Pearl Yarkin

June 9, 1926–May 13, 2015

Pearl Yarkin, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully on May 13, 2015 in Palo Alto.

Pearl led a vibrant, energetic, intellectual and purposeful life marked by her constant devotion and love for her family. She was also a passionate advocate for liberal causes, strongly supporting Democratic candidates and policies.

She was born in New York City on June 9, 1926 to Olia and Nachum Galpern, both Jewish immigrants who immigrated to U.S. in the 1910s. She had one brother, Arnie, five years her junior. Pearl’s intelligence and intellectual curiosity were present throughout her life beginning with her formal education. She skipped two grades in elementary school and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class at age 16 in Passaic, New Jersey. After graduating from Queens College with an undergraduate degree in political science, Pearl became one of only five women in her USC Law School class, and likely would have become a very successful lawyer if she hadn’t met fellow grad student Joseph Yarkin, leaving school to pursue a life of love and adventure with him.

Pearl and Joey married in 1948, and after considering their options, decided that Palo Alto would be the best place to raise their family. In 1950 their first child Neva was born, followed every two years by another Yarkin, until there were seven children in all: Neva, Allan, Mark, Kerry, Don, Burt and Matt. While Joe started and grew Yarkin Realty, Pearl held down the very busy fort at home. Pearl’s boundless energy, enthusiasm and scheduling ability allowed the Yarkins to be involved in school functions, Little League, Congregation Beth Am, music lessons, bar mitzvahs, weddings, camp and long vacation trips through California. Even with such a busy family life, Pearl found time to support liberal causes, fighting against the Vietnam War, and for equal rights for women and fair housing laws.

Once Pearl and Joe got all of the kids off to college and on their own, they had the time to pursue their love of travel, including trips to Africa, India and Europe, as well as enjoying time closer to home in Aptos and Palm Springs. Throughout their lives they placed a priority on always learning. Joe and Pearl were everywhere in Palo Alto — running to lectures, ballroom dancing, playing bridge, attending theater works and never missing an interesting lecture or art exhibit at Stanford. They also enjoyed regular strolls at Foothills Park and Baylands and maintaining lifelong friendships with their peers, some of whom were part of their Beth Am Havurah. Theirs was an amazing, harmonious and loving partnership that lasted 63 years. Joe passed away three years earlier in 2012. As children and grandchildren, we were blessed to have her as our mother and grandmother.

Pearl is survived by her children Neva Yarkin of Palo Alto, Allan Yarkin (Rae Ellen) of Miami Beach, Mark Yarkin (Terri) of Danville, Kerry Yarkin, Don Yarkin, Matt Yarkin of Palo Alto and Burt Yarkin (Karen) of Piedmont. Grandchildren are Brent Yarkin, Justin Yarkin, Sophie Yarkin, Genna Yarkin, Ilana Yarkin, Sarah Yarkin, Adi Nagler, Maayan Nagler, Nathan Yarkin and Kaylee Yarkin.

Francine Yellin

Francine Yellin, who lived with Crohn’s disease for 40 years, succumbed to complications of the illness on July 13. Born, raised and educated in San Francisco, she spent her entire life in the Bay Area. Despite a debilitating chronic condition, Francine faced life and the world with courage, resilience and dignity — and a smile. She loved baking cookies for friends and family, gardening and taking care of her pets. She was grateful for each day she could spend with her mother, daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

Francine is survived by her mother, AnneMarie Yellin; her daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Ryan Gonzalez; and her granddaughters, Mackenzie and Emily. She was predeceased by her father, Elliott, and brother, Jacob.

A celebration of Francine’s life will be held on Sunday, Aug. 16, on what would have been Francine’s 57th birthday. Please contact Sarah Gonzalez for details. The family requests that gifts in Francine’s memory be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (


in memoriam

A memorial celebration of the life of Irwin Gibbs will be held at the Lake Merced Country Club in San Francisco on August 22, 2015 from 2 to 5 p.m.