoe, later a popular outing for his own family.

He was a proud father and family man, a wise, independent thinker who installed good values in his children and supported them as they chose their own paths in life. And he always offered his time for others.

Harry devoted himself to Jewish causes, youth sports leagues and B’nai B’rith Lodge, helping found Golden Gate chapter. He published the B’nai B’rith Bulletin; he was a talented, witty writer (he also painted). He worked for Israel Bonds and Jewish ORT. He was also a founder of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California. Before retirement, he opened a Mailbox in downtown San Francisco, where he is remembered for his service and humor.

Everyone remembers Harry for his humor and infectious smiles. He loved reading, newspapers, and music. He was an avid whistler. He was a whiz at bridge, chess and Ping-Pong. After his children were grown, he left the San Francisco fog for sunny Alameda, where he lived the rest of his life, except for a brief period in Ukiah to be closer to his oldest son Larry, a teacher.

Jeanette died in 1998. Harry married Doris Weiner in 2003, adding a new set of loving relatives to the family. They made their home on Bay Farm Island in Alameda. Right until the end, Harry spent his golden years gardening, sitting in the sun, and whistling, thanks to Doris’ devoted loving care.

Farewell to wonderful Harry, we will never forget you!

Kieve Goodstein

March 25, 1941 – May 20, 2018

It is with heavy hearts that the family of Kieve Goodstein announces his passing after a long, courageous battle with metastatic cancer.

Kieve Goodstein

He is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Elaine; loving daughters, Shari (Mark) Plummer, and Robin (Jonathan) Rose; and adoring grandchildren, Maggie and Derek Rose. He was predeceased by his parents, Ida and Samuel Goodstein, and his sister Barbara Miller.

Kieve grew up in Opa-locka, Florida and graduated from Hialeah High School. Over the years, he and Elaine enjoyed many trips visiting with their extended family of friends in Florida. He was proud of being an Eagle Scout, serving in the United States Air Force and helping his many clients with their insurance and financial planning needs.

Kieve cherished his family and friends, and always appreciated their love and support.

The family invites donations in Kieve’s memory to Peninsula Temple Sholom or Vitas Healthcare (hospice), 3190 Clearview Way #100, San Mateo, CA 94402.

Bernard Mervyn “Barney” King passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 10, 2018 at the tender age of 89. He was the son of Sam and Frances King and is survived by his wife Rosalind “Babe” King; sons Howard, Glenn, Alan, Stephen and Joel; grandchildren Sam, Eddie, Vivien, Alex, Andrew, Jennifer, Michael, Robbie, Zack, Alexandria and Vanessa; and great-granddaughter Delaney. He is also survived by brother George and his wife Janet. George and Barney’s sister Goldie preceded them in death.

Barney grew up in Oakland, often working in the family furniture store and studying except during his frequent trips with his father to shoot craps in Reno. He attended UC Berkeley and graduated from Boalt Hall Law School. His Cal fraternity brother Arthur Beren set him up on a blind date with Art’s sister Babe, who was visiting from Regina, Saskatchewan. It was a good match and resulted in a 66-year marriage and five sons, all of whom remain devoted to their father.

Bernard Mervyn “Barney” King
Bernard Mervyn “Barney” King

Upon graduation, Barney went to work as a Deputy District Attorney, where his duties included incorporating the City of Fremont. Barney then moved to Fremont, joining Judge Allen Norris and LeRoy Broun in their private law practice while serving as Assistant City Attorney to the newly-formed city. Barney served as a lawyer and counselor to hundreds of clients over the next 60 years, many of whom became close friends. His legal and business skills remained sharp until very recently.

Barney served as the President of the Fremont Civic Center Corporation, Southern Alameda County Estate Planning Council, and Washington Township Bar Association and was on the Board of Directors of the Alameda County Bar Association and the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay. He was a longtime member and past president of Kiwanis of Fremont and a founder of the charitable group “The Lamplighters.” He was most proud of his roles as a founder, president and supporter of Temple Beth Torah and good friend to its rabbis.

Barney was a man of simple pleasures. Nothing was more satisfying to him than his family (other than the forlorn hope that the Raiders might return to glory in his lifetime). He was very proud of every child, grandchild and great-grandchild and loved nothing more than hearing about their lives and their interests. He was equally proud of Babe, who raised five “energetic” boys before going on to have a successful career in real estate.

If he wasn’t practicing law or enjoying his family, Barney was talking or watching sports. The arrival of ESPN heralded a new opportunity for Barney to indulge in this hobby for countless hours and to learn the intricacies of such oddities as Australian rules football and curling. He attended a lot of heavyweight boxing matches in Las Vegas with his boys, which also allowed him to maintain the fine gambling skills learned from his father.

Barney was extraordinarily generous to others with his time, thoughtful advice and financial support. What will be missed most are his love, kindness and conversation.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Temple Beth Torah, the Jewish Community Foundation or any other charity favored by the donor.

(Sinai Lafayette)


(June 2, 1928–January 9, 2018)

Originally from Poland, Ester Libicki was married for more than 60 years and spent most of her life in San Francisco. A mother of two, grandmother of four and, most recently, a great-grandmother of one, she was loved by all.

Ester had a contagious laugh and an adventurous spirit, and when she’d wink, she got an unforgettable twinkle in her eyes that was sunshine and conspiracy rolled into one. You’d see it when her husband, David, would tell you of the gold he had hid in his village Poland back before the war, plastered into a brick wall, safely out of sight, just waiting to be claimed.

“Let’s go get ice cream,” Ester would say. Wink. Her favorite flavor was Jamoca Almond Fudge from Baskin Robbins. And she was always willing to drive for it, even on Shabbas. David disapproved. “You’re not taking the car out to get ice cream. It’s after dark.” Her reply: “Of course not. I’ll get a ride with the neighbor. He’s Chinese.” Wink.

Ester Libicki

Ester did all the driving in her family. She drove her husband, her aunt, her children and their children. If there was someplace you needed to go, just say the word and she was raring to go — assuming she could find her purse. Unlike her husband, who never learned to drive a car, Ester began fine-tuning her skills while living in Germany at a time when women drivers were rare. There’s a photo of Ester in sunglasses and a fur coat as she’s about to hop in behind the wheel for one of her first joyrides: one foot on the ground, the other on the fender and one hand firmly on the door handle.

It was in post-war Germany that she married, had her first child — a son named Zygi, who went on to become Stuart after the family got to America — and learned the ins and outs of pottery-making at adult school. She had never felt as free as she did during these years, and later she would comment that the time she spent in Germany after the war was among the happiest of her life. More than by her spirit of adventure, which took her across the ocean to New York, Ester was driven by her love of family and need for togetherness, which saw her, David and their now two children — she gave birth to her daughter Patty while living in the Bronx — relocate to California in 1959, eight years after arriving in the United States. Ester’s many cousins and her maternal aunt had established themselves there, and it seemed like a good place to raise a family.

Ester never looked back. Just a few years after moving to the West Coast, she knew the names of all the streets of San Francisco by heart. And she knew where all the best butchers and bakeries were. She loved having people over, whether for her husband’s weekly card games — ironically, she was the only female in her extended family who seemed free of gambling fever, even if games were only nickel and dime — afternoon cake and coffee or birthday parties. She was skilled in the kitchen, but she was an even more skilled at entertaining, and she wasn’t satisfied unless all mouths were full and conversation was abuzz. If the phones were ringing and the smoke alarm had gone off, even better. Ester liked things to be lively.

More than being a Holocaust survivor, Ester’s defining characteristic was her determination to make every day of her life count, an occasion to celebrate. And this zest for life was something she was ready to share with everyone she saw: her family, her children’s teachers, the cashier at the supermarket. Tolerance was a given: she had it, she gave it, and that was all there was to it. Sure, she had her worries like everybody else; but she rarely let them show. If you were happy, she was happy. Ester Libicki believed in love.

She also believed that children were the secret to staying young. And she was surrounded by them well into her later years. In her fifties and sixties, she helped raise Patty’s son, Shaun. And in her seventies, she was regularly visited by her youngest nephew, Danny. Both boys loved spending time with Ester and David at their house on what seemed like the highest hill in the city of San Francisco. Once inside, there were so many steps to climb, and Ester would peer over the banister, eager to greet you, as you made your way to the top.

Around the time she turned eighty, things began to change. Patty passed away, David became frail and Ester’s memory wasn’t what it used to be. Even well after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Ester was as loving and giving as she had always been. In that way, she never changed. And thanks to her son, Stuart, and a wonderful team of nurses, Ester was able to live her entire life in the comfort of her own home, in the company of caregivers who soon came to love her too. There were times when she may not have known who they were, but that twinkle in her eye made it clear she loved them too.

“Hi, this is Ester. I’m sorry, I can’t come to the phone. If you be kind, leave your name, phone number… I get back to you as soon as possible. Please wait for the beep. Thank you.”

Ester Libicki

June 2, 1928 – January 9, 2018

Adeline F. Lerner

April 14, 1917 – May 16, 2018

To her friends and family, Adeline was a 101-years-young role model of love, kindness, humor, and strength. She earned the title “Native San Franciscan,” as she lived there from the age of 6 months after her birth in KY.

Our matriarch is survived by her children Philip Lerner & Marsha Young; grandchildren Michele & Gary Chapnick, Jeff & Susana Lerner, Meredith Young & Rick Thurston, Melissa & David Pinn, and Justin & Lauren Young; and her six loving and devoted great-grandchildren. All who knew her learned from and loved her.

Interred at Eternal Home Cemetery, Colma, CA.

(Sinai Redwood City)