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Deaths for the week of August 30-September 5, 2020

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

Florence Schwartz

Florence Schwartz
Florence Schwartz

Florence Schwartz passed away peacefully on August 25, 2020. Florence was a 3rd-generation Chicagoan, the daughter of Matthew and Irene Udelson.

Florence was a very gifted child. She was placed in an experimental speed-reading program and read two books a day for nearly her entire life. She was so bright, the educators urged her to skip high school and enter directly into the University of Chicago, but she preferred to experience the social aspects of education. She attended high school and graduated in two and a half years from the University of Illinois.

While attending a Saint Patrick’s Day party, Florence met Edwin Schwartz, who was an officer in the Korean War, stationed at Chanute AFB. They had four children and were married for 57 years until Edwin’s passing in 2016.

Florence will lovingly be remembered for her leadership abilities, agile mind, gentle soul, kindness, work ethic, warm personality and boundless energy. She made a lasting impression on everyone she met, showing compassion, integrity and an unwavering devotion to those close to her.

Florence was a selfless and devoted mother, the Brownie Leader every year for all of her three daughters’ troops. She was the President of the PTA nearly every year for all of her children’s classes at South Hillsborough, Crocker & San Mateo High School. She ran the administrative aspect of her husband’s psychology practice and was a top salesperson at American Savings in San Francisco.

With little spare time, Florence enjoyed reading, listening to talk radio, the challenge of solving complex puzzles and especially chatting on the phone with her friends and children.

Florence is survived by her four children and their spouses, Terry Appel (David) of Denver, Steven Schwartz of Topanga, Wendy Baruh (Jeff) of Menlo Park, and JoAnne Lesser (Joel) of Alamo, and her seven granddaughters, Jordan, Melanie, Jamie, Natalie, Cleo, Harper and Juno.

Donations in Florence’s memory can be made to Peninsula Temple Beth El.

William J. Isackson

Sept. 16 1927–Aug. 28, 2020

William J. Isackson
William J. Isackson

William “Bill” J. Isackson was surrounded by his family when he passed away peacefully on Aug. 28, 2020, a few weeks shy of his 93rd birthday. Bill was born on Sept. 16, 1927 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, the son of Barney and Susie Isackson and younger brother to Robert F. Isackson.

Prior to college, he enlisted in the Navy during World War II but only went through basic training before the war was over. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1950, a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. He began his long-standing passion for retail as a salesman representing several clothing lines.

While dining at a restaurant during one of his sales trips in Las Vegas, he met Barbara Epp, who would become the love of his life. They had four children and were happily married for 50 years until Barbara’s passing in 2004.

In 1958, Bill purchased Ross, a single-unit women’s clothing store in San Bruno, California. Over the years, he expanded it into a junior department store concept, with multiple locations throughout the Bay Area. In 1982, he sold his chain of six stores to U.S. Venture Partners, who changed the name to Ross Dress for Less and the format to discount retail. The Ross Dress for Less chain comprises some 1,400 stores today. Thereafter, together with his children, Bill turned his focus to the acquisition of real estate, forming the William Isackson Company.

Bill will lovingly be remembered for his gentle soul, kindness, terrific sense of humor, warm personality and easy-going disposition. He made a lasting impression on everyone he met and demonstrated compassion, integrity and an unwavering loyalty to those he held close. Throughout his life, Bill loved playing and watching sports of all types; he was especially passionate about tennis and continued to play at the Peninsula Golf & Country Club well into his 80s. He lived the last five years of his life at the Peninsula Regent and devoted his later years to spending time with his four children and their families.

Bill is survived by his four children and their spouses, Bruce and Davina Isackson, Rob and Shellan Isackson, Lynn and Gary Goodman, Karen and Norman Epstein, and his 12 grandchildren: Allie, Evan, Will, Lauren, Matthew, Samantha, Audrey, Cale, Theo, Leo, Ryan and Ama.

Donations in Bill’s memory can be made to Jewish Community Federation, (415) 777-0411, 121 Steuart St., San Francisco, CA 94105.

Sinai Redwood City

Max Scherer

November 5, 1927–August 22, 2020

Max Scherer
Max Scherer

Loving husband of Marlene, son of Samuel and Regina, brother of the late Marc; father of Susan (Dennis) McQuaid; Evelyn (Steve) Block; Arnold (Christina) Scherer; grandfather of Michael McQuaid, Larry Piotrokowski, Raina and Nina Scherer.

A survivor of the Holocaust, Max was born in Czernowitz, Romania, and immigrated with his parents and brother to the US in 1949. He met his wife, Marlene Belle Goldman, at the SFJCC in 1952 and was married for 67 years. He served in the US Army and spent his 37-year career as a successful dry goods salesman.

He built his dream home in 1967 “Ganedn” where he raised his family. He loved entertaining, gardening, home projects and his Great Danes, cats and koi fish.

He will be missed.