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Deaths for the week of Jan. 3-9, 2021

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

Michael Jonathan Wyman
Anna Aviva Wyman
John Kenneth Wyman

Michael Jonathan Wyman and his two beloved children, Anna Aviva Wyman and John Kenneth Wyman, tragically passed away on January 3, 2021, while Michael was attempting to save the two children from a rogue wave at the beach in Goat Rock State Park in California. The herculean and ongoing rescue efforts were led by the mother and wife, Sarah Wyman, alongside the brave and self-sacrificing fellow hikers followed by the search-and-rescue teams.

Michael, who was 40, was born in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1980 at the Grace Hospital to his loving parents, Georgina Steinsky and his late father Kenneth Wyman. He grew up in Ottawa and Toronto, attending Ashbury College, Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts, and graduating with an International Baccalaureate degree from Upper Canada College in Toronto. A loving influence from his infancy was his caregiver Betty Willis, with whom he remained close throughout his life, and who helped to instill a devotion to family in Michael through the example of her own family. Michael graduated from Somerville College at Oxford University in Modern History, earned a law degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and earned a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2016.

(From left) John, Michael, and Anna Wyman.
(From left) John, Michael, and Anna Wyman.

Michael’s endless curiosity inspired his eclectic experiences and business opportunities. His career began with a New York corporate law firm, and continued with several financial analyst positions and an entrepreneurial venture to promote solar power projects. But his greatest pursuit was his warm and loving stable family. While living in New York, he met and fell in love with Sarah Brennan, a brilliant Ph.D. scientist who studies cancer biology. Just months after meeting, they married and together created and nurtured their loving family. Michael’s most treasured accomplishment was his beautiful and brilliant children, Anna and then John. The Wyman family moved to Oakland, California, in 2017, fulfilling a dream to live in California, where Michael pursued his entrepreneurial ambitions. Only a few months ago, they moved to an idyllic town, Petaluma, in Sonoma County, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. They loved Petaluma, and were eagerly embracing its many offerings, which they described to family on the phone, in text messages, emails and Zoom calls.

Michael’s commitment to family is evident in the manner of his death, as he heroically caught up to John on the beach but then drowned under the extreme force of the water while holding his son and trying to reach his daughter. Michael’s devotion to family, his intelligence, wry wit, sardonic observations about life and politics, entrepreneurial spirit, affable nature, and budding interests in meditation and mystical spirituality will live on and inspire all who knew him.

Michael is survived by his loving wife, Sarah Wyman; his mother, Georgina Steinsky; his sister Katrina Wyman, her husband Jonathan Landsman and their children Jeremiah Landsman and Hannah Landsman; his mother-in-law Debby Brennan; his brother-in-law Zachary Brennan and his wife Vanessa Brennan and their son Kieran Brennan; his sister-in-law Cody Jackson and her husband Kyle Jackson and daughter Eloise Jackson; and Betty Willis, her late husband Bill Willis and their sons Jim Willis (m. Mary-Lynn Willis) and Rob Willis (m. Denise Willis), to whom Michael will always be “little brother.”

Anna, age 7, and John, age 4, are presumed deceased. Like Michael, their spark was cut unimaginably short. John was a gregarious, deep-thinking, ninja-warrior-in-training who made friends everywhere he went. He was passionate about trucks, dinosaurs, books of all kinds, and finishing jigsaw puzzles. Beautiful Anna had a magnificent soul, a hysterical sense of humor, a delightful way with words, and a stunning cartwheel. She was a devoted friend, an animal lover, and the only human to love desserts as much as her father. Anna and John were the absolute joy of their family’s life. May their memories, and Michael’s, be a blessing, reminding us of life’s promise and fragility.

In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the Cal Fire Benevolent Foundation to help protect the forests the Wyman family loved and support families suffering from the aftermath of fires.

Roma Barnes

Mar. 15, 1930-Dec. 16, 2020

Roma Barnes
Roma Barnes

Beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend, died December 16, 2020, at the Jewish Home in San Francisco. Roma was born in Demblin, Poland, to her father, Benjamin Rosenman, and her mother, Chaya Rosenman nee Szajnzicht. She had red hair and freckles, like her younger brother Sevek. She lost her parents and brother during a roundup in the town square on May 6, 1942. She survived the war in slave labor camps. She was liberated by the Russians Jan. 16, 1945, in the Czestochowa slave labor camp.

Roma returned to Demblin with her aunt Malka, the youngest sister of her mother. She was 15. There in her hometown, the Poles were killing Jews who returned. Her aunt Eva, another sister of her mother who had survived the war as a Pole, took Roma and her cousin Cesia to a kinder hostel in Katowice, Poland. Cesia’s brother Moniec found them there after searching every kinder hostel in Poland. Moniec was just going to take Cesia with him, but Cesia said she would not go without Roma. Together the three, all stateless, made their way to Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, to join a group of 300 orphaned Jewish children who had survived the holocaust and had been given permission to enter the UK. They were flown in Lancaster bombers from Prague to Windermere, Scotland, on August 15, 1945.

Roma lived in Manchester where she received an education and vocational training as a governess and stenographer. The funding for this important endeavor was from the Jewish Refugees Committee, a branch of the Central British Fund. The group was nicknamed “The Boys” because they were mostly boys, and only 20 girls. By November, a further 432 were allowed in. The group of orphaned children became family to each other and formed the ’45 Aid Society in the UK, that continues to be a vibrant organization with subsequent generations involved and active. Roma enjoyed many annual reunions and visits with her girlfriends who were like the sisters she never had.

In London attending a popular dance hall, she met an American soldier serving in the Air Force, Burt Barnes, who was smitten with her beauty and spunk. They married in 1953 in London. Burt agreed to Roma’s one request, that their children be raised Jewish. Though the marriage ended after 20 years, Roma was able to look past the parental divide to insure that the family union carried forward, as the mishpucha (family) was everything.

Roma was very proud to be a Jew and an American and she loved Israel. She was a member of Congregation Kol Shofar for over 45 years and made many lifelong friends at the shul, including taking care of children in her later years as a nanny for several Jewish families.

Roma will be remembered as a friendly, open, caring person, whose smile lit up the room. Above all else, Roma was a devoted mother and grandmother. She loved entertaining her grandchildren at her home in Tiburon where she lived for 45 years. Her interests were gardening, cooking, walking, reading, sewing and traveling. Her care of her youngest Down syndrome son, Mark, taught all her children the importance of giving by example. For 44 years she was involved in Cedars of Marin, the organization that also looked after Mark’s well-being until he passed in 2011.

After Roma’s stroke in 2006, her devoted caregiver of 13 years, Vivian, became like another daughter to her, and a member of the whole family. As a result of advancing dementia, Roma moved to the Jewish Home in 2016 where she was loved and cared for with respect and dignity, and where she died.

Though Roma had lived through a terrible experience in her younger years, she remained a positive, vibrant, loving and giving person. No matter how little money she had, she would give tzedakah (charity) willingly and volunteer her time, whether it was walking the neighborhood raising funds for March of Dimes or traveling to Sacramento to fight for the rights of the developmentally disabled.

Roma is survived by her children, Ben (Janine) Barnes, Helen (Fred) Schwartz, and Stephanie (Pedro) Castro; her grandchildren, Valeri Schwartz (fiancé Michael), Camille, Elena and Rachael Castro and Raquel Barnes. She is preceded in death by her beloved son Mark and her treasured grandson Thomas Barnes. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

The accompanying photo was taken by Evvy Eisen as part of Evvy’s The Multiply by Six Million Project, that honors the memory of 200 holocaust survivors.

Private graveside services were held at Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living (jhslf.org), Congregation Kol Shofar (kolshofar.org), or a charity of your choice.

May her memory be a blessing.

Dr. Martin Brotman

June 26, 1939-Dec. 20, 2020

Dr. Martin Brotman
Dr. Martin Brotman

A resident of Tiburon and San Francisco for 53 years, Martin passed away suddenly, yet peacefully, at age 81.

Dr. Martin Brotman is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Farron. Father of Ilana (Neal) Tandowsky, the late Stuart (Elizabeth) Brotman, Brenley (Kevin) Morris, and grandfather of Blake, Olivia & Meredith Tandowsky; Abigail Brotman; Ashley & Joshua Morris. Brother of the late Shirley Blye and brother-in-law of Mel Stern. Uncle, cousin, friend and mentor to many.

Born in Winnipeg, Canada, to Helen and Israel Brotman, Martin met the love of his life, Farron Stern, at the age of 14. They married on August 14, 1960, and welcomed daughter Ilana in 1963, son Stuart in 1966, and daughter Brenley in 1968. They fell in love with the Bay Area when visiting San Francisco for the first time during their honeymoon. In 1967, they moved to San Francisco where Martin established his gastroenterology and internal medicine practice. Soon after, they made their family home in Tiburon until they moved to San Francisco in 1995. In 2015, they returned to Tiburon and split their time between Tiburon and a winter residence in Delray Beach, Florida.

Martin received BSc (Medicine) and MD (Honors) degrees from the University of Manitoba, Canada, where he graduated No. 1 in his class, MS (Medicine and Physiology) degree from the University of Minnesota, and DSc (Honorary) degree from the University of Manitoba. He received his Post Graduate Training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

In 1986, Dr. Brotman led the development of the Pan Med Medical Office Building at 2100 Webster Street attracting top physicians in San Francisco due to its close access to Pacific Presbyterian Hospital (later known as California Pacific Medical Center). While still maintaining a full medical practice, he was involved in or chaired every important committee task force of the hospital, including Chief of Gastroenterology and Chairman of the Department of Medicine.

Martin was respected nationwide for his leadership in patient care, medical education, health care administration, philanthropy and community leadership. In 1995, Martin was appointed President & CEO of CPMC to turn around CPMC’s serious financial difficulties and improve employee morale. Within a few years Martin’s strong management and leadership skills revitalized the institution, and CPMC became the bellwether of the Sutter chain. In 2009, Martin became the first CEO of Sutter’s West Bay Region (then comprising 8 hospitals and 2 multispecialty medical groups) and in 2012, Sutter Health’s first Senior Vice President for Education, Research & Philanthropy until his semi-retirement in 2015. Martin was the driving force behind the creation of Sutter’s new 1,000,000 sq. ft. Van Ness Campus hospital and adjacent Medical building, both of which opened in 2019. In 2002, Martin was elected President of the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) and in 2008, awarded the distinguished Julius Friedenwald Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon an AGA member. In 2011, he was awarded the Humanitarian Award by the San Francisco NAACP.

A longtime member of Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, Martin served as Past President. At the time of his death, Martin was Co-Chair of the synagogue’s $26 Million Capital Campaign to rebuild and modernize its facility.

Family came first for Martin. He was a man of ethics, morality, honesty and integrity. He was dedicated to any project or task regardless of how large or small; whether it was opening up a new hospital or finding the right bike for one of his grandkids. His greatest joy and achievements was the time he spent with his family and 6 grandkids. He planned and executed every detail of their family trips every summer and holiday break; 14 plane tickets, “table for 14” reservations, Spain, Italy, London, Hawaii, Mexico, San Diego, etc. He dreamt of having a boat his entire childhood and fulfilled his dream by naming his first boat BOMAJA (the first letter of each grandchild’s name).

May Martin Brotman’s bright light remain in our hearts and may his memory be a blessing.

Private burial due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Donations can be made in Dr. Brotman’s memory to: Congregation Rodef Sholom-Capital Campaign,170 N. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael, CA 94903; URJ Camp Newman–Stuart Brotman Fund, 711 Grand Ave., Ste 280, San Rafael, CA 94901 or campnewman.org/donate; CPMC: Dr. Martin Brotman Medical Education Fund at CPMC Foundation, 2015 Steiner St., San Francisco, CA 94115, (415) 600-4400 or sutterhealth.org/cpmc/giving.

Myra Ruth Enkelis

Aug. 5, 1937-Dec. 27, 2020

Myra Ruth Enkelis
Myra Ruth Enkelis

Myra Ruth Enkelis died Sunday evening, December 27, after a compassionately brief battle with late-stage cancer. Born in 1937 in Portland, Oregon, Myra lived to the age of 83, felt she lived a life of meaning and was thankful for the opportunities and experiences she had.

Having received her master’s degree in medical records in 1961, Myra had a long and distinguished career pioneering the use of computers for Hospital Medical Records at a time when most people did not even know what a computer was. Myra served as the Director of Medical Records for New York Presbyterian Hospital, the largest hospital in the United States at that time. Having developed expertise in a field few had knowledge in, Myra became a master trainer for medical records software in hospitals, traveling the country and training thousands of medical records professionals on what a computer was and how to use the technology to improve record keeping and care for patients. A fitting lifetime profession given Myra’s disposition in life was focused on how she could care for others and support those around her.

In addition to her professional work, Myra was an active volunteer for many years working with several organizations, particularly focused on literacy and the arts. Myra went into elementary schools for decades to help children learn to read in support of furthering their education. Myra worked with schools that took children to the symphony, many of whom would see it for the first time, to help them in advance to have an understanding and appreciation for what they would see and often accompanied the students on their trips.

Myra loved to travel, and while some may not have taken to spending so many years on the road during their professional careers, Myra enjoyed the opportunity to see new places and learn about the towns she would visit. After retiring, Myra took great joy in planning a few trips each year with friends to new countries to see places around the world.

The positive impact Myra had on her family, friends and others with whom she came into contact was not an accident, it was intentional and a choice. Myra chose to make an impact on others and to be a force of positive influence and support. We would all do well to live more by her example and this standard she set.

Myra was predeceased by her brother Richard and is survived by dozens of extended family and friends who mourn her loss.

Contributions in Myra’s memory may be made to Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos, betham.org/give, or to the charity of your choice.

Edward H. Spiegel

April 22, 1925-Dec. 28, 2020

Edward H. Spiegel 
Edward H. Spiegel

Edward H. Spiegel passed away peacefully at home on Monday, December 28, 2020, of natural causes at the age of 95. He leaves behind his companion of 25-plus years, Carolyn Harmon, his four children Jeffrey Spiegel, Deborah Spiegel, Robert Spiegel, and Brandon Spiegel, and five grandchildren, Kaitlin Spiegel, Ryan Spiegel, Sarah Spiegel, Tobias Williams, and Valen Spiegel. Edward was the last surviving sibling, as his only brother Stanley Spiegel passed in 2017.

Edward was born and raised in Shelbyville, Illinois, where everything in his life existed within 2 blocks of his house. He participated in many sports, marching band and became an Eagle Scout. In the Navy, he helped route service members home from the war in the Pacific. After the service, he attended the University of Illinois studying medicine to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. He settled in Oakland, California, where he opened a general private practice. Ed enjoyed sports, travel, jazz music, and gathering friends and family. He developed his jazz piano skills and frequently performed gigs in his spare time. He retired and had been living in Las Vegas. He always lived life to the fullest with contagious optimism.

A Zoom memorial service is being planned. If you wish to attend, please email xa3004@gmail.com to be included.

Donations may be made to Jazz Education via Monterey Jazz: montereyjazzfestival.org/mjf365/contribute.

Ilse Katz Steirman

February 29, 1928-December 29, 2020

Ilse Katz Steirman
Ilse Katz Steirman

The family matriarch is gone ten months to the day after having celebrated 92 years of life. As a Leap Day baby, it was her 23rd birthday.

Ilse was born in Berlin to Frieda and Julius Katz. In 1939, at age 11, she, two brothers, and her parents escaped Nazi Germany, finding refuge in Shanghai, China. Ilse spent her teens there, finally entering the U.S. in 1949, being processed through Angel Island. As her older brother was already in Chicago, the family settled there. After lengthy hospitalization and rehab to battle a serious case of polio, she was finally ready to begin her new life as a young twentysomething.

She met Walter, her husband of 54 years, and had two sons, David (Anne) and Howard (Bob). Ilse was blessed to celebrate many a simcha, including the weddings of her sons and the births and b’nai mitzvah of her beloved grandchildren, Emily and Evan. She will be missed around the seder table, lighting the Chanukiah, and joining in Shabbos songs. A donation to a charity of your choice would be gratefully appreciated.

Ruth Alter

Jan. 1, 1923-Dec. 25, 2020

Ruth Alter
Ruth Alter

Ruth Alter lived her life for her family and friends and always with a smile on her face. She was so generous with her love and support for others. Ruthie, her childhood nickname, was born in Des Moines, Iowa, to a family of six brothers and over 50 first cousins. A large part of her childhood was spent growing up in Bellefaire, an orphanage in Cleveland, Ohio. Bellefaire instilled in her self-reliance and brought out her inner strength, community spirit, humility, and charity.

Our mother moved to San Francisco during WW2 and met and married Bernard for what became a long and prosperous marriage. They lived first in Chicago then moved to San Jose, CA in 1958. In Santa Clara County, they started and built the Yardstick, a drapery and fabric business that is still thriving. After retirement, and the passing of her dear husband, she moved to Laguna Woods, CA, where she enjoyed the community atmosphere. Ruth was philanthropic and active in her love for others and, in turn, was loved by all who knew her.

Ruth, Mom and Grandma is survived by her children Gary, Marlene, Jack and his wife Sharon, and her four grandchildren Samantha, Alexandra, Danielle, and Meital. She leaves behind her many friends and extended family.

Ruth was always so interested in helping children, especially orphans, underprivileged, and children with learning disorders. If you wish to honor her memory, our family asks that you make a tax-free donation to Bellefaire JCB, which did so much to influence her life, at bellefairejcb.org/Donate, or send checks to: Bellefaire, c/o Jill Sadowsky, 22001 Fairmount Blvd., Shaker Heights, OH 44118.

A graveside service was held at Home of Peace Cemetery in San Jose, CA on Dec. 30. The recorded service can be viewed by contacting Jack at JackAlter100@gmail.com or (408) 591-1630.