Al Graf June 15, 1910-August 10, 2007.

Former Bail Bondsman, active in many civic groups, died peacefully in his sleep in Redwood City, CA.

Beloved husband of 65 years of the late Lillian Graf; loving father of Carolyn (Arlan) Kertz and Len (Michele) Graf. Devoted grandfather of Loren (Rachel) and Daniel (Melissa) Kertz; and great-grandfather of Nathan and Ryan Kertz. Also predeceased by his identical twin brother Albert and sisters Pauline and Cecilia.

Funeral Services were held Sunday, August 12 at Sinai Memorial Chapel, San Francisco, followed by entombment at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, Colma.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lillian Graf Endowment Fund of the Jewish Family and Children’s Services, 2150 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115. Arrangements made by Sinai Memorial Chapel.

Ilse  E. Hertz 90, died Monday, August 13, 2007. Beloved wife of Otto Hertz; devoted mother of Joan (David) Bories and the late Judy (Dan) Weltsch; loving grandmother of Raeann, Jolie, Tammi, Jerry and David; adoring great-grandmother of five. Services Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 1:30pm at Home of Peace Cemetery Chapel, 1299 El Camino Real, Colma. Donations in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718 or the Weitzmann Institute, Cancer Research, 300 Montgomery St., Suite 615, SF, CA 94104.  For information or to send a message to the family contact Mandel Funeral Services of Northern California (866) 962-6335 or

Leonard K. Lamdan passed away in San Mateo, CA on August 3, 2007 at the age of 96. Leonard was preceded in death by his wife Barbara of 63 years, and by his daughter Cynthia Harband, who passed away in July of 2006. He is survived by his daughter, Sheila Strosberg (Art) of Foster City; son-in-law Newton Harband of Tiburon; grandsons Jeffrey (Vida) and David (Stefany) Harband of Tiburon, Darryl (Jen) Strosberg of San Jose and Mark Strosberg of Mountain View. He is also survived by 4 great grandchildren: Jared, Matthew, Olivia and Adam Harband.

At midday, Monday, July 23, 2007, Benjamin Libet passed away quietly in his home in Davis, California, at the age of 91. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 12, 1916, the first child of young Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. His father and grandfather were tailors. Ben first learned English from the streets in west side Chicago where he grew up in the 1920’s, which then primarily consisted of Jewish and Italian immigrant families. His beautiful voice was natural and needed no training. As a young boy, Ben sang with Cantor Josef Rosenblatt, then a well-known and superlative orthodox cantor. He went to the University of Chicago on scholarship, and achieved his Ph.D. in physiology at the age of 23, in 1939. Benjamin Libet and Fay Evans were wed on July 1, 1939, and had been married for 68 years when Ben left this earth (in body, but never in spirit).

Of late, he was a member of the Center for Neuroscience at U.C. Davis, and a Professor Emeritus of Physiology at U.C. San Francisco, where he worked as a professor, teaching physiology to students at U.C.S.F. Medical School, and conducting his scientific experiments in neurophysiology in his laboratory, for approximately 50 years. His pioneering research ranged from the responses of neurons to neurotransmitters, to the relationships between the mind, brain, and conscious experience.

His work in the 1960’s and 1970’s provided perhaps the first evidence of one neurotransmitter (dopamine) modulating a nerve’s response to a different neurotransmitter (acetylcholine).

Later, his collaboration with Dr. Bertram Feinstein, neurosurgeon at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, produced groundbreaking research on conscious and unconscious brain activity in human subjects. This gave insight into how a unified flow of subjective experience can result from ongoing processing of multiple sensory inputs that reach the brain at different times. In addition, his work showed how unconscious brain activity plays a key role in voluntary action. Namely, his experiments proved that the unconscious actually is the initiator of all voluntary movements we make, and the conscious mind is not even aware of this unconsciously originated wish to make a voluntary movement until a full half second after the unconscious mind first initiated that urge to move. This finding was of direct importance to the question of free will. Robert Doty, a past president of the Society for Neuroscience, said about Benjamin Libet, “He was the first person to demonstrate the relationship between the performance of neurons and their result” (i.e., conscious experience).

His book, “Mind Time—The Temporal Factor in Consciousness”, was published in 2004 by Harvard University Press. His last article, “Reflections on the Interaction of the Mind and Brain”, was published last year in Progress in Neurobiology.

Ben loved to share his amazement about nature with his young relatives. As adults, they remember him as engaging them, loving them, and respecting them. Many extended family members called him a true down-to-earth friend. He had a way of loving you back that meant so much.

His wife, Fay, his children and their spouses (Julian and Alice, Moreen and Frank, Ralph and Gila, and Gayla), his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, extended family, friends, and colleagues will all miss him greatly.

The funeral and service for our much loved Benjamin Libet took place on Monday, July 30, 2007, at the Davis Cemetery.