Sita Haas Alberts

July 11, 1915–June 26, 2012

In San Francisco at age 96. Beloved wife of the late Ernest Alberts for 45 years; loving mother of Carolyn (Terry) Gardiner; dear sister-in-law of Janet Haas; beloved aunt of many nieces and nephews.

Private services were held under the direction of Sinai Memorial Chapel.


Rudolf Leon Duering

Rudolf Leon Duering (October 26, 1917–July 5, 2012 ), age 94, passed away peacefully at his San Mateo home following a long illness.

A well-loved man, Rudy was a devoted husband, father, father-in-law, brother-in-law, grandfather, brother and uncle. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Laura, his daughter Vivien, son-in-law Tom Curran, son Mark, daughter-in-law Debra and granddaughter Nicole, sisters Renee Duering and Ellen Stern, brother- and sister-in-law John and Thelma Rosenberg, and many nieces, nephews and grand–nieces and nephews.

A native of Cologne, Germany, Rudy was educated in Switzerland, then moved to the Netherlands and served in the Dutch army before coming to the U.S. in 1938 and making his home in San Francisco. He worked at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard during WWII and joined the Merchant Marines in 1946, the same year he married Laura.

Trained as a baker in Europe, Rudy opened Seabright Bakery on Noriega Street, which he operated until 1954.

He then completely changed careers to the life insurance business, earning a CLU degree and becoming a recurring member of the Million Dollar Round Table. He later became a Pension Actuary, designing retirement programs for small professional corporations, served on President Jimmy Carter’s Pension Commission and was sometimes an expert witness in tax court.

Rudy was an avid poker player, playing every other Wednesday with the same gang for over 50 years, an expert chess player, winning a Northern California title in 1957, and a devoted 49er fan and season ticket holder since their S.F. inception in 1946. One of his greatest joys was seeing the Niners beat the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. He especially loved playing golf, and once hit a hole in one.

Rudy had a great wit and sense of humor, was a gifted storyteller, loved to tease and tell jokes, and was loved by all who met him. He was kind, fair, considerate, generous, compassionate and always there to listen to a stranger’s story and to lend a hand.

Dad, we love you more than words can say, and you will be missed greatly.

Our special thanks to Sutter Hospice, especially Mary, Catherine, Florence, Adele, Anna and Mitch. Cookies and fruit are always there for you!!!

Services and interment were held at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma. Donations to your favorite charity are preferred.

Sinai Memorial Chapel


Nathan Moncharsh

Nathan lived. Born in Szydlov, Poland, on May 26, 1922, Nathan Moncharsh died days after his 90th birthday on June 9, 2012, in Campbell, California.

Nathan survived. Persevering through the Lodz Ghetto (1939-1944), deportation to Auschwitz and the death march from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen (1945), Nathan spent several peaceful years in Amberg, Germany, after the war (1945-1948) where he met his wife, Rachel. Following the long sea journey to San Francisco, Nathan was joined in the Goldene Medine by three of his surviving siblings: Bella, Abe and David. Two other siblings, Salek and Sonia, found their way to Israel.

Nathan worked. In San Francisco, Nathan began his professional career working for Koret in the textile industry (on weekends collecting and then selling “junk” from homes and estate sales), then purchased and managed a grocery store with his brother-in-law, Reuben. Ever searching for a job that would allow him to set his own hours, he became a general contractor and began remodeling the homes of friends and family.

Nathan gave. Deeply involved in several synagogues (Beth Sholom, Adath Israel, Ner Tamid) during his sojourn in San Francisco, Nathan gave of his time, his ingenuity and his tenacity in efforts to help these institutions of Torah grow. His fundraising energy was put to work for Keren Kayemet in hopes of making bloom the country he considered a second home.

Nathan guided. Whether his advice was requested or not, Nathan shared generously of his accumulated wisdom, his carefully saved wealth, and his deep appreciation of the West Coast with family around the world.

Nathan raised. Before retiring and lovingly tending to a bountiful vegetable garden, Nathan raised, together with his wife Rachel, three loving children: Lottie, Esther, and Jacob; six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. They will all ensure that his memory will be for a blessing.

Donations can be made to JFCS Holocaust Center (Francis Goldsmith Building, 2245 Post St., San Francisco, 94115) or Pathways Hospice (585 North Mary Ave., Sunnyvale, 94085).


Martin L. Swig

February 8, 1934–July 3, 2012

Martin L. Swig, business entrepreneur, automotive writer and classic car collector, died Tuesday, July 3rd, in Sausalito, California.

A quintessential West Coast “car guy,” he organized the California Mille (a thousand-mile historic race-car tour on the back roads of Northern California) in 1991 after discovering and driving Italy’s most-famous open road race (the Mille Miglia) in 1982. Summing up his priorities in the historic motorsport world, he dedicated his event to “Great cars — Little Roads — and Wonderful Friends.” He kidded sedentary TV sports types with his annual January 1st Anti-Football Drive; and with his Double 500 (five-hundred kilometers in a car not worth more than $500), created the predecessor for the well-known 24 Hours of LeMons for cars not ordinarily honored by vintage car collectors.

Mr. Swig’s love affair with cars began when he earned his driver’s license at 14. In 1957 he joined San Francisco’s European Motors on the showroom floor and in 1969 acquired his own Datsun dealership on Van Ness Avenue.

By 1982, after acquiring additional auto dealerships, he converted an empty building on the site of Seals Stadium and created the San Francisco Autocenter — perhaps the nation’s first one-stop automotive shopping center with some 17 different makes, ranging from Rolls-Royce to Suzuki, under the same roof.

In 1998, Autocenter was reborn as Potrero Center, an upscale neighborhood shopping center. At that time he exchanged full-time dealership work for full-time collecting, purchasing a wide assortment of historic cars that included a 1925 Lancia Lambda, a 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500, a Tatra T87 and several vintage Chryslers. “When I found I had about 40 [vintage cars], I made a deal with my wife,” Swig loved to say. “Each time I bought a new old car, I agreed to sell one. I’m running slightly behind on my half of the bargain.”

When he wasn’t collecting, driving and organizing car events, Swig wrote a monthly auto column for San Francisco’s Nob Hill Gazette and placed provocative stories and commentaries on a variety of automotive blogs.

Born in New Jersey, Swig moved with his family to California in 1946 where Martin attended Palo Alto High School and Stanford University, graduating in 1956 with a degree in economics. His father, Howard Swig, was the brother of Benjamin Swig, past owner of the Fairmont Hotels.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Esta; their sons David and Howard Swig of Sausalito, California; his daughter Annalisa Swig Poirel (Sebastien) of Hohengoeft, France; four grandchildren (Anders, Solveig, Isolde and Jacob); his sister, Lura Bastek of Naples, Florida; and his brother Richard Swig of Council Bluffs, Iowa, many nieces and nephews, and close friends who shared his passions and irreverence. A memorial service will be held Friday, July 20, 2012, at 1 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco.

Sinai Memorial Chapel