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

Deaths for the week of Nov. 1, 2019

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

Barbara Ruth Staub Weiss Chaitin

Aug. 27, 1934–Oct. 6, 2019

Barbara (Bobbie) Ruth Staub Weiss Chaitin, born in Brooklyn, New York, to Margaret Gartner and Charles Staub, died peacefully in Houston, Texas, surrounded by her loving family. Bobbie was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, cousin, aunt, grandmother, friend and favorite teacher to hundreds of very lucky students. Her passion for education and belief that every student can succeed held true throughout her professional life.

She was married to Arnold Weiss in 1955 and divorced from him in 1970. She was married to Richard Chaitin in 1974. She loved nothing more than spending time with her devoted husband, family and friends (especially at her Passover seders and other special occasions), her animal menagerie and her beautiful garden. She was a proud member of the Horowitz-Margareten family.

She is survived by her husband Richard, brother Robert Staub, MD (Kay Staub, z”l, Nelia Magbitang), sister-in-law and brother-in-law Ann and Alan Chaitin, sisters-in-law Sandy Borak and Johanna Robbins, children Rabbi Eric Weiss (Dan Alpert), Wendy Weiss (Andi Gletty), Lauren Weiss, Andrea Weiss Farb (Lee Farb, z”l), grandchildren Alison and Daniel Farb, and numerous loving cousins, nephews, nieces and friends. Funeral and shiva were held in Los Angeles.

Lenci Farkas

May 18, 1922–Oct. 14, 2019

Lenci Farkas, a defiant Holocaust survivor, passed away in San Mateo on Oct. 14, 2019. Born in Királyhaza, Czechoslovakia, she was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp at the age of 22. She survived Auschwitz and the Death March.

Lenci Farkas
Lenci Farkas

Lenci was preceded in death by her husband, Morris Farkas. She is survived by her children, Dr. Gabriel Farkas and Suzanne Farkas, her four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

After coming to the United States, Lenci and Morris became successful business owners of Peninsula Shoe Mart. Lenci was also involved with the Holocaust Center in San Francisco and Shelter for Israel.

Lenci believed that her success and happy life was her ultimate revenge against the Nazis.

She will be profoundly missed.


Elsa Hannah Michaels

Oct. 28, 1922–Oct. 3, 2019

Elsa Hannah Michaels, age 96, passed away peacefully on Oct. 3, 2019.

Elsa Hannah Michaels
Elsa Hannah Michaels

She was born in Germany on Oct. 28, 1922, and enjoyed a wonderful life with her family until they had to give up everything and flee the country to save their lives from the Nazi regime during the 1930s.

In 1942, Elsa married the love of her life, Leonard Michaels, with whom she had three children: Elizabeth and George, born in England, and Peter, who was born in California.

In 1950, Elsa and Leonard moved their family from England to the USA and established a new life for themselves in San Mateo Park, California.

Elsa had many talents. She sewed all of her clothes while she was raising her children so she could afford to look her best. She was an entrepreneur and a successful real estate agent.

Elsa’s most memorable talent was her creative cooking. She wrote a unique vegetarian cookbook and was renowned for her delicious vegetarian cuisine. Her vegetarian gourmet dinners were enjoyed by guests from all walks of life in Europe and the United States.

The most important part of Elsa’s life was family and friends. She was a gracious, generous and beautiful lady who will be dearly missed.

Elsa is survived by her son, George, and his wife Cathy; her grandchildren, Lauren, Brendan and his wife Shannon, and Megan; and her sister/inlaw, Greta/Jutta.

Robert David Williams

July 8, 1944–Oct. 15, 2019

Robert David Williams, 75, was born on July 8, 1944, and died on Oct. 15, 2019. Bob was a third-generation San Franciscan, born to Nadine (Schneider) & Peter E. Williams. Beloved and devoted husband to Judy (Garber) for 51 years. Loving father to Anne (Williams) & Tim Quaintance and Jennifer Williams, and devoted papa to Paige Quaintance. Loving brother to Kathy & Don Williams, Lynne & Peter Williams Jr., and cherished cousin to Claire & Jim Davis. Uncle Bob to his five nieces and nephews and eight great-nieces and nephews. He loved them all.

Robert David Williams
Robert David Williams

Bob was a longtime member of Concordia-Argonaut Club, Lake Merced Golf Club and Congregations Sherith Israel and Emanu-El. He was a huge fan of the S.F. Giants and 49ers. Bob enjoyed his work at his family-owned insurance company and family friends’ locally operated businesses. Bob was keen with electronics and always had the latest television and video camera. Bob was an avid tennis player. Bob enjoyed all types of game shows and table games, and for decades played poker weekly with a group of dear friends.

Bob will be remembered by his family, lifelong friends, acquaintances and strangers for his good nature and comical sense of humor. The family wants to thank all the caring staff at Coventry Place, Sutter Care at Home and Pacifica Rehab. Bob will be missed by everyone who knew him. A private funeral service was held for family and close friends.