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

Deaths for the week of Dec. 13, 2019

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

Jan. 8, 1947-Nov. 21, 2019

Roger Charles Alperin, a career mathematician, passed away peacefully on Nov. 21, 2019 at his home in Carlsbad, California. He was 72.

Roger Aplerin
Roger Aplerin

Roger received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Rice University in 1973. He went on to assistant professorships at Brown University (1973-1976), Haverford University (1976-1977), Washington University (1977-1978) and the University of Oklahoma (1978-1987), where he eventually became a full professor. He later took a full professorship at San Jose State University from 1987 to 2014, where he served as chairman from 2002 to 2004 and ultimately became Emeritus in 2015.

Roger leaves a substantial mathematical legacy. He published and presented extensively in the fields of group theory, algebra and number theory, and geometry and mathematical origami. He had a special passion for origami and devoted 20 years to developing foundational elements of the mathematical theory of origami constructions, folds and numbers. Roger continued publishing and presenting in retirement and continued to work on math projects until his passing. In September of 2018, he presented three papers at the 7th International Meeting on Origami in Science, Mathematics and Education.

Roger will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor, warm smile and commitment to family. His other interests included travelling, hiking and beachcombing, especially for sea glass and seashells.

Roger was born on Jan. 8, 1947 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His late parents were Gladys (nee Swartz) and Melvin Alperin. His survivors include his beloved wife, Gaye Lending Alperin; his sons from his first marriage, Howard (wife Patricia) Alperin and Joshua (wife Pilar) Alperin; and his granddaughter Alicea Alperin. He will be remembered as a loving stepfather to Marissa Holloway and Kara Solomon and an adoring grandfather to their children Zoe Hormell and Sophia and Mollie Solomon.

Please send donations to Temple Solel, 3575 Manchester Ave., Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007; or to the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, 17 Gauss Way, Berkeley.

Charlotte Fish

March 21, 1933-Nov. 28, 2019

Charlotte passed away unexpectedly after a brief illness. Beloved wife of the late Paul Fish. Devoted mother to sons David and Marshall. Caring aunt to many nieces and nephews and cherished by numerous friends.

Charlotte grew up in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. When first married, Charlotte and Paul lived in the Westlake area of Daly City before settling in San Mateo.

Charlotte was a former Payroll Officer and 25-year employee of the City of San Mateo.

Funeral services were held Dec. 4 at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma. May her memory always be a blessing.

Gloria Fischel (Baruh) Hartman

May 19, 1930-Dec. 4, 2019

Gloria Hartman died peacefully on Dec. 4, 2019, surrounded by her family.

Gloria Hartman
Gloria Hartman

Gloria was born in Montreal, Canada, on May 19, 1930. She and her parents, Mollie and Victor Fischel, of which she was the only child, moved to Scarsdale, New York, when Gloria was 4 years old, for Victor to continue with the Seagram’s Liquor Company, where he later became president. Gloria was raised and continued to live in Scarsdale until 1950, when she married Brad Baruh and moved to San Francisco.

Gloria and Brad’s three children, Judy, Jeff and John, whom Gloria lovingly called her Three Js, all continue to live in the Bay Area and stayed close to her throughout her life. After her divorce from Brad, Gloria eventually remarried in 1985 to Jim Hartman, with whom she enjoyed a rich, loving relationship until Jim died in 2004.

Gloria lived life to the fullest. She cherished her friends and loved entertaining, the arts and volunteering her time. Fashion was her passion, as Gloria made a career out of styling and working in the couture departments of Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. “Gloria” was a loving wife; “Glo” was a best friend to many; “Mom” was an adored mother; and “GeeGee” a cherished grandmother and great-grandmother.

Gloria is survived and will be greatly missed by her three children: daughter Judith Colton (Brad) of Danville, CA; son Jeffrey Baruh (Wendy) of Menlo Park, CA; and son John Baruh (Denise Benatar) of Belmont, CA; by stepsons Matthew, Tony and Bill Hartman; by grandchildren Bryan Colton, Victoria DeCoite (Jamie), Dante Baruh, Trevor Baruh, Parker Baruh and Anton Baruh; and by her great-grandchildren Colton, Noah and Tripp DeCoite.

Gloria’s faith was important to her. Predeceased by her husband, many friends, aunts and uncles, and her beloved mother and father, Gloria took comfort in knowing she would see her loved ones again. Gloria was a longtime member of Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco, where a memorial service and celebration of life were held on Dec. 12. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Congregation Emanu-El (San Francisco) in memory of Gloria or the Alzheimer’s Foundation.


Rozalia Herszkowicz

Sept. 15, 1921-Nov. 16, 2019

Rozalia Herszkowicz (“Rouzha”), née Pofelis, died peacefully at her home in Berkeley on Nov. 16, 2019. She was 98. A distinguished physician whose fully self-made life and accomplishments spanned two continents, she was also a Holocaust survivor who repeatedly overcame displacement and prejudice. In the most adverse circumstances, she fought resiliently for her dignity, her values and the right not only to exist but to succeed. She was a strong-willed high achiever, passionate about her medical career and a natural feminist decades ahead of her time.

Rozalia Herszkowicz
Rozalia Herszkowicz

Rozalia Herszkowicz was born in 1921 in Chelm, Poland, to Szandla Gordon, a dressmaker, and Chaim Pofelis, a milliner, Communist and atheist.

The family relocated to Kharkiv, Ukraine, in 1933, to escape a reactionary government. There they faced famine and the squalor of life in the Soviet Union. Rozalia finished at the top of her high school class and gained admission to medical school. Her father was deported to the Kolyma gulag in Siberia. When World War II broke out, her medical school evacuated to Kyrgyzstan, and she snuck her mother and sister onto the transport. As a medical student, she was dispatched on horseback to remote mountainous Kyrgyz villages to vaccinate and promote hygiene. She earned a medical diploma with honors in 1944 and served in the Red Army as a Captain. Her brother Leon was killed in action.

After the war, Rozalia specialized in ENT, but found that her job applications were rejected because she was Jewish. Hoping to find a more welcoming environment, the family left Ukraine for Poland, returning to a ravaged Warsaw. They settled in the equally bombed-out western city of Wroclaw. She switched her focus to pediatrics, treating children injured and traumatized by the war. In 1948, she met and married Izrael Herszkowicz, a philosophy student and printer. They had three daughters and would remain together for 59 years until his death in 2007.

In Poland, Rozalia’s career thrived. As a woman of 32 she served as a Professor and Chief of Pediatrics at a major hospital, surrounded by exclusively male peers decades her senior. Despite her professional success and a vibrant social life in Wroclaw, Rozalia could never shake the feeling that her Jewishness was an impediment to full acceptance.

She proudly retained her identity, refusing to “Polonize” her name. Her fears were proven right in 1968 when a full blown anti-Semitic campaign orchestrated by the Communist Party caused most of Poland’s Jewish population to emigrate.

In 1968 the family left everything, arriving in New York City with only five dollars and rudimentary English. With support from HIAS, the construction of a new life began. Rozalia worked tirelessly to certify her medical credentials in the U.S. and became a clinical instructor at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn before going into private practice as a pediatrician on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Many of the children she treated came from the city’s underserved and underprivileged communities.

The Herszkowicz family lived in Manhattan near Fort Tryon Park before relocating to Cliffside, NJ, and Berkeley, CA. After her retirement from medicine at age 75, Rozalia took up oil painting, including painting portraits of all her grandchildren.

Rozalia Herszkowicz is survived by her sister, two daughters and six grandsons. A memorial service will be held on Dec. 22 at Home of Eternity Cemetery in Oakland.

Morton H. Owens

June 3, 1927-Nov. 9, 2019

Mort Owens passed away in Redwood City on Nov. 9, 2019. Born Morton Harold Ososke in San Francisco on July 3, 1927 to Max and Regina (Lowy) Ososke, he and his two brothers, Herb and Art, grew up at Homewood Terrace, a Jewish orphanage in San Francisco. Upon graduating from Balboa High School in 1945, he enlisted with the United States Navy. After leaving the service, Mort became an embalmer, and subsequently a mortician, a profession where he spent his life serving as associate funeral director for Sinai Memorial Chapel in San Francisco, and later at Crosby–N. Gray and Co. in Burlingame.

Mort was a man of immense compassion, empathy and caring, repeatedly demonstrating these qualities in his interactions with grieving families. An enthusiastic member of the Order of the Masons, Mort was honored recently for his 50 years of participation and membership. Also, he was a longtime member of Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, where he relished his conversations with many of its congregants.

On a personal note, Mort maintained a large coin collection, which he happily expanded whenever given the opportunity. Furthermore, he enjoyed the company of his family and the consumption of good food (which would often include his favorite crème brûlée for dessert). The toughest part about dining out with Mort was getting the check before he did.

Mort is survived by his beloved wife, Hilda (Edelson) Owens, to whom he was married for 52 years, along with stepdaughter Sharon (Strauss) and her husband Rodger Barkoff. In addition, Mort leaves four stepgrandchildren: Mindie (Barkoff) and her husband Jon Romanowsky, Matthew Barkoff and his wife Britton, Kendra (Barkoff) and her husband Jonathan Lamy, and Lynsey Barkoff, along with several step-great-grandchildren. Also surviving Mort are numerous nieces and nephews, the children of his siblings: Herbert Ososke and his wife Esther (Zimmerman), Arthur Ososke and his wife Doris (Poritz), Mary (Milla) and her husband Pete Georgeatos, and Jack Milla and his wife Kalli (Triffon).

A funeral service was held in the chapel at Home of Peace Cemetery, Colma. Entombment followed at Salem Memorial Park. He will be missed by all who knew him. May his memory be a blessing.