A row of lit yahrzeit candles

Deaths for the week of Jan. 27, 2017

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Hans Gelfand
May 1928–January 2017

face of Hans Gelfand
Hans Gelfand

Hans lived life to his fullest. He was a leader at home, in the community and in his industry. Hans was born in Germany, forced to migrate to Shanghai before War World II where he met his beautiful bride-to-be, Vera. He made his way to San Francisco in 1948, thanks to the support from the Jewish community. Over the years they had three children together, Judy, Karen and Mark. Professionally, Hans accomplished his dream of building up his own dry-cleaning business, stemming from a family background in the tailoring/manufacturing garment industries. He was driven for success and, in the process, created steady jobs for generations to come, which notably included his own family.

Hans was an active sportsman dating back to his childhood. This included boxing, soccer and, in later days, tennis. He was extremely competitive in all facets of life. Friends and family always admired his musicianship, which started with the accordion and evolved to his own refined “boogie style” piano playing, creating the perfect setting for the infamous bar brawls in the Red Light district of Shanghai. He was always an avid listener of music as well, frequenting his favorite jazz clubs in San Francisco and on the Peninsula. At home, his favorite hobby was woodwork and he was extremely mechanically inclined. This became a strong asset to his profession.

Hans will be dearly missed by us all and is survived by his wife, Vera, daughter Karen (husband Bob), his son Mark (wife Elizabeth), granddaughter Lorien (husband Luke), grandson Aaron (wife Deana), granddaughter Claressa, great-granddaughter Addy and great-grandson JoJo. Our family expresses their appreciation for the in-house comfort provided by Kaiser Hospice and help of Seniors At Home care.


Emily Gold passed away on Jan. 13, 2017. She lived for the past 70 years in San Francisco, where she married David Gold, raised her family and subsequently worked as a nursery school teacher at Temple Emanu-El and the JCCSF.

Emily was beloved by her children, Barbara, Steven, Diane and Elaine, her grandchildren, sons-in-law, siblings, extended family and many friends. Her warmth, generosity and kindness brought joy and happiness to all she touched. In later years, she and her late husband, David, supported hundreds of social causes including early childhood development, environmental stewardship, youth enrichment and Jewish culture for over 20 years through the David B. Gold Foundation. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.


David Israel Goldstein
Oct. 28, 1921–Jan. 21, 2017

face of David Israel Goldstein
David Israel Goldstein

David Goldstein passed away peacefully at home in San Francisco at the age of 95. David, the son of Herman and Sara Goldstein and the grandson of Baruch and Hinda Merdinger and Naftali Goldstein and Libby Eisner, was born in Tluste, Poland, immigrated to the United States at age 1, and settled in New York City with his family. He was stationed at Camp Cooke in California and proudly served as a chaplain’s assistant during World War II.
David was a certified public accountant and, in his spare time, a first-rate Scrabble and bridge player and an enthusiastic member of his Yiddish chorus. In recent years he split his time between Florida and New York before moving to the Bay Area to be with his children in September 2016.

David was a sweet, kind man and a real mensch. He was loved dearly and is survived by his children Susan Alesevich (Gene) of Reno and Philip Goldstein (Cathy) of San Rafael, his grandchildren Robert Alesevich, Derrick Alesevich, Noah Goldstein, Ari Goldstein and Hallie Goldstein, and his great-granddaughter Chloe Alesevich. David was predeceased by his beloved wife of 69 years, Hannah, and his sister, Natalie Becker. David is also survived by his sister Betty Brandwein, his brother Larry Goldstein (Margaret), his loving companion Shelley Tenzer, and dear nieces, nephews and cousins.

Graveside services were held.


Josephine (Jo) Louise Kanzel

Nov. 25, 1926–Jan. 12, 2017

Born Nov. 25, 1926, in Los Angeles, Jo passed away Jan. 12, 2017, at Eisenhower Medical Center after a protracted but noble battle with dementia. Jo was married in 1961 to Dr. Julius (Julie) Sanford Kanzel in Lake Tahoe, California. Julie, her adoring husband, passed away Jan. 15, 2002, after 41 years of marriage. After the loss of her husband, Jo left the family home in Alamo, California, and moved south to Palm Desert, California, where she resided for 15 years until her passing.

Jo is survived by her daughter, Felice Lynn Peardon of Santa Barbara, a successful businesswoman, wife and mother of one son, Jake; her son Keith Alan Kanzel of San Diego, a creative director and father of two boys, Hayden and Chase Kanzel, and grandfather of Cheri Ann Kanzel.

Jo’s education included high school, some vocational school, and the “School of Life” where she earned her master’s degree.

In addition to being a loving wife and an actively engaged mother of two, Jo spent much of her adult life as an office manager for her husband’s thriving medical practice. The job provided her the opportunity to serve others for many years, as well as maximize her time at her husband’s side, which she cherished immeasurably.

Jo had many interests and pursuits. She was an avid and accomplished tennis player. She played regularly until the age of 82, when a bad hip forced her “early” exit from the court. Jo loved to entertain, support and participate in her children’s activities and play the Chinese game of Mahjong, which she did for many years in various clubs.

Beyond raising her children, her greatest joy was travel. Jo and Julie spent the entirety of their married life traveling the world. They went to the most exotic corners of the earth, as well as occasionally traveling to beautiful resort destinations. Jo was most interested in the culture and arts of each country she visited. She took great pleasure in learning about the different customs, art, and people she encountered. She would collect wonderful art pieces with Julie, also an avid collector, and return home to adorn her home with these treasures and share her experiences with her children and friends.

Jo was known for her sassy, no-nonsense conversational style, which provided almost no veneer for the warmth and love she had for her family and friends. Jo would go to any length to help her husband, children, grandchildren and friends.

During Jo’s final years, as her health declined, she was fortunate enough to be able to remain in her home despite the ever-increasing levels of care her health demanded. She received the absolute best of care from a privately assembled team of caregivers. These amazing women cared for Jo 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for six years. They grew to know the love in Jo’s heart and returned it abundantly, each one recounting to Jo’s children that they loved her deeply and thought of her like their own mother. Her children and friends are heartened by and full of indescribable gratitude for those women and the care Jo received from them up to the moment of her peaceful passing.

Per Jo’s wishes, her remains will be cremated and scattered at sea by aircraft over the San Francisco Bay, in the same location as Julie … together again at last. In lieu of flowers, please consider the needs of those suffering from, or impacted by, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Contributions in Jo’s name can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


Marcella Vann

May 30, 1925–Dec. 29, 2016

Marcella Vann, intrepid tennis player and Bay-to-Breakers runner, died in Berkeley, California, on Dec. 29, 2016. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she moved to San Francisco with her family when she was 8 years old. She graduated from Washington High School and the University of California at Berkeley. She married Homer Vann and was the proud mother of two children, Barry Vann and Karen Vann, all of whom predeceased her. She is survived by her beloved grandchildren Jessica Vann (husband Faisal Khan) of Berkeley, California, and Leah and Harrison Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, as well as two great-grandchildren, Kulsum and Idris Khan. Donations in Marcella’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.