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Deaths for the week of July 12-18, 2020

Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel. This page will be updated throughout the week. Submit an obituary here.

Alan D. Schneider

Sept. 22, 1944–July 15, 2020

Alan died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. His battle with pancreatic cancer finally felled him, but he fought beyond expectations for eight years and all he knew admired his courage, strength, good humor and unbounded energy.

Always proud to be a San Francisco native, Alan was also honored to be an alumnus of Lowell High School, after which he attended the University of Arizona. He had a passion for business, a great love for the art world and combined the two when 50 years ago he opened The Antique Traders, where he specialized in Art Nouveau, on California Street, in the same location where it sits today. Alan truly loved buying and collecting and loved sharing his excitement with clients near and far.

Alan’s friendships were long and deep. Many are from his days at Lowell, some developed as a young boy and all were held close to Alan’s heart and he was an extremely loyal, loving and supportive friend.

Alan was an athlete and a great competitor and as a young man played basketball and racquetball, but ultimately golf became his passion. He traveled the world to play, played competitively around the country and always worked to improve his game, beat his friends and friendly opponents. Of great pride and one of his many accomplishments was to make the USA team so that he could represent the USA at the Maccabi Games in Israel. And while he was a great participant, he was also a supporter of Bay Area sports and held 49er and Warrior tickets for 50 years.

Alan cared deeply about others, gave generously to charities and for years co-chaired the annual golf fundraiser for the S.F. Jewish Home and was senior adviser for the annual Maccabi USA golf fundraiser; for each he encouraged all to dig deeper and do more.

More important to Alan than his successful business or golfing feats was his family. With his wife, Laurie, to whom he was loving and supportive, he traveled the world and enjoyed a wide circle of friends and activities. With his previous wife, Beverly, he has a daughter, Kelly, to whom he was extremely close and most proud and who gave him his precious, loving granddaughters, Kaitlyn and Brooke. Alan is also survived by his brother Ronnie and son-in-law Tony.

Edward Solomon

February 2, 1930–June 10, 2020

Ed Solomon passed away in his sleep on June 10, just months after joyously celebrating his 90th birthday with family at his home in Alamo.

Edward Solomon
Edward Solomon

Ed was born in the small rural town of Bokony, Hungary. After the age of 13, Ed was on his own, hiding in Budapest, having lost all of his family who were rounded up and transported to death camps. After the war, Ed lived in a displaced persons camp near Vienna, coming to the United States in 1949. A friend from the DP camp, Al Mendelsohn, wanted to move to Oakland and invited Ed along. The two opened a flower shop in Oakland, next to a mortuary on Telegraph Avenue. He soon met Lidia, his wife-to-be, and also a Jewish Hungarian survivor. The couple married in 1958, settled in the East Bay and raised a family.

Ed’s happiest memories were of numerous trips to Israel to visit a long-lost cousin and his eight children and their families. In June of 2011, Ed and his son, Andre, and grandson, Alex, became b’nai mitzvah together at Robinson’s Arch of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. They were on the cover of the September 2, 2011, issue of the J. Weekly where their story was shared.

Ed is survived by his wife, Lidia, his son, Peter, his son and daughter-in-law, Andre and Melinda, and his grandchildren, Alex and Sofia. Ed easily made friends with everyone he encountered, and his generous laughter will be greatly missed. His lessons about the importance of family and his commitment to making each day count will remain forever in the hearts of all who knew him.

Robert Benton Jaffe

February 18, 1933–June 22, 2020

Robert Benton Jaffe, MD, an internationally renowned physician, died peacefully at his home on June 22, 2020 in Tiburon, California, where he lived for 46 years. A true Renaissance man, his personal and professional accomplishments were woven into the fabric of life in the Bay Area.

Robert Benton Jaffe
Robert Benton Jaffe

Bob was born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 18, 1933 to Jacob Jaffe, MD, and Shirley (Sally) Robins Jaffe. He lived in Detroit for 17 years before attending the University of Michigan, where he earned his MD. He met his lifelong companion and love of his life, Evelyn (Evie) Grossman, in high school and they married in 1954. Their son, Glenn, was born in1957, followed by their daughter, Terri, in 1960.

Robert was an OB-GYN Intern and Resident at the University of Colorado, where he also earned a Masters of Science degree. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1963. From 1964-1973 he was a University of Michigan Faculty member. He quickly rose from Assistant Professor to Professor of OB-GYN before joining the UCSF OB-GYN Department as Chairman and built the Department into the number one program in the country. In almost twenty years the only day he missed work was the Monday after one staff picnic when he had been hit by a baseball at the annual staff game! After he stepped down as Chairman, after 22 years, Bob continued to work every day for the Department for 16 more years.

Bob was an international icon in the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, with remarkable career achievements for which he won numerous distinguished awards for his contributions. He was an amazing educator and mentor. In his own words, “My greatest joy is to see some of my more than 70 postdoctoral fellows and 82 Reproductive Scientist Development Program scholars having such productive careers and this fills me with great satisfaction.”

Dr. Jaffe lived a full life with many and varied interests. He was an avid reader and loved to watch and participate in sports. He was passionately committed to the arts, and was an enthusiastic patron of the San Francisco Ballet, the Mill Valley Chamber Society and the San Francisco Performances for the Arts.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Stuart Jaffe, and is survived by his wife, Evie, of almost 66 years of marriage, his son and daughter-in-law, Drs. Glenn Jaffe and Linda Van Le; his daughter, Terri Lynne Jaffe, and three grandchildren, Aliya, Stephanie, and Michael.

An intimate graveside service was held at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park on June 28, 2020.

Robert B. Jaffe, MD, was truly a “Man for the Ages.” He will be lovingly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues all over the world.

Donations may be made to the Robert Jaffe Innovative Research Fund at UCSF; makeagift.ucsf.edu, UCSF Foundation, P.O. Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339; or to the Belvedere/Tiburon Library Foundation Expansion Fund in memory of Robert B. Jaffe, MD, P.O. Box 483, Tiburon, CA 94920.

Arlene Salem

September 14, 1936-July 8, 2020

Arlene was found to have passed away in the early morning hours by family living and caring for her at her home in San Francisco, where she lived for 53 years.

Arlene Salem
Arlene Salem

Arlene was born in Cairo, Egypt, as a Sephardic Jew. During her lifetime, Arlene lived on three continents and was literate and fluent in three languages: Egyptian Arabic, Parisian French and American English.

Arlene was the daughter of Judah and Sarina Dana and sister to Isaac.

She lived in San Francisco from the age of 25 when she arrived as a refugee with the help of the HIAS agency, together with her young children and her husband, Henry. Henry passed away in 2014. In Egypt, Arlene studied fashion design and used her talents to make beautiful outfits, which she sewed and knit for her children and grandchildren.

Arlene was a fabulous cook and loved spending time with her family, traveling long distances just to join in their simchas. Arlene also worked as a bank teller and later as bank manager for ten or more years.

Arlene was the glue that brought the family together for holidays and special occasions. She was always generous with her time, money and energy and not only served her family but also served as a member of the Mizrachi (AMIT) Women’s Organization with lovingkindness, receiving many “Mother in Israel” medals.

Arlene is survived by her devoted four children, Esther (Felipe), Morris, Sarah and Leon, as well as her grandchildren, Reuben, Orly, Oren and Ronitte (Yisroel) Politi, Aaron (Helen), and David Robinson and Julia Salem.

Arlene took great pleasure in being a great-grandmother to Menachem (“Mendeliko”) Mendel and Yosef (“Yossi”) Novick.

She also was very generous to her stepgrandchildren, Gabriel, Jessica and Cori.

Arlene will be missed by her beloved family and friends who reveled in her warm, welcoming nature despite enduring a lifetime of chronic pain from ongoing underlying medical conditions. Her children and grandchildren will especially miss her regular phone calls to ask about them and to offer her love and blessings.

Murray Gordon

April 8, 1926-July 6, 2020

Murray Gordon passed away July 6, 2020 at the age of 94 at home in Piedmont. He was surrounded by loving family and passed after heart disease which had dogged him for years finally caught up with him.

Gordon Murray
Gordon Murray

Murray was born in Lithuania, knew how to speak at least five languages and was only 15 when the Nazis invaded and turned the life of everyone he knew into a living hell. Almost everyone in his family was killed by the Nazis except his father and one cousin. He was a proud Holocaust survivor, joining the Jewish Partisans at 16 and eventually being sent to Dachau concentration camp with his father who miraculously also survived. The experience was unimaginable, unforgettable and haunted his dreams throughout his life. A man of good cheer, he didn’t let the experience embitter him during the rest of his life. He spent time in his later years speaking to groups about his Holocaust experience and making it real for those who had never met a person who had lived through the horrors.

Being an optimist, Murray healed physically after the war, attended University of Munich and studied advanced Electrical Engineering before emigrating to the United States with his father Jacob and stepmother Rachel in 1949. He lived in New York City for a year, improved his English by watching Hopalong Cassidy on television, and made his way to California where he met and married the love of his life, Janet Markus Gordon. They were married for over 68 years and had three daughters, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. It gave Murray great pride to celebrate the weddings of all six of his grandchildren and welcome their children into the big family he and Janet created. Being with his family was his greatest joy and he appreciated how everyone spent so much time together at the family home in Piedmont right up until the end.

Trained as an electrical engineer and starting out in an electronics business, he joined his father-in-law’s company C. Markus Hardware after the birth of his first child in 1953, and with his hard work and vision, the company grew into a large home center and hardware store with multiple locations, He worked for years in partnership with his brother-in-law Richard Arnold and retired from the business when it closed in 1993.

While President at Markus Hardware, Murray was passionate about developing real estate and started doing so in the early 1960s. He built large residential properties and included other family members in his projects, sharing a successful and growing portfolio with his family.

Murray was very active in the Jewish Community, at Temple Sinai for over 60 years, and gave his time and expertise to other groups including Easter Seals, various other boards and organizations that benefited from his practicality and direct approach. He was proud to help secure the property for the first local Jewish museum, the Judah Magnes Museum in Berkeley.

He was an early ham radio operator, a great tennis player, a collector of all things electronic, an early devotee of Apple computers, a reader of fiction, philosophy, physics and the cosmos, a camera and photography buff and a great friend to many.

Murray was sensitive, generous and kind. He was genuine and never put on airs. He loved being silly and to joke around with everybody. Murray and Janet traveled extensively around the world until he was in his mid-80s enjoying trips on their own, with friends and with their children. The family had glorious annual Tahoe vacations and Murray enjoyed riding bikes with his children and grandchildren along the Truckee River until very late in life.

Murray and Janet enjoyed spending winters in Palm Desert and La Quinta for more than 25 years after retirement, playing tennis, making friends, enjoying the sunshine and desert life.

Murray is survived by his beloved wife Janet, daughters Kathy Burge, Shelley Gordon and Claudia Felson, sons-in-law Michael Burge and Richard Burge (Kathy and Shelley married brothers!), grandchildren Jason Burge (Rachel), Adam Felson (Leah), Blake Felson (Ashley), Kari Burge (Michael Lampert), David Burge (Julia Feldman) and Joseph Burge (Cara); and great-grandchildren Dylan, Owen, Jeremy, Mia, Ally, Wesley, Levvy, Kylie and Asher. He also leaves nieces and nephews who loved him and many friends of all ages.

Murray was the most wonderful husband, father and grandfather anyone could ever have wished for. He was generous, loving, funny, kind, and will be mourned, missed, loved and remembered forever.

A special thanks to Feauini Manu and Ame Feleti for giving loving round-the-clock care at his home in the last six weeks of his life, and for nephew Dr. Steven Arnold, Murray’s cardiologist, whose excellent care kept him living well for years with serious heart disease.

Murray will be laid to rest at a private burial due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Donations in Murray’s memory may be made to the Alameda County Food Bank, the Oakland Zoo or Temple Sinai.