Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel.
Kenneth David Brenner
Sept. 9, 1946–Feb. 14, 2022
Kenneth David Brenner
Kenneth David Brenner, born Sept. 9, 1946, passed away on Feb. 14, 2022, surrounded by his family in the comfort of his own home after a courageous battle with ALS. Ken was born and raised in Los Angeles as the middle child to Harriet and Nathan Brenner. Ken was a skilled athlete who played football all through high school and received a full scholarship to play at Long Beach State University. An injury in his senior year led him to switch to another passion dear to his heart – art – and he saw life through an abstract lens.
After graduating and spending a summer in Europe, Ken moved to Berkeley and taught preschool to the professors’ children. Later he went back to get a teaching credential at San Francisco State University, and there met his wife, Melissa, of 44 years. Together they raised a family of three children in the Bay Area. Ryan (Daniela), Jordan and Courtney were his pride and joy. He was an avid and dedicated supporter to his family, always so proud of their accomplishments. Without many teaching jobs available in the ’70s, Ken pursued an accomplished business career as a successful and respected banker. He helped mentor numerous people, which changed their lives for the better, and eventually became CEO of Avidbank.
Ken was encouraged to take up art again and it became his passion in life. He went on to have several successful art shows. When diagnosed with ALS in 2020, Ken and his family donated and raised money to help find a cure.
Kenny was a proud husband, father, and Papa to Luka and Jonah. He was generous, thoughtful and loving to all who touched his life. His sense of humor and gift of cultivating relationships from all walks of life are priceless. He was a current news and sports enthusiast. Ken generously donated time and money to Peninsula Temple Beth El, where he was a member, Samaritan House, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University and the Pacific Art League.
When Ken’s health began to decline, he and Melissa moved to Los Angeles to be with their children. His infinite spirit and legacy will live on in our family and through his art. He touched the hearts of many and made a huge impact on their lives.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to ALS: moffoundation.com/donate.
Aug. 19, 1947–Feb. 22, 2022
Paul died on Feb. 22, 2022, in Mill Valley, CA. Born and raised in Jackson Heights, NY, he was the eldest child of Fay and Joseph. Educated at Queens College, where he was elected Student Association president, and at George Washington University where he studied Health Care Administration. He served as the board chair of the National Student Association, 1968-69.
His health care career included positions in New York City, Buffalo and Trenton, where he was the first non-medical CEO of Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.
After he moved to San Francisco in 1979, his career included administrative positions in diverse organizations, including Muni and Hillel International. His leadership and mentoring skills were devoted to Congregation Sha’ar Zahav as its first president, Menorah Park as board chair and 18 Doors as national board chair. He also served on the boards of San Francisco Hillel, the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, the Bureau of Jewish Education and San Francisco JCC.
He is survived by his spouse of 35 years, Dr. Robert Gutterman, siblings Marc (Jane) of Ft. Worth and Ellen Hass (Steven) of Boynton Beach, and their children and grandchildren. Paul was particularly proud of his many honorary nieces and nephews. He believed that one of his greatest accomplishments was the many Jews by Choice that he was privileged to support on their journeys to Judaism.
Burial services were held at Hills of Eternity in Colma. Donations in his memory to Congregation Sha’ar Zahav or San Francisco Hillel would be appreciated.
June 20, 1928–Feb. 9, 2022
Stewart Feldstein, cherished husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 9 in Scottsdale, Arizona, surrounded by his loving family. He was 93 years young.
Stewart was born in Detroit, Michigan, on June 20, 1928. His family moved to California when he was a teenager. After high school, Stewart went into the Army of Occupation and served in World War II stationed in Darmstadt, Germany. After leaving the service, Stewart attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he met the love of his life, Janice. They married in 1954 and would have celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary this year.
While living in the California Bay Area, Stewart traveled the world in the garment industry. After retiring to Scottsdale, he quickly discovered retirement was not his passion and went to work at FirstService Residential, where he was a community manager for over 30 years and remained employed by the company until the day he died. He was the company’s longest — and oldest — employee.
Known to the grandkids as “Grandpa Stew” and “Papa,” Stewart was an avid sports fan, rooting for the San Francisco 49ers and the Cal Bears. He loved cherry pie — in fact, anything cherry.
Stewart is survived by wife Janice; son Alan (Diane); daughter Barbara Elfman (Eric); two brothers, five grandchildren and a great-grandson.
There will be a celebration of life for Stewart on April 3 at Temple Solel in Paradise Valley, AZ. In his honor, please consider a donation to Project:Camp or the Honor Flight Network.
Noreen Robin Lupole
Oct. 8, 1954–Feb. 16, 2022
Noreen Robin Lupole
Noreen Robin (Hoffman) Lupole passed away in Ukiah, CA on Feb. 16, 2022 after a two-year battle with cancer. A native of San Francisco, she graduated from Lowell High School and from UCLA. She married William (Bill) Lupole in 1980 and was blessed with identical twin daughters in 1981. The family relocated to Mendocino County in 1988.
Noreen’s professional career spanned four decades in accounting and financial services. Her passions included her pets, particularly her dogs, voracious reading, gardening and British TV.
Noreen is survived by her daughters, Rachel Lupole, Katharine (Nick) Troia; granddaughters Lauren and Emily Troia; brother Scott (Mary) Hoffman and sister-in-law Linda Hoffman; brother Craig (Deborah) Hoffman; nieces and nephews Jarrett (Bing) Hoffman, Lindsay (Nolan) Nichols, Jessia Hoffman, Gabe Hoffman, Jake Hoffman, and grand-niece and nephew Avery and Boyce Nichols. She also leaves behind dear friends and in-laws Nancy and Tony Troia and her cherished childhood friend, Julie Sherry Larson.
A private ceremony is planned for the family.
March 23, 1931–Feb. 20, 2022
Curtis was a gentle and kind-hearted man through and through. He passed away on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022 after suffering for several years with Alzheimer’s. He was born in Hamburg, Germany and came to San Francisco when he was 8 years old. He attended George Washington High School and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in structural engineering from University of California at Berkeley. At Berkeley, he enjoyed belonging to and made many lifelong friends at Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. After attending Berkeley, he served in the Army Corps of Engineers in South Korea, helping them rebuild after the Korean War.
Curtis was deeply devoted for 65 years to his wife, Marion. It was love at first sight, and they were engaged within three weeks of meeting and married within six months. His family was extremely important to him. His children meant the world to him, and he never missed a game, concert or event when they were growing up. He also loved being a grandfather and great-grandfather.
Curt is survived by his children: Kenneth Meier and his wife Paula, Jeff Meier and his wife Darline, and Linda Gelfand and her husband Jonathan; his grandchildren: Daniel, David, Rachel, Jacquelyn, Jennifer and her husband Stephen, and Lauren and her husband Parker; and his two great-grandchildren: Abigail and Philip.
In his more than 50 years as a structural engineer, he built many iconic buildings in San Francisco and the Bay Area, including St. Mary’s Cathedral, the original Emporium/Capwell buildings, the Facebook campus by the Dumbarton Bridge, various large condominium complexes and many others. He was well-liked by those that worked for him and respected by his colleagues and companies he worked with.
Curt loved playing and watching sports. He was an avid fan of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers, and loved to go back to Cal to root on his beloved Golden Bears. In his retirement, he could often be found watching a baseball game at the Giants ballpark, playing golf or hitting a ball on the tennis courts.
Curt also enjoyed travel and went all over the world with his wife. He spent summers in Lake Tahoe, and his kids and grandkids enjoy fond memories of their time with him at the beach, enjoying the pool and playing tennis up at Club Tahoe.
If you wish to honor Curt, please make a donation to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health: lpfch.org or (650) 497-8365.
Elisa Jeanne Rassen
Oct. 15, 1977–Feb. 13, 2022
Elisa Jeanne Rassen
Elisa Jeanne Rassen, who wrote and edited strategic communications for educational organizations, died Feb. 13, 2022, surrounded by family at their home in Sonoma, CA. She was 44.
The cause of death was metastatic thyroid cancer which she had endured for 16 years.
Elisa was born Oct. 15, 1977, in San Francisco. She attended Hamlin School and Lick-Wilmerding High School, where she was valedictorian. She went on to graduate cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in Romance Languages and Literature. She then earned a master’s degree in education from Stanford to follow the field she loved. She edited three books in the field and had multiple academic publications.
Elisa worked at NatureBridge, at City College of San Francisco, and later independently as a resource development specialist. Her strategic planning helped raise tens of millions of dollars in grants. She secured funding across a wide range of disciplines, such as workforce development, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, health care, and support services for disadvantaged populations, including emancipated foster youth and former prisoners.
She led partnerships with nonprofit organizations, employers, trade unions, city/county agencies, K-12 school districts, and community college districts throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Elisa was a delightful person to talk to, and was bright, funny and articulate. She had a brilliant mind, and a remarkable vocabulary, with a gift for finding a perfect word to communicate her viewpoint. She thought clearly, expressed herself passionately and had strong opinions on many subjects. She was an avid reader. She was caring and cared for, especially by her family and longtime friends.
Elisa is survived by her parents, Amy and Joshua Rassen; her brother Jeremy Rassen (Gregory); her aunts Donna Adler and Rachel Rassen; her nephew Gabriel and her niece Sylvia.
Elisa was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2005. While she underwent immediate treatment, she had early evidence of metastatic disease. As she developed widespread disease, she had a range of treatments through the University of California San Francisco that may have slowed but did not stop the progression.
We will deeply miss her energy, her smile, her opinions, her caring and her warm laugh.
One of the few silver linings of the past two years is that, because of her illness and the pandemic, Elisa lived with her family in Sonoma for months at a time.
Her cats Penny and Fiona have a new and welcoming home.
Elisa’s funeral was held on Feb. 15 at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park in Colma, CA.
In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to Pets Lifeline in Sonoma, CA.
Julian David Rhine
Feb. 13, 1928–Feb. 4, 2022
Julian Rhine lived a long, productive and joyful life, passing away peacefully at home just shy of his 94th birthday. His wife of 68 years, Lois, his children, Andrew and Victoria, and daughter-in-law Jillian were at his side.
Julian was a proud native San Franciscan, having grown up in the outer Richmond District, and later living most of his life on 28th Avenue surrounded by both extended family and friends. Julian was the first one in his family to go to college and law school (both at the University of San Francisco).
Julian dedicated his working life to public service. He rose up the ranks of the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, becoming Assistant District Attorney in charge of the Consumer Fraud Unit, and then finished his long career as the attorney to the Controller of San Francisco. During his career with the city, he made lifelong friends, including fellow attorneys, judges, and politicians. He was a role model and mentor for many attorneys in the District Attorney’s office, and inspired family members and others to pursue legal careers.
Most of all, Julian was a “family man.” He and his beloved Lois created a home full of love and peace for their children. Sunday night family dinners with the Roos family (Bettye and Jack) were filled with great food, laughter, and political discussion. Later in life, weekly dinners and outings with his children and grandchildren were looked forward to by all. Always a generous man, Julian (and Lois) planned vacations all over the world making sure all the children and grandchildren could come.
Julian is survived by a large loving family, including his wife Lois, children Andrew Rhine (Jillian), Victoria Dobbs, and their children, Joshua (Leopold), Daniel, Gabriel (Cameron), Noah (Tory), and Maya (Robert). He was beloved and will be missed by his nephews, Brad (Susan), John (Susie), and Michael (Juli) Roos, and by all the Rosenbaum “cousins by the dozens.” A private family gathering will be held to honor the memory of Julian. Donations can be made either to the University of San Francisco School of Law or your favorite charity.
Jacques C. Roos
March 11, 1928–Jan. 25, 2022
Jacques C. Roos
Jacques Roos passed away peacefully on Jan. 25 in Palo Alto with his sons by his side.
He was a third-generation Californian, born in San Francisco on March 11, 1928, to Camil and Lenore Roos. Jacques (nicknamed “Bud” by his mother which stuck with him with his kids through his entire life — he was Jack to everyone else), grew up in the Forest Hills area of San Francisco. He met our mother, Bettye Isaacs, at Temple Emanu-El Sunday school. They went on to attend high school at Lowell High together. Jack graduated from U.C. Berkeley and had the good fortune of attending Cal when, with his critical support from the stands, Cal went to the Rose Bowl several times during his tenure (sadly, never to see such success again during his life even though he would go to virtually every Cal football game while his health allowed it).
Jack and Bettye raised three boys in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco (the famous 29th Avenue) around the corner from his sister-in-law and brother-in-law and best friends, Lois and Julian Rhine. Jack spent the majority of his professional life as a businessman working at Merritt College in Oakland. A significant part of his time there was during the black power movement of the ’60s and ’70s. Jack and Bettye moved to San Mateo in the late 1980s. After Jack retired from Merritt, he started a new career as a travel agent, allowing Bettye and him to follow their passion for foreign travel. They were lucky enough to travel to Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and Japan to name a few of their favorite places. They particularly loved taking their grandchildren on cruises (in pre-Covid days).
Everyone who knew Jack will tell you he was the nicest guy in the world. He was a kind man, always thinking of his friends, of which he had many, but most of all, caring deeply about his family. Jack loved taking his family on annual summer trips to Lake Tahoe and winter trips to Sun Valley, Idaho, where his oldest son Brad opened in 1978 the most popular bar in town, Whiskey Jacques, named after Jack. He took particular joy in seeing his grandchildren grow up and seeing, at least through FaceTime, his five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 69 years, Bettye; and survived by his three children Brad (Susan), John (Susie), Michael (Juli); his six grandchildren, their spouses and five great-grandchildren, niece Victoria, nephews Andy (Jill), Larry (Amanda), Ron (Cynthia), cousins by dozens and grand-nephews and grand-nieces. If you wish to honor Jack with a donation, please consider The Trees Remember, thetreesremember.com/memorial-trees, Cal football, or the charity of your choice.
Richard Smith, 75, passed on Jan. 11, 2022, after a long battle with cancer.
Amazingly, through his battle he was always optimistic and hopeful. Rich was born and raised in Boston, MA. He graduated high school from the Boston Latin School and received an undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1973, he moved to California and obtained his master’s degree from Stanford University and never left. He worked for over 30 years as an engineer at Bechtel and lived the last 30 years in Berkeley, CA.
Rich is survived by his wife of 53 years, Irene, his two children, Derek (Nicole) and Jessica Worthy, and five grandchildren, Nicole, Sabrina, Eli, Caleb and Maya. Rich was a loyal and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He had the ability to make people always feel welcome, and he loved entertaining people with his intelligence, wit, humor and card tricks. He was surrounded by love, and he will be greatly missed.
Nov. 2, 1919–Feb. 15, 2022
Rose Tamler (née Weiner), age 102, passed away peacefully in her San Mateo, CA home on Feb. 15.
Rose was born on Nov. 2, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York to Gussie and Joseph Weiner; the second of four sisters, with whom she remained close throughout their lives. In 1941 she married Edward Tamler, her partner of 74 years until his demise in 2015. They had two sons, Howard (born 1943) and Richard (born 1948).
In 1941 Rose earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from City College of New York, where she was a class officer, served on the debating team and had a byline in the school newspaper. She had wanted to become a professional dancer — winning a Charleston dance contest at age 5 — but her father insisted on her obtaining an academic degree that would provide financial security.
In 1951 Ed and Rose moved to San Francisco for his ophthalmology residency at Stanford Hospital, after which all of their siblings followed them to the Bay Area. Once there, Rose worked full time as an accountant while Ed finished school, and subsequently prepared taxes for his medical practice and the dental practices of her two brothers-in-law.
The Tamlers joined Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland in the 1960s, under the leadership of their good friend Rabbi Harold Schulweis, and became active members of the congregation as well as of Hadassah, ORT, the JCRC and AIPAC. Rose volunteered with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy for five years and participated in the Peninsula Temple Sholom knitting group, knitting scarves and blankets for women in shelters. She also taught knitting to children at the Wornick Day School.
In 1967 she and Ed were among the co-founders of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews. Rose served as the coordinator of the daily vigil in front of the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco for over a decade, making sure there were volunteers there every day carrying hand-painted signs stored in the trunk of her car. She served as treasurer for 10 years and was among one of the first demonstrators arrested for chaining themselves to the consulate gates. Rose was denied permission to enter the former Soviet Union several times, but that didn’t deter her from pursuing justice for refuseniks, some of whom she later met in San Francisco and Israel.
Rose was a prolific artisan of needlework and textile arts and belonged to several professional weavers’ guilds. She had two full-sized looms in her home on which she wove tallitot for her children, nephews, nieces, grandchildren and other family members. She also gifted tallitot (she never sold any of her work) to Elie Wiesel and to several rabbi friends. Rose’s work appeared in group shows at the de Young Museum, SF MOMA, the Judah Magnes Museum and the National Conference in Religious Art in Washington, D.C. She wove a chuppah that has been used at over 15 weddings and a Torah mantle which she gave to Congregation Ner Tamid. Rose knitted many sweaters and other garments for family members and fashioned virtually all of her own clothes, sometimes including the fabric itself. People loved to tell her she had “golden hands,” and she was meticulous about caring for all her creations and seeing to it that they were put to good use by their recipients.
Another of Rose’s domestic passions was cooking. She loved to cook, bake and stage formal meals at the Tamler home, and delighted in passing on her skills and recipes to younger generations — particularly healthful and delicious vegetarian dishes, which formed the basis of her and Ed’s diet from middle age onward. The Tamlers also traveled extensively around the world, with Ed frequently lecturing at ophthalmology conferences. In 2002, they relocated from their San Francisco home of 47 years to San Mateo to be closer to family in the Peninsula. They joined Peninsula Temple Sholom and Peninsula Sinai Congregation and attended classes and services there.
Rose enjoyed various aspects of Jewish and Israeli culture, in particular Israeli folk dancing, which she and Ed practiced for many years well into their 80s. She maintained her early love for tap dancing by performing a routine at both her 70th and 80th birthday celebrations. At 93, she joined a dance group in San Mateo and enjoyed performing in public for several years.
Rose’s friends and family regarded her as a Renaissance woman who integrated her creative and artistic passions with activism, homemaking and concern for family. She maintained close ties with family members, including cousins and in-laws, throughout her life. This affection extended to dogs, especially her two companions, Kelev and Honey; and later to her grandson’s dog, Chusha, who comforted her in her final months. She manifested her enduring love through innumerable acts of generosity and words of wisdom and empathy. She was a veritable woman for all seasons, whose commitment to tikkun olam leaves an indelible mark on so many who had the privilege to know her.
Rose is survived by her sister, Isabelle Leon (Robert) of Palo Alto; sons Howard (Nechama) of Palo Alto, CA, and Richard (Carolyn) of Whidbey Island, WA; grandchildren Dov (Amy), Tamar (Mike), Yoni (Hadas) and Jessica; and great-grandchildren Daniel, Shira, Yael, Lior and Ellie.
Rose was laid to rest at Skylawn Memorial Park on Feb. 20. Contributions in her memory may be made to Congregation Kol Emeth’s L’Olam Va’ed Committee or to Hebrew Free Loan.
May Rose Tamler’s memory be a blessing.