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Deaths for the week of August 16-22, 2020

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

William Abraham Gellen

December 29, 1933–August 14, 2020

William Abraham Gellen
William Abraham Gellen

Bill Gellen passed away in his home on August 14, 2020 at the age of 86. He had spent the prior day surrounded by and receiving hugs from his family. For more than 10 years he held off an array of ailments precipitated by prostate cancer and stayed active because he “still had much to do.”

Bill was born on December 29, 1933 in Los Angeles to Sarah (Malamud) and Morris Gellen. He was joined nearly 10 years later by his younger brother, Martin.

Bill graduated from Fairfax High School. He attended UCLA, then transferred to UCSF where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1956. Bill was a member of Phi Delta Chi fraternity, where he made many lifelong pharmacy friends.

Upon moving to San Francisco, Bill was introduced to Esther Noveshen. They fell in love and were married two years later, on January 30, 1955. They lived briefly in San Antonio while Bill was serving in the Army Reserve. Over the next several years, they were blessed with the arrivals of their daughters Karyn and Andrea, who grew up on the San Francisco Peninsula.

Bill worked as a pharmacist at Agnew’s Marina Drugs, a longtime fixture on Chestnut Street in San Francisco. Bill and Esther bought the pharmacy from original owner Bud Agnew and the store soon became known for providing exceptional, personalized service to the Marina neighborhood and served the entire city with same-day prescription deliveries by their close friend Ed Zablah. Bill and Esther ran the store for 38 years before Bill semi-retired in 1993. He worked as a pharmacist for nearly 60 years.

Despite working long retail hours, Bill always found time for his family, his community, travel and social activities. Bill was a longtime member and served as president of the Marina Lions Club, known for its annual pancake breakfast and many charitable activities. He and Esther were members of Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco for more than 40 years.

Throughout the last third of his life, Bill’s greatest sources of joy were his grandchildren, Lauren and Joshua, with whom he developed a very close bond. He and Esther played an active role in raising both children and moved to the Sacramento area to be closer to them.

Bill was quick to make many new friends in Sun City Lincoln Hills and Eskaton Village Roseville, where Bill played golf, softball, cards, swam and participated in the choir.

Bill’s presence is missed by those who survive him, including wife Esther, daughters Karyn Karp (Mary Davis), Andrea Rosenblume (Harold), grandchildren Lauren and Joshua Rosenblume and brother Martin Gellen (Connie Mansell).

A private funeral was held for immediate family and a virtual service for family and friends is being planned.

Donations in memory of Bill are welcomed to the charity of your choice.

Sinai-Redwood City

Dan Weltsch

April 7, 1937–August 12, 2020

Dan Weltsch
Dan Weltsch

Dan Weltsch, 83, of Cupertino, California, passed away on August 12, 2020.

Dan was born in Jerusalem, Israel, on April 7, 1937. He graduated from Technion Institute High School in Haifa, Israel, in 1955. He served in the Israel Defense Forces from 1955 through 1959. He immigrated to the United States in 1960, where he worked as a diesel mechanic for Greyhound and attended San Francisco City College to learn electrical engineering. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1961 through 1967.

Dan was married to Judy (Hertz) Weltsch on March 21, 1964; they were married 36 years until Judy’s death in 2000. He enjoyed the last 19 years of his life with his partner Lydia Polidi.

Dan worked as an electrical engineer for Fairchild in Mountain View and Ampex in Redwood City in the mid- to late 1960s. In 1969 he founded his own startup Wik-It Electronics in Sunnyvale, which he operated through 1985. That same year he became the Director of Operations for Atkinson Dynamics in South San Francisco, where he worked until he retired in 1999. He enjoyed being with his family, traveling, and enjoying good food. Dan was also actively involved in the South Bay Jewish community as a member of Congregation Beth David.

Dan is survived by his sons and their families, Jerry, Loren, Sam, Ryan, and Emerson Weltsch of Granite Bay, and David, Diana, Ben, and Noa Weltsch of San Diego, his partner Lydia Polidi, and other family and friends.

Dan is preceded in death by his parents Samuel and Marta Weltsch, and his wife Judy Weltsch.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Congregation Beth David of Saratoga, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, or the Jewish National Fund.