lit yahrzeit candles

Deaths for the week of July 14, 2017

Soma “Moshe” Blumenkranc passed peacefully during a brief hospital stay Thursday, June 15, 2017. Born July 12, 1920, Warsaw, Poland.

Soma “Moshe” Blumenkranc

Never one to shy away from hard work, Soma earned money by cleaning chimneys and eventually owning and operating a successful photography company. During the war, with his young wife and two small children, Soma and his family left Vilna through Russia to Poland and eventually on the ship “Sholom” to Haifa and Kiryat Benyamin, Israel. His family stayed in Israel for four years while getting their papers in order for America. Finally ready, the family came to America from Haifa to New Jersey, Connecticut and ultimately settling in San Francisco in about 1960.

A longtime resident of San Rafael, he is survived by his daughter Sonia (Allen) Simon of Daly City; four grandchildren: Steven (Erin) Simon, Cupertino, Gary Simon, Daly City, Jaclyn (Nick) Guelfi, San Rafael, and Rachel Blum; and eight great-grandchildren.

Soma and his wife had several eateries in San Francisco including a family favorite, Mr. Bumpy’s on Polk Street. They enjoyed annual family vacations in Calistoga and adored their close-knit family and friends.

Spending time and signing to his great-grandchildren gave him great joy and memories that will remain forever.

Soma was preceded in death by his wife Bela (Feinberg) Blumenkranc, son Leon “Lova” Blumenkranc, parents Rachel (Berger) Haimovitch and Herschel Haimovitch and siblings Lazar Haimovitch and Dora Weiss. He is laid to rest at Salem Memorial Park in Colma.

Milford Davis of Redwood City died on June 29 at the age of 89.

Milford Davis
Milford Davis

Born in the Bronx in 1928, Milford served in the U.S. Army as a warrant officer during World War II and the Korean War. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the Korean War Service Meal, the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and several meritorious unit commendations.

After his military service, Milford moved to California, where he remained very active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Order of the Cooties, the honorary society of the VFW. He also belonged to the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Forty and Eight (part of the American Legion), the Military Officers Association of America and American Veterans. He gave more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service to the VA hospitals in Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

Milford Davis
Milford Davis

In California, Milford worked as a typewriter salesman and repairman for Remington Rand. Later he became a real estate agent and broker, founding Davis Realty in San Francisco.

Milford was a member of Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City and Congregation Chevra Thilim in San Francisco. He loved fishing, traveling and reading, and was a kindhearted and generous man.

He was preceded in death by his sister Sandra Davis Wilosny. He was a devoted brother to her and to Ellen Alberstat of Redwood City and Irwin Alberstat of Palm Beach, Florida, who both survive him.

Milford was buried in the military section of Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo. Donations may be made to Congregation Beth Jacob, Congregation Chevra Thilim, the VFW national home for children in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, or the Silicon Valley chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

Yetta Heynick, 97, died in Palo Alto of natural causes. She is survived by son Mitchell and daughter-in-law Nicole; daughter Carla Garrett and son-in-law Tom; grandson Aaron and his wife Draven; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Yetta was a superb math teacher in the Palo Alto school district for 20 years. After retiring in 1984, she devoted her time and energy to Hadassah where she held many offices, oversaw the Calendar Book and was a Circle of Founders contributor.

Yetta had many interests, including the book club (which she and her husband joined when they moved to Palo Alto in 1963), the Democratic Party, Torah study and doing the NY Times crossword puzzle.

She was always immaculately dressed (skirts and stiletto heels for work) and had a keen sense of organization, a sharp pencil (as well as a sharp mind) right up to the end.

Interment was on July 13 at the Hills of Eternity in Colma, followed by a memorial service at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills.

The family requests that any donations be made to Hadassah at the JCC in Palo Alto.

Sinai Redwood City

Hanna Reich Packer
Hanna Reich Packer

Hanna Reich Packer was born Dec. 7, 1922, in Cologne, Germany, only daughter to Shmuel and Carmela Reich. She passed away at the Jewish Home, San Francisco, on July 1, 2017. Funeral services were held at Skylawn Memorial Park, Gan HaZikaron, on July 5, 2017. She is survived by her three children, Amy, Ed and Dena; six grandkids; and 19 great-grandkids.

She survived the Holocaust and escaped to Israel in 1938 immediately after Kristallnacht, which attacked Jews and their businesses. In Israel she lived in Jerusalem and became one of thousands of Jews building the State of Israel, which became independent in 1948. She worked as a nurse, though she always wanted to be a doctor. After surviving the death of her husband in a terrorist act, she continued the journey in the ’60s and immigrated to the United States.

She always spoke of Ellis Island in New York City and its gateway to America and its freedom for which she yearned. Hanna always felt that her “eternal flame” burned within her and that America offered the greatest opportunities to her children, one of whom graduated Harvard. She loved her family, paintings, and just sitting around and talking about life. She will be missed by all whom she touched.

Sinai San Francisco

Ruth Turner

It is with great sadness that we inform you that our beloved and wonderful mother, grandmother, cousin and friend to many passed away on June 15, 2017, at the age of 81.

Ruth Turner
Ruth Turner

Ruth Turner was born in Berlin, Germany, on Nov. 27, 1935, and by age 3 fled Nazi Germany with her loving adopted parents, Isidor and Jette Markus, to Shanghai, China. They lived in the squalid Hongkew ghetto for 10 years, making their way to Montreal and eventually San Francisco. She married, moved to Stockton, California, and raised two children there.

Ruth worked in administration most of her life, including as Executive Secretary of the Graduate School at the University of the Pacific. Fueled by an intense and immense love of family, she moved to Santa Rosa in 1988 to be close to her grandchildren. Prior to retirement Ruth was the Facilities Coordinator at the Friedman Event Center. She was an active member of JCC’s Friendship Circle and Congregation Shomrei Torah.

Survived by Linda (daughter) and Dan Bornstein, and beloved grandchildren Jason, Corey and Andrea. Predeceased by her son, Perry, who succumbed to AIDS in 1994. She leaves behind countless friends and family who are heartbroken at the sudden loss of a very private woman who, in her quiet way, exemplified strength, courage, joy, gratitude and relentless optimism each and every day despite tremendous hardship.

Funeral services were held in Santa Rosa. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Congregation Shomrei Torah, Mortgage Fund (, Friendship Circle, Jewish Community Center (, or Jewish Family and Children’s Services (

Sarah Wolfe died peacefully on June 18 in Palo Alto at age 97.

Sarah Wolfe
Sarah Wolfe

A resident of Palo Alto for 66 years, Sarah had served as president of B’nai B’rith in 1964 and had been an active member of the Palo Alto JCC. She and her husband Irwin enjoyed singing and creating comic skits with the Vintage Vaudevillians. They were active folk dancers with the Barronaders.

She was active in the anti-war movement and volunteered in Planned Parenthood and the South Palo Alto Food Closet.

She is remembered lovingly by daughters Leanna Wolfe and Roselyn Mena (Jesús); and grandchildren Francisco and Sonia Mena.

A celebration of life will be held on July 30 at 2 p.m., 11th floor of Channing House, 850 Webster St., Palo Alto.

Donations in Sarah’s memory can be made to the Ecumenical Hunger Program or Planned Parenthood.