Abraham “Abe” Mordokowicz

Abraham “Abe” Mordokowicz, a Polish-born fighter for Israel’s independence, former professional soccer player and retired sales manager, died peacefully on Friday, May 22, in Mill Valley. He was 87.

Born January 28, 1928, in Piotrkow Tribunalski to Rosalie Kilstein Mordkovitz and Roman (Irachmel) Mordkovitz, he was brought by his parents along with his sister, Ala, to what was then Palestine.

Abe served in the Israeli army as a master sergeant and then played with the Israeli Soccer Club, Maccabi Tel Aviv, as a striker during the Golden Age of Soccer in the young nation of Israel. He came to New York in 1953 on a soccer tour, where he stayed about six months before going on to Chicago for another six months. He played for Hakoah AC and USF Dons in the 1955 season, scoring 14 points while leading them to a 10-1 record. Abe was “all conference” and winner of the Tom Mahoney Award. He continued playing soccer with Hakoah AC into the mid 1970s, after which he coached for several years.

For 30 years, Abe worked for Edison Brothers Shoes stores earning top sales awards.

In 1956, he met Mary Ann Hahn while swimming at the Jewish Community Center on California Street, where he used to go after soccer practice. They married September 1, 1957, at Congregation Beth Israel on Geary Street, and had three children. Mary Ann predeceased him in 1986.

In recent years, Abe enjoyed watching soccer with his son and son-in-law, dancing and being “Saba” to his four grandchildren. He always had a joke to tell, and advice to give. Among his favorites was “Ready and able, put your cards on the table,” and a variation, “Always be ready!” — which he was.

Abe is survived by his two daughters, Ruth (Michael), Sheri, and his son, Alan (Melissa); his grandchildren, Jordan, Bailey, Rebecca and Max; and several nieces and nephews. His sister Ala, in Tel Aviv, also survives.

Funeral services were held. Donations in Abe’s memory may be made to Hospice by the Bay or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Sinai Memorial Chapel

(415) 921-3636

Pauline Helzberg Neumann

Pauline Helzberg Neumann, 92, died peacefully in her sleep “as she wished” on May 19, 2015, in Santa Rosa from pneumonia. She is survived by her sister, Berniece “Doodle” Rosoff; her daughters, Gail Richard and Lynne Rosenthal (Jay); and her son, David Neumann (Gail).

She was the loving grandmother of Emily Rosenthal (Dave Cowley), Megan Johnson (Trooper), Melanie Fisher (Lawrence), Libby Smith (Mike), Michael Neumann (Katie) and Ari Neumann (Candace) and great grandmother of Max, Hank, Sam and Sophia Johnson, Kya and Leah Smith, Leonardo Neumann and Nathan Cowley.

Pauline was an avid bridge player who also loved shopping and bocce ball. She was an excellent cook and hostess and loved to entertain. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Leonard Neumann, and her sister Margerie Kreidberg.

There will be a celebration of her life on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from 1 to 4 pm at 124 Yulupa Circle, Santa Rosa, California.

Gloria Schleifer Reid

Gloria Schleifer Reid died peacefully in her sleep in Danville on May 4, two months shy of her 100th birthday. She is greatly mourned by all who knew her.

Born in Lubraniec, Poland, in 1915, she remembered temporarily moving during the war because soldiers were taking all the food. Her parents, Nachman Lazar and Hinde Ruchel (Pieprzynska) Schleifer, were educated, cultured Jews who married for love, and Gloria (then Genya, for Eugenia) thrived in a home suffused with love.

In 1923, her father (with her older brother Jack) sailed to New York to get settled before bringing the family over. But a sudden change in U.S. immigration laws separated the family for six years. Arriving in Brooklyn with her mother and younger brother Daniel just before the crash of 1929, Gloria — who already spoke Polish, Hebrew and Yiddish — learned English in one year. Later, against her parents’ wishes, she dropped out of college, determined to earn money for the household.

She met Harold Reid (z”l), a civil engineer, in 1938, and they married in 1945 when he was on leave from the Pacific front. They soon moved to the Bay Area, and in 1949, Harold designed and built the home in the Oakland hills where she lived for 58 years. They had two children, Natalie and Norman. She joined every Jewish women’s organization, contributed to every Jewish charity, was a Temple Beth Abraham “minyan-aire” for nearly 20 years, and immersed herself and her family in the synagogue and the Oakland Jewish community.

In her late 50s, she began taking art classes at Merritt College, where she fell in love with lost wax sculpture, designing and making channukiot-like trees before those styles became popular. Gloria loved not only beauty and art, and not only her beloved nuclear and extended family, but everyone: She lived to love. She also lived to care for the lonely, the bereaved, the lost, so that on every Friday night and Jewish holiday, her home was filled with family, friends and those who had nowhere else to go. She enveloped everyone she met in her great capacity for love.

She and Harold visited Israel in 1969 (and she later returned in 1991). When Harold died in 1998, Gloria dealt with her grief by learning trope and reading from the Torah. She also tutored 8-year-olds in reading. In 2007, she moved to the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville, where she began beading and had an exhibit of her work in 2013. She is survived by her sister, Joan Siegel, of Huntington, New York; her son, Norman Reid of San Francisco; her daughter, Natalie Reid of Albuquerque, New Mexico; her grandsons, DoShik Wood of Boxford, Massachusetts, and Tom Wood of Sudbury, Massachusetts; three great-grandchildren — and the many other relatives and friends who deeply miss her. Donations may be made to the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living or to Temple Beth Abraham.