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

Deaths for the week of Oct. 5, 2018


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


Herbert “Sonny” Sidney Davis, Ph.D., of San Francisco, California, born on November 18, 1936, in Boston, Massachusetts, to the late Alice Rosenblum Davis and David Edward Davis, passed away at age 81 on September 17, 2018, in Menlo Park, California.

Herbert “Sonny” Sidney Davis
Herbert “Sonny” Sidney Davis

He was preceded in death by his sister, Lee Davis. Herbert was the beloved husband of Donne Davis, loving father of Deborah Allison Davis and Mark Jeffrey Davis, and devoted “Zayde” (grandfather) of Juliet Davis Porter, Amelia Davis Porter and Sophia Davis. Herbert is also survived by his mother-in-law, Juliet Mills; his son-in-law, Matthew Porter; and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Aric and Joan Mills.

Herbert earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California Berkeley and was a member of Kappa Nu Fraternity and the Cal Boxing team. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Colorado Boulder. He did postdoctoral research at the Institut du Radium in Paris, France. He worked as a physicist on space missions to Jupiter, Saturn and Mars at Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory until retiring in 1987. He returned to the San Francisco Bay Area for a second career as a technical writer at Applied Biosystems Inc. until retiring in 2001.

He was a gifted artist and enjoyed Plein air painting and also channeled his wit into humorous cartoons. He was a patient and empathic listener during his two years as a volunteer grief counselor at Kara Grief Support in Palo Alto, California. He published two books: a collection of cartoons, “Off Center,” and an autobiography, “My Life, My Values.” The family invites donations in Herbert’s name to Donate Life California.

(Sinai Redwood City)


Sara Richshafer Koshover

In Loving Memory

Cincinnati | Sara Koshover (nee Richshafer), age 99, passed away on Yom Kippur, September 19, 2018, daughter of the late Rose & Hyman Richshafer; beloved wife of the late Gilbert Koshover; devoted mother of Barbara Koshover Forbus (the late James Forbus) & Sherie Koshover of San Francisco; dear sister of the late Morris & William Richshafer; loving grandmother of Nicole Rose Forbus; aunt of Howard (Donna) Richshafer, Robert Richshafer, Marcy (Bruce) Hassel & Carol Richshafer Glazier; also survived by many great-nieces & great-nephews.

Sara Richshafer Koshover
Sara Richshafer Koshover

Sara was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on February 18, 1919 and raised in Cincinnati’s Price Hill. She attended Carson Elementary and later graduated from Western Hills High School in 1937. As a teenager, Sara worked for Neisner’s Five & Dime and also played on the company’s first women’s softball team. She was an outstanding athlete who excelled at sports, reinforced by her two older brothers. As a young adult, Sara worked as a medical assistant and office manager for the doctors Slutz, brothers of her high school teacher who felt Sara would be a great match for the position. She took much pride in being selected and proved to be a tremendous asset to the joint medical practice.

Sara met and married Gilbert (“Gil”) Koshover of Cincinnati’s West End in 1943. Her early married life was spent in Seattle and Denver. Sara and Gil had three children; sadly, the first, a son, died shortly after birth the year following their marriage.

Sara was ever so devoted to her family and friends. She was a mentor and marvelous role model for her children and for their friends, too. She never met a stranger, for all with whom she came in contact she embraced into her life as a new friend. She gave of herself and whatever resources she had generously and with a full heart. There is nothing she wouldn’t do to be helpful, and everything she did was exquisitely executed with love. She had a particular fondness for children and animals; being out in nature was a great joy for her, and she enjoyed taking and sharing photographs documenting life around her, especially of nature in all its glory. Sara loved the fresh smell of rain, a variety of music and dancing, and sharing her life with family and friends. She had a strong Jewish faith, and observing Jewish traditions was integral to who she was. She kept a kosher home and never failed to kindle the Shabbos candles every Friday evening. Her death marks the family’s last of her generation.

Sara was a dedicated, lifelong member of Hadassah; Cincinnati’s Adath Israel Congregation’s Sisterhood, wherein she was a gift shop volunteer for 25 years; the National Council for Jewish Women; and World ORT. Throughout her lifetime, she was an active volunteer, supporter and solicitor for numerous Jewish causes, as well as for the broader community. Sara was a passionate supporter of the welfare of the state of Israel and for Jews worldwide.

Without question, Sara’s trademark was her glowing smile. Nearly everyone who ever knew her has commented on her beautiful smile, her vivacious spirit, and the happy way she made them feel. Sara’s hugs and tenderness were unmatched. She had a listening ear to anyone in need of comfort. Her laugh was infectious and had a way of sticking with you. She will long be remembered for her countless acts of kindness, having left this world a better place because of how she chose to live life.

Special gratitude goes out to Dr. Barry Brook — her extraordinary primary care physician, whose exquisite care, oversight and unwavering support continued throughout her lifetime. The family also extends its appreciation to Dr. Sidney Cohen, Sara’s former attending physician, for his many years of dedicated service, along with the myriad of physician specialists and the team of personal caregivers who performed many kindnesses in recent months.

Graveside services were held Sept. 23 at United Jewish Cemetery in Montgomery, Ohio. Memorial contributions to Adath Israel Congregation of Cincinnati, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue of San Francisco, or Shriners Hospitals for Children–Cincinnati would be appreciated.


Gregor Karl Schauer (born October 21, 1969) passed away unexpectedly on July 14, 2018.

Gregor Karl Schauer
Gregor Karl Schauer

Gregor was born in Germiston, South Africa, and emigrated to the United States in 1999. Gregor completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Witwatersrand in 1996 (BA honors in Psychology) and completed an MBA at the University of California, Berkeley (2005). Gregor worked in finance at Google as well as at various financial institutions in the Bay Area including JMP Securities, Baird, Jefferies and Lazard.

Gregor will be sorely missed by his children (Adam and Zoe Schauer), his father and brother (Karl and John Schauer) and his extended Wojcicki family in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as his numerous friends in San Francisco and elsewhere. 


Janice Elaine Shapiro, age 67, passed away peacefully in the arms of her devoted husband at her home in San Francisco on the morning of August 30 after nearly four years of living with cancer. She was a fiercely loving mother and wife, a devoted friend to many, an incomparable host, and a dedicated psychotherapist.

Janice Elaine Shapiro
Janice Elaine Shapiro

Born September 8, 1950 in Philadelphia to Esther Mirow Shapiro and William Shapiro, Jan was a graduate of Northeast High School, Temple University and Georgetown University. She moved to San Francisco in 1978 and worked as a nurse-midwife at San Francisco General Hospital. After her move to California, she pursued her lifelong dream of earning a doctorate in psychology and creating a successful private psychotherapy practice in Noe Valley, which grew and thrived for over 30 years.

Janice loved what she did and did what she loved. She had a singular ability to connect with people, especially over food; she knew her butchers and grocers by first name and loved to entertain friends, which she did often with wit, humor and elegance. She dressed impeccably with style and comfort in mind. Jan was an integral member of the Rhythm and Motion community at the Oberlin Dance Collective (ODC) and attended classes six days a week for over 35 years. She took great pleasure in both singing and dancing and did so with joy and abandon throughout her life. She traveled the world with an irrepressible curiosity and an unforgettable smile, living according to a simple philosophy: “I wake up wondering who I can help today.”

She is survived by her husband, Dennis Biroscak; her son, Jesse; daughter-in-law, Maggie; and granddaughter, Mila; her son, Samuel, and his fiancé, Gina Dyches; her sister, Faye Rita DiGiovanni; brother-in-law, Carmen DiGiovanni; Jill DiGiovanni (niece) and her family: Jason, Genevieve and Graham Goldschmidt; and Laura DiGiovanni (niece) and her family: Mike and Ferris DeBella.

A celebration of Janice’s life will be held at ODC Dance Commons at 351 Shotwell St. on Sunday, Nov. 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. Donations can be made in Janice’s honor though ODC/Rhythm & Motion at odc.dance/donate-now. Please make sure to indicate the “Janice Shapiro Fund” in the Notes section. This fund, the Janice E. Shapiro Healing Dance Fund, will allow others in Janice’s dance community who are fighting illness to take Rhythm & Motion dance classes for free.

Sinai San Francisco


Stone Unveiling

Monio Pilpel

August 8, 1935–December 22, 2017

The family announces that the unveiling of the stone in memory of Monio Pilpel will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, at Eternal Home Cemetery, 1051 El Camino Real, Colma. All are welcome to attend.