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

Deaths for the week of Dec. 21, 2018


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


Marcia Renée Goodman

1/22/55–12/5/17

Marcia Goodman died a year ago, on December 5, 2017, 19 years after being diagnosed with stage-4 ovarian cancer. She is deeply grieved by partner and spouse of 36 years Hank Levy; children Dani, Wesley, Noah, and Matt; sister-in-law Judy; niece Anna; mother Marilyn; and many friends who were like sisters. She was beloved by a large extended family as well, including many doctors, nurses, and hospital staff.

Marcia Goodman
Marcia Goodman

For most of her professional life, Marcia was an English Professor at Diablo Valley Community College in Pleasant Hill. She inspired her students to think, write, and pursue education. She was an equally inspired mother, an academic, a gifted listener and trusted confidant, and a passionate participant in the arts. In her youth she wrote musicals. She sang and played piano all her life. In her final two years, she studied the violin, accompanied a string quartet, and took tap-dancing lessons.

Mostly, Marcia was a dedicated writer. A poet, memoirist, playwright and mystery novelist, she never stopped writing her own story. The story of her difficult childhood, of the tragic death of her brother Wayne, of her fierce fight to live fully after her cancer diagnosis. Many of her poems and essays have been published, and in 2014 she self-published a collection of her poems. Three months before she died, Marcia produced a staged reading of her one-act play at a theater in Berkeley.

Marcia was a native of Canarsie, Brooklyn, and never lost her Brooklyn spirit (nor pride). In 1977 she came to Berkeley, earned her Ph.D. in English Literature and never left. She created a rich, beautiful life. After her diagnosis, cancer never defined her. She lived vibrantly even through multiple surgeries, many rounds of chemo, pain, and exhaustion. Marcia loved life in all its complexity and leaves a legacy of embracing every moment.


Zane Edward Grimm

Zane Edward (“Babe”) Grimm was born in Cleveland on Nov. 12, 1925 and died Dec. 14, 2018. He was a young 93, charming people with his humor, his energy and his ability to enjoy the everyday — a man well-loved and a life well-lived.

Zane Edward Grimm
Zane Edward Grimm

Zane was a proud World War II veteran who joined the Navy at 17 and served from 1943 to 1947 on the USS New York, USS Donaldson and USS Amphion. Those four years shaped the rest of his life. After his service, Zane stayed in touch with his shipmates and attended reunions all over the country.

Except for a stint as the Physical Director at the YMCA, he spent his career supporting veterans after he earned his master’s degree in 1954. Zane’s last professional position was at the San Francisco VA where he served as a Physical Therapist heading the rehab program and working with amputees during the Vietnam War. He was world-renowned in his field of corrective therapy and his papers were published in numerous medical journals.

Zane lost the love of his life, Elaine, in 2002. While he missed her terribly, he continued to live a full, independent and active life. He also loved hanging out with his many friends of all ages and spending time at the family’s Lake County property.

Zane lived in San Francisco for more than 60 years, but inexplicably remained a Browns fan.

Zane was predeceased by his wife, Elaine Saltzman Grimm, to whom he was married for 49 years, his sister, Muriel Aaronson, and his nieces Lorie Aaronson and Michelle Kern. He is survived by his daughters, Nanette Grimm and Maureen Grimm, his son-in-law Ofer Amir, his older brother and sister-in-law Nelson and Ida Grimm, his nieces and nephews Dee-Dee Sberlo, Sue Barnett, Terri Aaronson, Shelley Aaronson Soulema, Dale Aaronson, O. Steven Grimm, Beverly Grimm and their families, and many great-nieces and great-nephews. He also leaves a beloved circle of friends, including the Guilfoyle family, next-door neighbors for 60+ years.

Graveside services were held Dec. 20 at Home of Peace Cemetery, Colma. Donations can be made in Zane Grimm’s memory to Muttville, a nonprofit that facilitates adoptions of senior dogs. Donate to Muttville, 255 Alabama St., SF, CA 94103, or donate.muttville.org.


Lester Kaplan

August 30, 1922–December 14, 1918

Lester Kaplan, born in August 1922, passed away peacefully at home on December 14 at the age of 96. Lester was born in Chicago to Minnie and Edward Kaplan. He moved with his family to California when he was 3 years old and was raised in Salinas. Lester was student body president at Salinas High School and attended Hartnell College, where he played football.

Lester Kaplan
Lester Kaplan

He moved to San Mateo, where he opened Carlyle Jewelers with his brother Paul in 1946 and soon after his own store in Palo Alto. In 1948 he met and married the love of his life, Rhoda Strauss. They recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Lester and Rhoda enjoyed traveling the world together, but his fondest memories were the years spent at their homes in Carmel and Palm Desert playing tennis and golf. Lester was also a founding member of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills.

Lester is survived by his loving wife Rhoda; sister Laura Less; cherished daughters Marcia Koff (Howard), Linda Drummy, and Sharon Delly (Alex); adored grandchildren Stacy Koff (Steve), David Koff, Scott Delly (Cindy), and Brooke Delly; and his great-granddaughter, Stella Totland.

In memory of Lester, contributions may be made in his name to Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022; or Pathways Hospice, 585 No. Mary Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94085.


Abraham Malaster

April 15, 1928–Dec. 9, 2018

Abraham (Abe) Malaster passed away at 90 years of age in his home in Millbrae, California. Abe was born in the Bronx, New York, to Rose and Isadore Malaster, who immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island from Bessarabia. As a young boy, Abe worked in the family grocery store below their modest Manhattan apartment that was shared with his sisters Miriam and Beverly.

Abraham Malaster
Abraham Malaster

Abe earned a degree in Engineering from Syracuse University. He was drafted twice to serve in the United States Army. Abe, PFC of the 9361 enlisted, received the Soldier’s Medal for his bravery for saving families from a burning building (December 1955).

The native New Yorker eventually hitchhiked to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he made his home and had a fulfilling life of 60-plus years. Abe met and married Joan Freedman, also from New York, in 1961 and had two children, Stephen and Marci. Our father divorced after 20 years of marriage. He was fortunate to find love again in the heart of Phyllis Wasserman of Palo Alto; they wed in 1985. Phyllis unexpectedly passed after 18 years of marriage. In his mid-80s, he found his “soulmate” in the eyes of Estelle Macy. Abe cared for Estelle for three years until cancer took her. In the last year of his life, he met Ellie Van Sherp to share time and celebrate his 90th birthday.

Abe had a strong work ethic; he owned and operated a semi-conductor packaging company. After 30 years, it continues to thrive at the helm of his longtime (and son-like) employee, Mike Cordingley.

Our father enjoyed life to the fullest. Dad’s zest for life was always expressed through sharing and caring for others. Dad generously donated to Jewish philanthropic organizations and was an avid world traveler from Alaska to Asia. Dad was a competitive tennis player throughout his life and even loved tending his vegetable garden: too many tomatoes! Dad enjoyed a good cigar and a good nap and enjoyed a good drink and a good meal shared with family and friends. He was a great storyteller, had a “unique” sense of humor, and no matter what, “everything was fine.”

The one-time Arthur Murray dance teacher was truly light on his feet and charmed ladies on the dance floor until his feet could no longer carry him. We hope he is now dancing lightly into the night and getting sweet kisses goodnight.

Abe Malaster is survived by his son Stephen and his wife Mercedes, daughter Marci and extended family Shelley and Dan Rosenthal, Linda and Steve Monosson and grandchildren Adele and Ava Rosenthal and Rachael and Zoe Monosson, who with great affection will miss their grandpa Abee (Ah-bee). Donations may be made in Abe’s honor to your preferred philanthropic organization. Private services will be held for family and close friends in January 2019.


Victor Mendelsohn

Victor Mendelsohn died peacefully at his home of 55 years in San Francisco on Sunday, October 7, 2018, surrounded by his family and his best friend of over 65 years.

Victor Mendelsohn
Victor Mendelsohn

Victor was born in Eastern Poland in 1924 to Lipa and Chaya Mendelsohn. In 1939, his town was invaded and occupied by the Russians and then in 1941 by the Nazis. Victor, his father and two brothers survived the Nazi occupation by being hidden for 10 months beneath the false flooring of a chicken coop by a righteous Russian and his family. The extended Mendelsohn family continues to help the descendants of this righteous family who hid them. Of 150 close relatives, only seven survived.

Victor proudly served in the U.S. Army for three years during the Korean conflict as a quartermaster staff sergeant with the U.S. forces in Berlin. After discharge from the Army, Victor took the three-day train ride from New York to San Francisco to seek his fortune.

He met Gloria, the love of his life, at the SFJCC pool and married her in 1956, and they were blessed with four children and five grandchildren.

Victor worked for the U.S. Postal Service, starting as a window clerk and rising to Station Master of Stonestown and West Portal stations.

He had a beautiful voice and for many years was a High Holiday Cantor for Congregation B’nai Emunah. He also served as principal and teacher at their Sunday school.

He was a member of the Odd Fellows, Freemasons and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Victor always said that G-d was good to him, and he appreciated every moment of his life. The family requests donations in his memory be made to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust or the American Heart Association.

(Sinai SF)


Henry Stein

Henry Stein
Henry Stein

The family of Henry Stein is sad to announce the passing of their beloved husband, father and grandfather on December 11, 2018. He will be remembered with love as a man who cared deeply for his family and gave generously of himself. He spent the majority of his career as a former superintendent and principal in the Gilroy School District. He was an active congregant of Temple Emanuel in San Jose and served as president. He enjoyed a lifetime of stamp collecting and was an avid model train enthusiast along with countless other hobbies. He was the beloved husband of Sandra Stein for 66 years, father to Laurie Benson (Mark), Kim Licht (Bruce) and grandchildren Ashley, Andrew, Brian and Danielle.

Donations in his memory may be made to Brandeis University-Professor Dagmar Ringe Biochemistry Research Prize.


Jacqueline Strauss

August 31, 1930–December 2, 2018

Jacquie passed away peacefully at her home in San Mateo on the morning of December 2, 2018, surrounded by her loving family. Born to Ben and Leah Lassers in Hammond, Indiana, she was raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois. She moved with her family to San Francisco in 1946. Jacquie graduated from George Washington High School in 1948. She attended City College of San Francisco and University of Southern California.

Jacqueline Strauss
Jacqueline Strauss

During her college years she met her future husband, Howard Strauss, whom she married in 1951; they settled in Daly City. Together they raised two children: Jay and Leigh. In 1977, Jacquie and Howard moved to San Mateo. In 2009, Jacquie moved to the Stratford in San Mateo, where she enjoyed making friends with the residents and the world-class staff.

A loving and supportive mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Jacquie enjoyed loving relationships with her children, extended family and friends. Jacquie loved taking annual vacations with her four generations of family. Besides her love of family, her passions included playing Mah Jongg and Pan with her friends. If her friends were available, she would have played seven days a week. Always the caring host, she would provide a wide assortment of snacks, which always included See’s dark chocolate candy.

Jacquie was also interested in giving back to the community; she was proud to support the City of Hope, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Samaritan House, the Stanford Children’s Hospital and Healthy Cities Tutoring.

Jacquie was preceded in death by Howard Strauss, her husband of 49 years, and parents. She is survived by her loving family including her children, Leigh Sobotka and Jay (Joyce) Strauss, and grandchildren Alison Vrbas (Phil), Benjamin Strauss (Beth), Katelyn Klein (Daniel), and Reid Sobotka. Jacquie is also survived by her pride and joy, great-grandchildren Micah and Leilah Vrbas and Clare Strauss. Jacquie will also be lovingly remembered by her sisters-in-law, Virginia Sukenik and Jill Strauss, and many other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Jacquie’s memory/name to the following organizations or to the charity of your choice: Samaritan House (samaritanhousesanmateo.org/donate) or Michael J. Fox Foundation (michaeljfox.org).

The family would like to give our heartfelt thanks to the entire staff at The Stratford for their loving care and to the Mission Hospice team who made her last days comfortable.

A memorial to Jacquie’s life will be held on Saturday, January 5 at 5 p.m. at Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo.


Marie (Mary) Utzig

Marie (Mary) Utzig passed away Saturday, December 8, 2018. She’ll be greatly missed by Barbara (sister) and Al Schrinsky, Karen Forbes (niece) and Bela Martin (friend). May she rest in peace.