Shirley Belle Gottlieb

Shirley Belle Gottlieb was born on July 4, 1926 in the Bronx, New York, to Jenny and Hyman Ungar. Always fiercely independent, Shirley left home at 16 to pursue her education, going on to obtain a master’s degree in education from Hunter College.

While in school, Shirley met Werner Gottlieb at a dance. Shirley had better things to do, but Werner won her over, writing his phone number in the book she was reading. Werner didn’t have a phone, so he waited outside his apartment in Washington Heights at the payphone for her call. They were married over 60 years.

Shirley was an educator and certified master teacher, first for 25 years in Cleveland, Ohio, then in West Contra Costa County, California, for close to a decade.

Her red hair matched her fiery spirit. Shirley was an unabashed feminist before it was fashionable and she always spoke her mind. She stressed the importance of education and literature to her family, and her influence and inspiration were always felt. No one could ever get Shirley to sit down; she did things her way. Her courageous spirit will endure and her legacy of the power of education and independence will continue to reflect and shape her family for many generations to come.

Shirley was the kind of person that you could talk to about anything: life, love, gardening, and even cleaning tips. She was the matriarch of the family and kept everyone in line, but always with love and understanding. Shirley made all who visited her home feel welcome.

She was a force to be reckoned with on the tennis court, playing her final game one week before her death. Shirley and Werner played regularly at Heather Farms where they were known as the “old couple.” Werner never kept score, but Shirley always won. She was the love of Werner’s life. Shirley enjoyed the beach and quiet hikes with Werner.

Shirley was a member of Temple Isaiah from 1980 where she served for many years as a volunteer for Loaves and Fishes. She was beloved by many and was taken too soon.

Shirley’s adventurous, sassy, beautiful spirit lives on through her husband, Werner, her children, Debbie, Leonard and David, her grandchildren, Josh, Elspeth, Zoe, Ryan and Jennifer, and her great-grandchildren, Orli, Avi, Elijah and Abby.

Services were held at Temple Isaiah. Interment at Oakmont Memorial Park, Lafayette. Arrangements by Sinai Memorial Chapel-Lafayette.

Sinai Memorial Chapel

(925) 962-3636


Myrtle Lenat

Nov. 16, 1919–March 10, 2015

Myrtle Lenat passed away quietly at home on March 10, 2015. She spent 56 years of her life with her husband and best friend, the late Samuel Lenat. She was a second-generation Philadelphian born to Tuby and Max Zucker. Myrt’s sister Helene Silverman predeceased her. Myrt is survived by two devoted sons, Rick (Ally) of San Mateo and Bart of Maui, Hawaii, and two wonderful grandchildren, Melanie (Lawrence Fisher) and Zachary.

Following her early years in Philadelphia, the family moved to Los Angeles and then, when Sam retired, to San Mateo to be near her family. She loved her long association with Byron’s Shoe Store, taking pride in providing excellent service to her customers as she guided them to the perfect handbag to match their new shoes.

Myrt was an elegant lady who never went out of the house without looking her best, loved shopping and taking care of the family.

The family wishes to thank Magnolia of Millbrae and Sutter Hospice for their excellent care of Myrtle in her final days.

Contributions to Peninsula Temple Beth El or Sutter Hospice or your favorite charity are preferred.

Sinai Memorial Chapel

(415) 921-3636


Meyer Sassoon

Meyer Sassoon died on March 8, 2015 at the age of 88. He was born in Surabaya, Java, on April 4, 1926 and came to San Francisco with his family at the age of 6. He attended Lowell High School and U.C. Berkeley.

Meyer was married to Jeanne Susnow and together they had three children, Joy (Nix), Sherri (Christophe) and David (Giovanna). There are four grandchildren, Alessandro and Sarah Marazzi-Sassoon, and Nicolas and David Deschler. Meyer is survived by his sisters, Celia Sassoon and Janet Sassoon-Upton.

Meyer had requested no services be held but to be remembered by donations to the San Francisco Jewish Home or Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco.


Barbara Shilo

TIn memory of Barbara Shilo, April 28, 1923–Feb. 24, 2015

hose who knew Barbara Shilo could always recognize her when she entered a room. Dressed simply and elegantly, she made a soft and graceful entrance, yet one that made her presence known. Hidden beneath her 5’3” slight frame and soft, bright smile was a fierce, indomitable force.

Born on April 28, 1923 in Fulda, Germany, she began her life in the dark days of the Weimar Republic, as Hitler was beginning his rise to power. In 1938, shortly after Kristallnacht, her family escaped from Czechoslovakia and came to America, settling in Brooklyn. Growing up in the presence of evil, she developed a powerfully resilient spirit, becoming a star athlete in track and basketball. Barbara was among the very few of her Jewish immigrant girlfriends to attend college studying acting, writing and painting.

In 1945 she married Michael Monchek, a physician, and helped him build a successful career. She raised two sons, Mark and Pete, while continuing to paint and exhibit her work in New York and later San Francisco. In 1978, at the age of 55, she and her second husband, Jacob Shilo, founded Domaine Laurier, a winery and vineyard in Forestville, California. With no experience in the wine business, their wine won numerous awards and was served in the White House.

In 2001, Barbara with the help of her third husband, Robert LeRoy, created the first-ever series of color paintings depicting the Holocaust, before, during and after. The exhibition, “Silent Voices Speak,” opened in the Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco. Attended by 10,000 people, the exhibition included a lecture series with Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners who discussed how we can use the lessons from the Holocaust to teach social justice.

Barbara Shilo lived with a passion for making the world a better place. To her family and many friends spread around the world she served as a beacon of unconditional love, unstoppable determination and a willingness to experience life to its fullest. Robert was her constant companion, muse and caregiver, making years of life possible for her when traditional medicine had given up. In her final years, Barbara battled two forms of cancer. As her body was ravaged by the disease she became even stronger, more resilient and more loving.

She is survived by her husband, Robert, her brother Julius, her sons Mark and Pete, daughters-in-law Karin and Providencia and grandchildren Ciara, Maia and Mason.

Donations to find a permanent home for “Silent Voices Speak,” send to Barbara Shilo Memorial Donation Account, c/o Pete Monchek, 2241 Portsmouth Way, San Mateo, CA 94403.


Allan D. Shocker

In loving memory of Allan D. Shocker

Allan D. Shocker, age 76, died in San Mateo, Calif., on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, of chronic heart failure.

Born April 7, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York, he earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University and his MS and Ph.D. in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University. Allan served as a faculty member at several leading universities, including Cornell University, the University of Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt University, the University of Washington, the University of Minnesota and San Francisco State University (SFSU). Allan retired after five years at SFSU and lived the remainder of his life in San Mateo, California.

His vibrant personality, booming voice and infectious enthusiasm for travel, theater, classical music, good food and conversation truly brightened the lives of his friends and colleagues. Allan was also very active at the Peninsula Regent, where he lived for more than a decade, participating in Thespians, Glee Club and various lecture series.

Allan is survived by his sister, Susan L. Ammons, and her children, Laura Stewart (John) and Eric Ammons (Sandi), and their children. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the charity of your choice.