a lit memorial candle with a Sinai Memorial Chapel logo on it

Deaths for the week of March 23, 2018

John William Florence, 87, contributed enormously to the world through his military and Veterans’ Administration careers as well as through his relationships with family and community. He died on March 3, 2018, at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Born on June 21, 1930 in Ephrata, Washington, and raised in Spokane, Washington, John joined the United States Marine Corps to make a difference. He served 20 years in the Marines, attained the rank of Major, and received a Purple Heart for his service in Korea. Upon retirement from the Marines, he attended graduate school to earn a PhD in counseling psychology, which led him to a career as a rehabilitation counselor for the Veterans Administration. John spent a distinguished 22 years leading the VA’s rehabilitation work in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

After he retired from the VA, John gained a new sense of purpose in the Bay Area as he stepped in as a Port Captain for the Presidio Yacht Club, a volunteer for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and an avid and award-winning gardener in the San Rafael community garden.

Because John provided enormous kindness, encouragement, stability, and wisdom to so many people, he will be missed tremendously. He is survived by Madeline, his wife of 44 years; his children, John Florence Jr., Jayne Brandt, Risa Dickson, Elana Grissom, and Mariah Dickson (Rob Stein); his grandchildren, Jake Murdock (Cynthia), Taylor and Austin Bliszcz, Rebekka, Ben, and Gabrielle Dickson; and Eliza and Max Stein; and his great-grandchildren, Asher and Marley Murdock. He was preceded in death by his son, Andrew Dickson (Gyda).

As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to Congregation Kol Shofar.

(Sinai SF)

Aline Fox passed away peacefully on March 10, 2018. A longtime resident of Burlingame, California, Aline moved to Carlsbad, California, about nine years ago with her loving husband, Richard (Dick) Fox.

Aline Fox
Aline Fox

Aline was born in 1934 in Philadelphia to Ruth and Louis Slusky, grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and was the older sister of her beloved brother Richard Slusky (and sister-in-law Evy). While on college break she visited family in San Francisco, where she met the love of her life Dick and permanently moved to the West Coast. They married and settled in Burlingame where she helped Dick with his business, Brentwood Village Pharmacy in South San Francisco, for 30 years by doing the bookkeeping and merchandise ordering while at the same time raising three children: Michael, Judy, and Steve.

Aline was caring and generous to her family and friends. She was passionate about her cooking, and her famous “chocolate mint brownies” are still talked about by her children’s friends to this day. Aline loved to entertain and hosted many dinner parties and social activities. She and Dick were early members of Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame and the Temple truly became their “second home” for both their connection to Judaism and developing lifelong friends and community. Aline was active in the Temple Sisterhood and took great pride in developing the “Sholom Chef” cookbook as a fundraiser. Aline also loved to travel with Dick and they took many wonderful vacations together (often with many of their friends) all over the world. Despite her busy schedule, Aline was an avid reader and always found time to participate in book clubs to discuss the books she read.

Aline also loved her two daughters-in-laws (Joan and Stacy) and son-in-law (Hal), and each of them had a strong bond with her. Aline was devoted to her grandchildren Adam (Carly), Jared, Lindsey, Rachel, Lindsey, and Rebecca, and they all feel fortunate to have gotten to know her loving spirit and sense of humor. Although her memory diminished in the last few years as Alzheimer’s disease progressed, she never lost her smile and warm personality.

Aline was buried in San Diego in a private service. A memorial service was held in San Diego on March 14 and a Celebration of Life gathering will be held in Burlingame at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 25 at Peninsula Temple Sholom in the Lillian Byer Social Hall where friends and family can share stories.

Contributions in Aline Fox’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or your favorite Jewish or other charity.

Frances Dinkelspiel Green, a fourth-generation Californian who broke a glass ceiling to become the first female president of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, died March 18 surrounded by her loving children and grandchildren. She was 89.

Franny, as she was widely known, was highly regarded for her leadership of many institutions in the Bay Area. In addition to serving as president of the Federation from 1975 to 1976, she served as president or on the board of the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Commission, Homewood Terrace, the Jewish Home for the Aged, the Hebrew Free Loan Association, Mount Zion Hospital, Sinai Memorial Chapel, the Magnes Museum, the Golden Gate chapter of the American Red Cross, and United Bay Area Crusade.

Francine Dinkelspiel Green

So many organizations sought out Franny’s leadership because she brought a sharp intelligence and deep compassion to everything she did. She embraced all sorts of people and was a great humanitarian and philanthropist. Franny also had a wonderful sense of humor and her laugh could be heard across the room.

Franny was born into a well-known and influential family, which bestowed upon her a deep appreciation for her California roots. Her great-grandfather, Isaias Hellman, was a pioneer who came to California in 1859 with practically nothing and ended up as president of Wells Fargo Bank. Her mother, Florence Hellman Dinkelspiel, served on the San Francisco School Board, and her father, Lloyd Dinkelspiel, was a distinguished attorney who also served as chair of the Federation and the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Franny also had a brother, Lloyd Dinkelspiel, who died in 1976.

Franny grew up in San Francisco and particularly liked spending summers with her grandmother, Frances Hellman, at her summer home in Oakland with its vistas and large gardens. There the entire extended clan would gather from May to October. She married her husband, William H. Green, at Oakvale, in 1949.

Franny attended the Katherine Delmar Burke School for Girls and Stanford University. She had many decades-long friendships. Every week, she played bridge on the Peninsula with a cherished group of women.

Family was the center of Franny’s life. She enjoyed a 64-year-long marriage to Bill, who owned a number of eyeglass stores. He died in 2014. They had three wonderful children, Louise (Dick Marsh), David (Pat), and Florence (Steve Marchick). Franny had seven grandchildren: Allison, Stefanie, Kimberlee, Emily, Daniella, Katherine, and Michael, and six great grandchildren, with three more coming this summer.

Franny split her time between San Francisco and Atherton but had moved to Portland, Oregon, a few years ago to be closer to her children.

Services were held March 22 at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco. Donations in Franny’s honor can be made to the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living (aka Jewish Home), Congregation Emanu-El or American Red Cross.

Joseph Kaplan z”l

5-18-25 to 2-28-2018

Joe Kaplan was born in Berlin, Germany, to Charles and Frieda Kaplan. He spent his youth there growing up with extended family. After the rise of Hitler, following Kristallnacht in 1938, Joe’s immediate family left for America. They settled in Los Angeles, where Joe attended Hamilton High School. He earned a BS in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley in 1948.

Joseph Kaplan

Throughout his life he was a registered Civil Engineer with a license from the State of California as a General Engineering and General Building contractor. Joe was the founder and president of Joseph Kaplan, Inc. The company was actively involved in Heavy and Infrastructure and Marine Construction, as well as Commercial and Industrial Building Construction and Residential Remodel and Retrofit Construction, for 49 years.
Joe was extremely active as a volunteer within the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was an officer in several local ASCE divisions and also served as a lecturer and arbitrator. He was co-author of the Crane Safety Manual published by ASCE. He won the highest award given by the State of California (Region 9) as Outstanding ASCE Life Member, as well as other major volunteer awards.

In addition to his volunteer work with ASCE, NSPE, and The Construction Safety Institute, Joe was active with the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, the Cal Alumni Association, and Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco.

Joe finally succumbed to congestive heart failure, from which he had suffered for several years. Survivors include his children David (Christa), Lori, Tom, Dan (Michele), and 10 grandchildren, as well as longtime partner Jean Pressey. Joe was predeceased by his wife, the former Patricia Mooney.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. March 24 at the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto. Donations may be made to Hebrew Free Loan: https://www.hflasf.org.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother Ronald Lee Kaye, M.D., on March 3, 2018. Ron died suddenly and without suffering. Ron was born on April 15, 1932 in Toledo, Ohio, to Philip Kaminsky and Gertrude Mae Berman, who predeceased him. He met his beloved wife, Tobye Fay Davidson, at summer camp in 1949, when Ron was 18 and Tobye 14½, and the two were married in 1955 in Detroit.

Ron received his A.B. (1953) and M.D. (1957) from the University of Michigan, and after a year of internship at Sinai Hospital in Detroit moved to Rochester, Minnesota, where he completed an Internal Medical residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. Ron interrupted his post-graduate medical training to serve his country as a captain in the U.S. Air Force at George Air Force Base in Southern California.

Ronald Lee Kaye

Ron and Tobye moved to Palo Alto in 1963, where Ron founded the Rheumatology Department at the Palo Alto Clinic (now the Palo Alto Medical Foundation–PAMF) and served as chair of the department until his retirement from clinical practice in 1997. He continued as Director of Continuing Medical Education at PAMF until this past December, completing more than 54 years of service at PAMF.

Ron’s many professional achievements included teaching numerous medical students, residents, and rheumatology fellows as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Stanford. He was chair of the California Medical Association’s Committee on Continuing Medical Education (CME) which established continuing medical education relicensing standards for all physicians in the state, and later for the nation through the American Medical Association’s Committee on CME. He also established scientific interchange between the Peking Medical School and Stanford, as one of the first Americans to travel to China in 1979. Ron authored or co-authored almost forty scientific papers and book chapters and served as president of several local and national medical organizations. He received the first Philip S. Hench Award for Excellence in Rheumatology at the Mayo Clinic, was elected to the Royal Society of Medicine (London) and the American College of Physicians, and was honored by the Arthritis Foundation and the Santa Clara Medical Society.

Ron was also very active in the Jewish community. He led the Israel Bond drive at Stanford after the Six-Day War, served on the Magen David Adom national board, co-founded the Sino-Judaic Institute, co-organized the first Jewish bioethics conference at Hebrew Union College, and served on several committees and attended many classes at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, where he and Tobye were members for almost 55 years.

A clarinet and saxophone player, Ron had the opportunity during high school to play with Benny Goodman and his orchestra as well as to personally interview Gen. Dwight Eisenhower while serving as the DeVilbiss High School newspaper’s managing editor.

Ron traveled the world with Tobye, visiting several countries. He was a talented artist, fan of Stanford and University of Michigan sports, music lover, and collector of minerals, stamps, coins, and toy soldiers.

Ron’s family was the most important part of his life. He was a devoted husband to Tobye, father to Brian (Fran), Todd (Julie), Douglas (Cyndi) and Jeffrey (Rhonda), grandfather to Naomi (Honza), Ilan, Joshua, Ari, Shaina, Doniel, Micaela, Asher, Jonah and Avi Kaye, great-grandfather to Ezra, brother to Jerry Kaye (Elsa), and uncle and cousin to many. Ron was a special friend to many, including his numerous patients, and went out of his way to help countless people. He will be missed tremendously by the innumerable people whose lives he touched, but his memory and wonderful deeds will forever live on in all of our hearts.

Memorial services and burial were held on March 6, 2018. For those who wish to honor Ron, please consider making a donation to Congregation Beth Am, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the American Friends of Magen David Adom, or the charity of your choice.

(Sinai Redwood City)

Holocaust survivor Gina Klonoff (May 9, 1927–March 15, 2018) was born in Vienna, Austria. Her parents were Joseph and Anna Shiffman.

Gina Klonoff
Gina Klonoff

She earned a B.S. English, University of Washington, and M.A. Linguistics, San Francisco State University. Gina met her husband Jerry Klonoff as students at University of Washington, and they married in 1949. Retiring in Las Vegas, Gina became the Speaker Chairperson for the Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada for 12 years. She was a member of Congregation Bet Knesset Hamidbar and the Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada. She is survived by husband Jerry Klonoff, sons David Klonoff, M.D. (Arlene) and Jeffrey Klonoff (Leslie) and grandchildren Anna, Alex, Michael, Joel and Jennifer Klonoff. Funeral services were held March 18 at Home of Peace in Colma.

Leonard “Len” Marshall, 80, passed away at home on Jan. 9, 2018 following his courageous battle with cancer.

Leonard “Len” Marshall

Born in San Francisco on Sept. 1, 1937 to Phillip and Anita, Len grew up in the Lakeside District and was a 1955 graduate of Lowell High School where he ran track and field and made All-City. After attending UC Berkeley for 2 years, he then went to UCSF, where he graduated with a combined B.S. and doctor of pharmacy degree. Len married his high school sweetheart Lorraine “Lorri” Marshall (formerly Pinsler), also of San Francisco, on Aug. 15, 1959. Members of the same synagogue, Len recently joked that he was “pre-approved” by the Pinsler family. They were married for over 58 happy years and were long-time residents of Moraga — in the house they had built in 1967.

Len followed in his father’s footsteps and became a pharmacist, which was his passion. He was a practicing pharmacist for over 50 years, first taking over Marshall’s Pharmacy from his father and then continuing as a pharmacist after closing the family store, which had been a fixture on West Portal Ave. in San Francisco for 60 years. Len built a warm home and was a devoted and loving husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather or, more fondly, “Poppy.” He doted on his family and showed his love through acts of kindness.

His friends and family will recall Len’s intellect; his huge heart and need to care for those he loved; his interest in all things space, archaeological, or ocean-related; and his love of travel, especially to warm climates. He was happiest near the water and spent his honeymoon and many vacations in Hawaii. Len celebrated his 80th birthday this past September surrounded by his family in one of his favorite locations, Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Len is preceded in death by his twin brother, Clifford Marshall, and will be remembered with great love and admiration by his wife Lorri, his children Karen (Greg), Pam (Kevin), Steve, and Cindy (Jon), his grandchildren Sara, Megan (Max), Amanda, Tyler, and Jessica, as well as extended family and friends.

Robert N. Schiff, a longtime San Francisco and East Bay resident who built a distinguished legal career, enjoyed a loving marriage to his wife, Sue Ann, and was immensely proud of sons Robert and David, died on Thursday, March 15, after a long illness. He was 71.

Robert Nathan Schiff was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on December 9, 1946, and moved with his parents Frances and Herschal Schiff and sister Margaret to San Francisco in 1958. He attended Lick-Wilmerding High School, graduating in 1965. In 1969 he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and earned his law degree at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in 1973.

Robert N. Schiff
Robert N. Schiff

After serving a year in the California Attorney General’s Office, he joined the law department of Pacific Gas and Electric Company as a litigator. In 1977, he joined the firm of Fisher & Hurst, where he specialized in insurance law, eventually serving as the firm’s managing partner. In 1998, he became a partner in the San Francisco office of Haight Brown & Bonesteel and practiced there until his illness forced him to retire in 2015.

Bob was one of the most highly regarded insurance coverage attorneys in the Bay Area, known in particular as an expert in reinsurance matters. He was an annually designated Northern California Super Lawyer and also co-wrote and, until his illness, regularly updated the introductory chapter in the CEB text on California Liability Insurance Practice, which is still in publication.

He believed in tikkun olam and was a committed civil libertarian, devoting his extracurricular time to issues such as reproductive rights, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state. He was most active in the American Jewish Congress, the Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council and Temple Sinai in Oakland.

Most important, Bob was a mensch, a good friend and mentor, respected and beloved by colleagues and clients as he was by friends and family. He was a truly funny guy, with a dry sense of humor and acerbic wit that he retained until the very end. Bob was also a consistent wearer of bow ties and occasionally taken for a Larry David lookalike when not in one. A loyal fan of the San Francisco Giants and Cal football, he took his sons to games during both teams’ many losing seasons and a few winning ones.

Bob had Lewy Body Dementia, the same disease that afflicted Robin Williams. He handled his illness with dignity, grace and strength, making sure that others did not suffer because he was suffering.

Bob is survived by his wife of almost 46 years, Sue Ann, sons Robert and David, daughters-in-law Harper Matheson and Laura Paine Schiff, grandchildren Roxanne and George, as well as his sister Marge Madigan, her husband Tom, 10 nieces and nephews, and seven grandnieces and grandnephews. Sue Ann’s mother Blossom Levin calls him her fourth son, and her three brothers thought of Bob as one of them.

The family wishes to thank Erika Dunning, Endurance Ediae, Sandra Frantz, Vanessa Jerome, Alondra Torres, Drs. Bennett Zier and Yanek Chiu, and the staff of the Jewish Home of San Francisco and Tender Rose for their care and kindness.

Services were held March 20 at Temple Sinai in Oakland, with burial at the Home of Eternity. Donations in Bob’s memory and honor may be made to Camperships for Nebagamon, the camp he attended as a boy; the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco; the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California; or a charity of your choosing.

(Sinai SF)

Pauline Schwartz passed away peacefully on March 1, 2018, at 99 years of age.

She was born in Akron, Ohio, as the youngest of 10 children. When the Great Depression hit, her family moved to Los Angeles, hoping to find better employment opportunities. Unfortunately, things were just as bad in California, and her family struggled mightily. Her older brothers were forced to drop out of high school to support the family, which disappointed her hardworking mother, who hoped they would attend college. Things did not look that much better for Pauline when she started high school at Poly High in Los Angeles, where only 2 percent of students went on to enroll in college.

Pauline Schwartz

Pauline thrived at Poly. She excelled scholastically and was voted the most popular in her large high school class. She was elected vice president of the student body, where she became close friends with Tom Bradley (president of the student body), who later was a celebrated mayor of Los Angeles. After graduating high school, Pauline attended UCLA for a year while living at home and then transferred to UC Berkeley to achieve a greater measure of independence from her family.

During her first semester at Cal, she sat down next to her future husband, Ariah Schwartz, in Psychology 1A. They were married three months later, a marriage that lasted 69 years until Ariah passed away in 2008. After college, Ariah began medical school at UCSF. Pauline liked the idea of working with families, so she enrolled in social work school at Cal.

When World War II broke out, Ariah was transferred to a military hospital in Detroit. Pauline continued her social work studies at University of Michigan where she received her MSW. Ariah was then shipped off to serve in the North Atlantic and Pauline returned to California for the remainder of the war. In San Francisco, she worked inspecting bomb casings alongside Helen Bradley (daughter of General Omar Bradley).

When Ariah returned, he started his Ophthalmology training at UCSF and Pauline took over the directorship of the Sunset Co-op Nursery School from 1950-54. She loved this job working closely with the parents and children. Her passion for early childhood education would later emerge as she pursued more education, but she put all that to the side to begin raising her four children.

In 1956, Pauline and Ariah moved the family to the Peninsula. Pauline loved it there. The climate, their beautiful home designed by the Cal architect William Wurster, and, of course, her many friends all made for an ideal setting devoid of the hardships she and Ariah had overcome during the Depression and War. Despite all these comforts, Pauline’s intellectual curiosity and passion for childhood education were not dampened. At the age of 43, she enrolled in the Graduate Education Program at Stanford. They had an age restriction at the time, not admitting anyone over the age of 40, but once they got to know Pauline, it was waived.

After receiving her Ph.D., she taught child development for several years at San Jose State and San Francisco State Universities but soon elected to return to working directly with children. She took up a leadership position at the Holy Family Day Home nursery school in the Mission District of San Francisco, where she worked tirelessly for seven years.

After retiring, Pauline was reading the S.F. Chronicle one morning and noticed an ad to become a docent at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. She applied, was accepted, and thus began an entirely new career lasting nearly 30 years as a docent at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She loved learning about the art, leading tours, and was surprised to develop a whole new and large group of close friends. They would meet up for weekly seminars, coffee at the museum cafes, and even travel abroad to study art. Pauline’s bookshelves were full of new art books, which she studied with the passion of a graduate student. Her work at the museum would only stop when, tragically, she lost her sight at 96 years old.

In 2000, Ariah and Pauline decided to give up their home and move up to the San Francisco Towers, a residential community of seniors with life-care facilities. It was a difficult move initially for Pauline because she loved her life on the Peninsula, but she adapted quickly to her new residence. She was pleased to find the Towers had a vibrant senior group eager to continue learning. And like in every other group she had encountered, Pauline made many close friends. She organized a series of monthly docent lectures there, which she ran until the week before she passed away. Even with her loss of sight, she would listen to DVDs about the artists or have a friend read from art books so she could prepare introductions to the docent speakers. Her series became a favorite for the Towers residents. She also started a popular short story club at the Towers, recruiting a talented teacher for Cal to lead the group. Again, all this was accomplished after she had lost nearly all her vision. She was beloved at the Towers, where she resided for 18 years. Her birthday parties were huge events and the residents spoke adoringly of her to her children. Because her four children all lived close to the Towers, they were able to get together every Sunday for brunch there, a tradition that lasted all 18 years. Her life in San Francisco was also enriched by her loyal rescue dog, Kramer, whom she enjoyed having constantly by her side.

Pauline was a remarkable person: warm, charming, intelligent, compassionate, and selfless. She was always thinking of others, helping them in times of trouble, writing them notes of thanks, or buying a small gift to raise their spirits. She gave of herself in so many ways: to her family, her many, many friends, her students, those lucky enough to go on an art tour with her, and so many more whose spirits she lifted in her day-to-day life. We are so saddened to lose her but grateful we could spend so many happy years together.

She is survived by her four children, Nina Schwartz, M.D., Eric Schwartz, Daniel Schwartz, M.D., David Schwartz, and her grandson, Frank Brodie, M.D., and his wife Rachel (Rosenheck) Brodie, M.D.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:

Docent Council Commemorative fund in memory of Pauline Schwartz
Attn: Treasurers: Maureen Murray Fox/ Cynthia Inaba
c/o Docent Council
M.H. de Young Memorial Museum
51 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

(Sinai SF)

Anne Liss Solomon passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of March 16, 2018. A Marin native, Anne was born on May 17, 1971, to Joannie Liss and Robert Liss.

Anne Liss Solomon
Anne Liss Solomon

Anne grew up in Corte Madera and attended Redwood High School (class of 1989) and University of Arizona (class of 1993). She spent her youth going to Tinsley Island with her grandparents Maxine and Joe Cohen. A go-getter and leader in her field, Anne moved to New York to further her career in marketing, advertising and global sales.

After meeting the love of her life, Mark Solomon, they were married in 2004 at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco. Anne and Mark were an inseparable pair, devoted to each other, and complemented each other well. In 2015, they moved to San Francisco from the East Coast.

Family was everything to Anne, and she loved spending time with her brother, cousins, sisters-in-law, and extended family. She was also an avid sports fan; the weekends were reserved for rooting for the Arizona Wildcats and the Philadelphia Eagles. Anne was fiercely loyal and up for any adventure. Her knack for storytelling and infectious humor made “Annie-Bananie” a friend to all.

Anne was an obsessively devoted dog mom to her Cavalier King Charles, Spencer, and is survived by her husband, Mark, parents, Joannie Liss and Robert Liss, brother Rob (Amy) Liss and niece and nephew Mia and Max Liss. She was a loving niece to Steven Cohen and Jeffrey (Marie) Liss. Her Philadelphia family included Judy and the late Alan Solomon, sisters-in-law Cindy (Andrew) Bowman and Melissa (Sloan) Rosten, and their children Brandon, Jacob and Kate Bowman and Amanda and Julia Rosten. She will be greatly missed by cousin Todd Liss, sister-cousins and close friends.

A memorial service was held on March 21 at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco. The family requests that donations be made to Cavalier Rescue at www.cavalierrescueusa.org.