Elaine Dropkin, Oakland resident for 50 years, died May 23, 2011 at the age of 83. A graduate of Brooklyn College, Elaine was an elementary school teacher who left teaching to raise her family; a member of Women for Peace, an active antiwar campaigner and a supporter of many civil rights organizations. She was passionate about music and was a founding board member of MusicSources, which promotes historically informed performance. Elaine was a docent at the Oakland Museum for 25 years. In addition she was a consummate bridge player and had wicked sense of humor.

She is survived by her devoted husband of 63 years, Lester; two children, David and Randi, and a granddaughter, Rebecca. In addition, she was blessed with a large circle of friends and acquaintances who were woven through her life, passions and causes.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to MusicSources, P.O. Box 6882, Albany, CA 94706 or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Florence Gerstler

October 16, 1918 — May 4, 2011

Our beloved mother passed away peacefully in her apartment at the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville.  She lived in California for the past 17 years. Prior to that she had lived in Freeport, New York for 40 years.

She had been married to Morris Gerstler (deceased) with whom she had two daughters, Elaine (Booker Holton) and Diane (John Rosenberg). She is also survived by her adored grandchildren: Jordan Gerstler-Holton, Eli and Adrienne Rosenberg. 

Many thanks to the staff of Reutlinger for the wonderful care that they provided her and to her two caregivers, Del Bustamante and Evelyn Paraiso.

Donations may be made to the Resident Assistance Fund of RCJL (Reutlinger), 4000 Camino Tassajara, Danville, CA 94506.

Arlene Joy (Berkowitz) Lynn passed away from head and neck cancer on May 5, 2011. Born January 13, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, she moved to Southern California with her parents and brothers at age 7. She graduated from what is now Cal State Northridge with a degree in Sociology and worked for several years in the field of social welfare. In 1972 she accepted a position in pharmaceutical sales (one of the first women in the field) and relocated to the Bay Area, where she remained until her death.

Arlene was active for many years with the San Francisco Chapter of the World Affairs Council, and she traveled extensively. She was also active in recent years with several craft, sewing and cancer support groups. She volunteered as a driver for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society and also at the Hayward Animal Shelter.

Arlene is survived by her daughter, Susan (Lynn) Burns, son-in-law, Allan, grandchildren, Natalie and Brian, brothers Jeffrey and Michael, and countless friends who have been very important in her life. She was interred on May 6, 2011 at the Home of Eternity in Oakland. Donations in Arlene’s memory may be made to one of her charities: the SPCA, the Hayward Animal Shelter, UCSF Medical Center, American Cancer Society, Wheelchair Foundation, or Interplast. Sinai Memorial Chapel (925) 962-3636

Donald Low

September 25, 1927 — May 18, 2011

The Honorable Donald Low, a warm, kind, gentle man with a hearty laugh. Fourth generation San Franciscan, he attended Washington High where he was a champion tennis player. He was on the nationally recognized U.S.F. Tennis Team of 1948-1950. A tennis pro, he was a life member of the California Tennis Club and active in many civic organizations. For the last 25 years, Donald was the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Cameroon.

A friend to all, no one enjoyed life more than Don. He will be missed by his brother, Warren; cousin, Mike Gilbert, and his lifelong friends, Morry Weinberg, Steve Marlo, and Lorna Altshuler. He was predeceased by his parents, Alvin and Annette Lowenbein.

Thanks to the JFCS, the Jewish Home and the wonderful caregivers Donald had these last 4 years.

Services will be held on Wednesday, June 1, at 11:00 AM at Hills of Eternity Cemetery Chapel, 1301 El Camino Real, Colma, CA, followed by inurnment. Donations may be made to JFCS, the Jewish Home or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Vivian Shuler Hendrickson

Born Feb. 6, 1942, passed away peacefully May 22, 2011 at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. after a valiant battle with acute leukemia.

She was the loving daughter of Henry and Matilda (Tolda) Shuler, widow of Roy (Jay) Hendrickson. Vivian graduated from San Francisco State University and worked for San Mateo County as a social worker. Vivian leaves no survivors, but she leaves behind many loving friends.

Funeral Services were held at Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma.

Susan H. Strauss

November 8, 1956 — May 20, 2011

Lifetime resident of San Mateo County, CA. Beloved daughter of Al and Elaine Strauss; loving sister of Gerald Strauss; niece of Marilyn Shaw and cousin of Marla, Ashley and Brittany Reiner and Courtney Baldwin. Susie worked for many years as a pharmacy technician at Safeway. She was a devoted friend to many people and always wanted to be helpful to others. Susie’s life was an example of her generous spirit and humanity. She will truly be missed by all who knew her.

Funeral Services were held Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at Sinai Memorial Chapel followed by graveside at Eternal Home Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250, Dallas, TX 75244 (877-465-6636).