Arnold Greene, longtime E. Bay Jewish activist, 67

"Death came so quickly that it seemed he had no time to prepare for it," Rabbi Roberto Graetz said in his eulogy at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, where Greene was a member.

But in fact, Greene, who lived in Lafayette, had prepared by living well, Graetz said, cherishing family, friendships, culture and work.

Greene, known to friends and colleagues as Arnie, was born in New York but moved with his family to San Francisco at the age of 9. He graduated cum laude from the University of San Francisco with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He co-founded the firm of Greene and Nakahara Certified Public Accountants and at one time served as vice president of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. He had been working for American Express in Walnut Creek when he died.

Greene headed the Jewish Community Foundation, then known as the Endowment Foundation of the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay, from 1983 to 1985. He was a past member of Temple Sinai in Oakland.

A board member of Lehrhaus Judaica, Greene was a valued adviser, particularly on financial matters, according to executive director Fred Rosenbaum. He crafted and launched a fund-raising plan that is still sailing along.

"Arnie took life seriously — the life of husband and father, the serious professional and the life of play," Graetz said of the avid tennis and softball player.

Greene had a passion for travel, and had been looking forward to an upcoming Lehrhaus trip in May to "Jewish Paris" with his wife, the former Bernice Stillman, whom he married in 1990.

His first wife, Rosalyn, died after a lengthy battle with cancer. They had been married for 35 years.

"After lovingly tending to his first wife for nine of their more than 30 years together…he entered a new life" with Bernice, Graetz said, going to the symphony and opera — "nine years of great joy."

In addition to his wife, Greene is survived by his children Janice Townsend, Carolyn Kehrein, Denis Simonsen, Howard Greene; stepchildren Ruth Dashiell and Mark Stillman; sister Barbara Millstein; father-in-law David Zuckerman; and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service was held under the direction of Sinai Memorial Chapel.

Donations can be made to the Arnold Greene Family Philanthropic Fund, c/o Penny Sinder, the Jewish Community Foundation, 401 Grand Ave., fifth floor, Oakland, CA 94618.

Rebecca Rosen Lum

Rebecca Rosen Lum is a freelance writer.