Martin Gelber

October 9, 1918–July 11, 2012

Resident of Walnut Creek

Martin Gelber passed away July 11, 2012 at the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville. He was born October 9, 1918 in Manhattan, N.Y. and attended Stuyvesant High School. He served in the Signal Corps in the European theater during World War II. In the summer of 1945 he came to Berlin to help establish the Allied Zones in the city where he served as personal aide to General Lucius Clay.

After the war, Martin married Shirley Mermelstein (d. 2010) of Brooklyn, N.Y. Martin worked in the dry goods business in New York and in New Jersey. Starting as a stock clerk at I.H. Cohen in Manhattan, he eventually established his own dry goods business at Unfried-Barkhorn in Kearny, New Jersey.

Upon retirement in 1988, Martin and Shirley moved to Walnut Creek and then, 10 years later, to Rossmoor. They were active members of Congregation B’nai Shalom.

Martin leaves behind his daughter, Susan (Earl) Agron, his son, Mark (Jody) Gelber, grandchildren Heather (Rabbi Cary) Burton, Shana (Cary) Tepper, Ben Agron (fiancée Rachel Turner), Ilan (Yael) Gelber, Rami (Liron) Gelber, Vered, z’l (Amit) Mentch, Shai (Inbal) Gelber and 10 great-grandchildren, all living in Israel.

Funeral services were held July 15 at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette. Donations in Martin’s memory may be sent to Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.

Max Arnold Levin

Feb. 12, 1927–July 24, 2012

In Millbrae at age 85. Max was born in San Francisco to the late Dora and Joseph Levin. He graduated from Lowell High School and attended City College before joining his family business, Joseph Levin & Sons, est. in 1893, where he enjoyed a successful business career for 55 years.

Max was a true sports fan, selling programs at Kezar stadium as a young man, and was a loyal S. F. Giants, 49ers and Warriors fan his entire life. He enjoyed collecting art, attending the Fromm Institute in his retirement, and his many wonderful friends at the Magnolia in Millbrae.

Max was a loving son and brother to the late Stanley Levin (Ruth), the late Martin Levin (Rose) and his late twin sister Merriam Levy (Roland).

He is survived by his cousin Maxwell Myers (Elaine) and the late Theodore Myers (Peggy) and many loving cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Private family services were held on Thursday, July 26, 2012, at Eternal Home Cemetery, Colma. Contributions may be made in his dear memory to the Jewish Home and Senior Living Foundation, 302 Silver Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112.

Sinai Memorial Chapel


Caroline F. Libby

March 4, 1912–July 22, 2012

In San Mateo at age 100. Beloved wife of the late Alexander F. Libby for 55 years; loving mother of Diane F. (Hubert) Marcus and Michael F. Libby; adoring grandmother of Deborah L. Marcus (Tom Cross), David S. Marcus (Tracy Butler) and Anne L. (Matt) Ken; cherished great-grandmother of Sophia and Dana Cross, Rachel and Olivia Marcus and Andrew and Natalie Ken; dear mother-in-law of the late Gaye Libby.

Native San Franciscan. Graduate of Commerce High School. Professional concert violinist. Women’s ready-to-wear business owner. Stock broker. Passionate lover of music, especially chamber music, was a competitive golfer and enjoyed the great outdoors and her pets. Most of all she loved her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Adopted the name G.G. for great-grandma for her six great-grandchildren. She was beloved by her caregivers at the Peninsula Regent and Yesteryear House and was lovingly cared for by Mission Hospice, all in San Mateo.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo, followed by interment at Gan HaZikaron, Skylawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations to San Mateo Foster City Education Foundation, Attn: Music Program, 1170 Chess Drive, Foster City, CA 94404, or Peninsula Temple Beth El, Attn: Leadership Development Fund, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, CA 94403, or Peninsula Youth Orchestra Scholarship Fund, 1091 Industrial Road, #208, San Carlos, CA 94070.

Sinai Memorial Chapel

Sylvia G. Merkadeau


Sylvia Glickstein Merkadeau died peacefully with family on July 11, 2012 in San Mateo. She was born on July 1, 1933 in Dubienka, Poland and came to Kansas City, Mo. in 1938. She attended Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She married Ronald Merkadeau on May 10, 1955 and moved to San Mateo in 1966.

Sylvia is survived by her four children and their families: Marsha Williams  (Mark), Stuart Merkadeau (Lisa), Pamela Merkadeau (Cary Wiest) and Diane Merkadeau (James Kramer); her grandchildren Ryan and Susan Williams, Rachel, Eli, Joseph and Olga Merkadeau, and Riley and Makenna Kramer; her sister Martha Cohen (Sidney); and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She is predeceased by her husband, Ronald Morton Merkadeau, her parents, Bernard and Esther (Abend) Glickstein, and her brother Aaron Glickstein (Connie).

Sylvia was an accomplished realtor for over 25 years and took great pleasure in helping her many clients find their right home. She was a member of Peninsula Temple Beth El for 45 years and active throughout her life in numerous community organizations, including American Association of University Women, Second Harvest Food Bank, Senior Focus, San Mateo County Commission on Aging, League of Women Voters, Highlands Community Association, Peninsula Symphony and San Francisco Symphony.

Sylvia enjoyed the opera, symphony, theater, art and the beach and sharing those with her family and friends. Sylvia was always an inspiration to her family, friends and all who knew her.

A funeral service was held at Peninsula Temple Beth El.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sylvia G. Merkadeau Endowment Fund at the Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City, CA 94404 or your local community food bank.

Miriam Meyerowitz

Sept. 28, 1940–July 24, 2012

Miriam Meyerowitz passed away at home, surrounded by her family, after a recent diagnosis of cancer. She was born in San Salvador, to German parents George and Susi Lewinsky. Miriam grew up in El Salvador until she was 15 when she and her family moved to San Francisco.

She attended George Washington High School and graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1962. She earned a master’s degree in Spanish and Spanish American Literature from Columbia University in New York. There, she met Basil Meyerowitz, a South African surgeon. Two weeks after they met they were engaged, and six months later they were married. After living in New York for several years they moved to the Bay Area. They lived in Hillsborough, where Miriam was a consummate homemaker, raising their four children and devoting herself to her family. She and Basil were married nearly 47 years until he died just over two years ago.

She was a gracious host and gourmet cook. She started her own jewelry business and in her free time enjoyed flower arranging, baking and weight lifting. She will be remembered for her sense of humor, generosity and delight in celebrations of all kinds.

She is survived by her four children, Robin, Eric, Lisa (Daniel), and Jennifer (Dennis) Lane; four grandchildren, Solomon, Sarah, Kate and Bella; brother Bernard Lewinsky (Barbara), and sister Hanna Hannah.

A service will be held on Friday, July 27 at Skylawn Memorial Park, Fireside Chapel, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Mission Hospice and Home Care (, Make-a-Wish Foundation or Cancer Research Institute (

Burton J. Press

Burt Press died on Sunday morning, July 22, after a long battle with melanoma. He was born April 22, 1925 in Des Moines, Iowa to Harry and Judith Press. Burt moved to San Francisco after serving in the Army in the Pacific during WWII and graduating from Iowa State College with a degree in Civil Engineering. He married Shirley Maltzer and was happily married for 41 years. He worked for Western Pacific Railroad for 19 years and the U.S. Treasury Department for 25 years.

Burt will be remembered as a devoted husband and a loving father and grandfather. During his long illness, he never complained. He was a member of the Masons. In retirement he sang with the Golden Chordsmen Barbershop Chorus and volunteered for Pick of the Litter and Lifeline. Burt enjoyed playing tennis and bridge. He was known as a handyman, never finding a problem he couldn’t fix. He loved to putter around in the garage. Ask anyone.

He was preceded in death by Shirley and is survived by his daughter, Rhonda (Larry Ragent) of San Mateo; his son, Marc (Kimberly) of San Rafael; grandchildren Jeremy and Zachary Ragent; Micah and Jamie Press; brother Robert Press of Des Moines; and longtime companion Marion Stull and her family. Burt deeply appreciated the loving care provided by Henry, Harry & Frauleine Chua, and Ellen Laoeng. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pathways Hospice, 395 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 128, South San Francisco; Peninsula JCC; or PTBE.

Reba Silverman Whitgob

Reba Silverman Whitgob, loving and devoted mother, grandmother, friend and Oakland A’s fan, passed away on July 16 at the age of 91 in Walnut Creek, California. An Oakland native and a graduate of Oakland Technical High School and U.C. Berkeley class of 1942, she married her college sweetheart, Nathan Whitgob, shortly after graduation.

During the war, she worked for the Office of Price Administration as an economic adviser. While raising her family she became a librarian and worked in the Oakland Public Library system for more than 25 years. She and her family were active members of Temple Sinai of Oakland. Consistently interested in the political climate and current events, Reba was eager to discuss topics of the day and to hear others’ opinions. She particularly loved her visits and discussions with her nieces, Tania Madfes and Melissa Silverman, and goddaughter, Aileen Frankel. She took tremendous pride in her family and reveled in her grandchildren’s accomplishments.

Reba was very involved with the John Swett Elementary School PTA and enjoyed playing bridge along with her husband, Nate. After Nate’s death, she continued her bridge playing with Mel Jacobs and enjoyed spending time with his children as well.

She is survived by her children Stephen Whitgob (Barbara), Joyce Friedman (Bill), grandchildren Emily and Julia Whitgob and Natalie and Jesse Friedman, and a host of other family members and close friends. Funeral services were held at Home of Eternity Cemetery in Oakland on July 19. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.