Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel. This page will be updated throughout the week. Submit an obituary here.
Barry Dow Biegun
1927–Feb. 26, 2021
Barry Dow Biegun, 93, passed away peacefully on Feb. 26 at his home in Cupertino.
Barry was the son of Leah Eisenstein Biegun and Chayim Biegun. Born in Poland, Barry was only 11 years old when Soviet troops invaded Poland in 1939. Barry was part of the largely untold story of Polish citizens who were deported by the Soviet Union to Soviet labor camps at the beginning of World War II. Barry was a child when he was sent to the Siberian labor camp, known as “The Gulag,” where he remained until he was 17 years old.
After surviving the Holocaust, Barry came to the United States. Before completing his degree, he decided to join the U.S. Air Force in June 1945 and served as a staff sergeant until he was honorably discharged in August 1952. In January 1953, Barry achieved a lifelong dream when he became a U.S. citizen.
After completing his military service, Barry pursued his education under the G.I. Bill. He earned a B.A. in mathematics with honors from San Francisco State University in 1955 and his teaching credential in 1957. He attended the National Science Foundation Academic Year Institute at the University of Minnesota in 1960. In 1964, Barry earned a life diploma from the California State Board of Education. In 1965, Barry was awarded his M.S. in mathematics from Oregon State University. A gifted mathematician and teacher, Barry taught mathematics at Terra Linda High School and Napa Senior High School (where he was the chair of the department).
Barry joined IBM as a programmer on special projects, where he was highly skilled in developing solutions for complex programming challenges. He retired in 1992 after 25 years.
Throughout his life, Barry loved listening to piano music, taking long walks, enjoying nature and life. He took pleasure in his children, grandchildren and their accomplishments. He adored his grandchildren and felt proud of their achievements and delighted in his daughters’ musical and theatrical performances when they were young girls. He also had a beautiful singing voice, and had he been raised under different circumstances would have pursued his musical talents.
The family would like to thank Barry’s caregivers for their amazing care and kindness. Barry and his family are grateful to each of them.
Barry is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, Martha, as well as his beautiful daughters Debby Hoffman (David), Cheryl Lamin and Miriam Permut (Steven), whom he shared with his first wife Berenice. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren: Samantha and Kira Hoffman; Adam, Mark and Evan Lamin; Leah and Matthew Permut. He was preceded in death by his son-in-law Victor Lamin, his brother Arthur and sister Rhoda. He is survived by his brother Seymour.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a small group of family members gathered for the interment. There will be no open house.
Merril M. Hirsch
Feb. 18, 1940–March 2, 2020
Beloved son, father, grandfather and brother. Remembered by Harry and Marcie Hirsch Ratner.