Phyllis Kahn Fisher passed away peacefully May 3, 2009 surrounded by her loving family at home in Atherton, California, her residence for the last 47 years. She was born March 30, 1919 in Oakland, California. She was the daughter of Sidney and Helen Kahn, a descendant of a pioneer California family, and a fifth-generation Californian.
Her great grandmother was Cordelia de Young, the sister of Michael de Young, founder of the San Francisco Chronicle and the de Young Museum. She graduated from Lowell High School in 1936 and attended the University of California at Berkeley as an economics major. She persuaded the president of U.C. Berkeley to establish the first course at the university on racial relations. She was a leader in the YWCA at Berkeley. She married Leon Harold Fisher on December 21, 1941, who had been a Lowell and U.C. Berkeley student as well. She was a graduate student in the School of Social Welfare at U.C. Berkeley, completing a certificate in 1942. Her first child, Robert Alan, was born in Berkeley, California.
During World War II, Phyllis and her husband lived at the Los Alamos Laboratory from 1944-1946, while Leon, a physicist, worked on the development of the atomic bomb. Her second son, Lawrence Edgar, was born in Los Alamos.
She lived for 15 years in River Edge and Oradell, New Jersey where she was active in the National Council of Jewish Women, including a term as a president of the local chapter. She had two more children, Carol Lee and David Bruce, while living in New Jersey.
In 1961 she moved to California with her family. After a brave and successful battle against breast cancer in 1963, she decided to return to graduate school. She completed her Masters Degree in Social Welfare in 1965 and then worked as a psychiatric social worker at the Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto for 13 years, from 1966 to 1979. Her particular interest was in therapy for children, couples and families.
From 1979 to 1982 she spent three years in Tokyo with her husband where she worked at the International School of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo as a counselor and teacher and served as a clinician for the Tokyo Community Counseling Service. She lectured in many countries in addition to the United States, including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Japan and India, where she visited Mother Theresa’s institute in Calcutta. While living in Japan, she met survivors and children of survivors of the atomic bomb and visited the Peace Park in Hiroshima. These experiences inspired her to publish letters she wrote from Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, resulting in the book “Los Alamos Experience” (1985). Senator Alan Cranston wrote the foreword. Her book has been translated into Japanese, as well as several other languages. When she returned to California in 1982, she continued in private practice for several years. After her retirement, she was a leader in the Senior Division of the Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto.
She had a profound love of classical music and nature. She was an excellent swimmer and taught swim lessons. She played the piano and sang with the New York Oratorio Society, with many performances at Carnegie Hall. She is remembered for her warmth, generosity, cheerfulness, optimism, and sense of humor. She devoted her life to caring for her family and providing community service. She was universally loved by family and her many friends all over the world.
She is survived by Leon, her loving husband of 67 years, four children, Robert Alan Fisher of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Lawrence Edgar Fisher (Valerie) of Oak Park, Illinois, Carol Lee Fisher Slotnick (Lawrence) of Los Altos, California and David Bruce Fisher (Diane) of Saratoga, California, grandchildren Andy Fisher, Lael Woods, Jody Fisher, Matthew Fisher, Benjamin Slotnick, Rachel Slotnick, Gabriel Slotnick and Danielle Fisher, and Phyllis’ sister Shirley Rosenberg of San Mateo.
A private family service was held at Alta Mesa Cemetery in Palo Alto on May 5. A memorial service will be held at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road in Los Altos Hills on Sunday, June 7 at 10 a.m., with a light buffet lunch to follow at 12 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, Senior Program, 4000 Middlefield Road #R, Palo Alto, CA 94303, attention to Rabbi Elisheva Salamo.
Claudine Cohen Geduldig, age 65, of Atlanta died on May 9, 2009 following a long and courageous battle with cancer. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Claudine moved to France in 1961 and then immigrated with her family to Atlanta in 1963. She met her husband, Arthur, that year and they were married in 1967. Alongside her husband she co-founded Dynamic Metals, a recycling company.
She was active in many Jewish community organizations including Congregation Or VeShalom and its sisterhood, Hadassah, and was an early supporter of Chabad when it first came to Atlanta. She had an insatiable love for learning, was avid reader, a graduate of the Melton School, and taught English as a second language to children.
A loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister, she is survived by her husband of 41 years, Arthur Geduldig; son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Laura Geduldig, Oakland, CA, daughter and son-in-law, Monique and Ethan Davidson, Atlanta; siblings, Laurette and Mathew Hanien, Joe and Phyllis Cohen, Maurice and Annie Cohen, and Leon and Georgette Cohen, all of Atlanta; brother-in-law, Henri Francis; and grandchildren, Elijah and Gabriel Geduldig and Micah Davidson. She was preceded in death by her sister, Lillian Francis. Sign online guest book: www.edressler.com.
Graveside services were held May 11 with Rabbi Hayyim Kassrola officiating at Arlington Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Congregation Or VeShalom, 1681 N. Druid Hills Road, Atlanta, GA 30319; HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), 333 Seventh Avenue, 16th Floor, NY, NY 10001-5004; or the National Children’s Cancer Society, One South Memorial Drive, Suite 800, St. Louis, MO 63102. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care (770) 451-4999.
In Pacifica on May 12, 2009. Cherished wife of 72 years to Boris Katz. Miriam is survived by her beloved sister Lillian Benson and many loving nieces and nephews. Services were held on May 14, 2009 at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma. Sinai Memorial Chapel. (415) 921-3636.