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Obituaries for the week of Oct. 15, 2021

Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel

Barbara Frankel

Nov. 17, 1924–Sept. 28, 2021

Barbara Frankel
Barbara Frankel

Barbara Frankel, a third-generation San Franciscan, died peacefully in her Nob Hill apartment in the early morning of September 28, 2021, at the age of 96.

Barbara, a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, is survived by her children Robert Galoob, David Galoob and Linda Schneidman, her grandchildren Jenna, Lindsey, Lewis, Ariella, Mattie, Lev, Jason, Eric and Jeffrey, and their children Piper, Leila, Noa, Violet, Sadie, Willow, Ayla, Abby, Johnny and Miri.

Barbara lived a long and rich life, surrounded by lifelong friends and family. Together with her first husband of 25 years, Lewis Galoob, she co-founded Lewis Galoob Toys. Together they raised a family and built a small but stable business. After Lewis’s passing, she met Rabbi Jack Frankel, with whom she began the second chapter of her life. For 35 years Barbara and Jack were happily married, and traveled often to their beloved Israel and Paris.

As a child, Barbara remembered riding horses in the Sunset, visiting her father’s abattoir in Hunters Point and spending afternoons with her grandfather at Playland-at-the-Beach.

Barbara is known for her oversized glasses, her keen fashion sense, and her favorite drink, Chivas on the rocks in a short glass, with a short straw and a splash of soda.

Barbara will be missed by all who knew her.

William Gerald Gottfried

July 9, 1936–Sept. 29, 2021

William Gerald Gottfried
William Gerald Gottfried

Dr. William Gerald Gottfried (Bill), a 50-year resident of Orinda, California and a proud member of the Bay Area Jewish community, passed away at his home on Sept. 29, 2021. He was 85 years old, and is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Toby, and by his sons, Harry and Louis, their spouses, Leece and Lisa, and by his grandchildren, Abie, Mo, Rachel and Leah, each of whom were Bill’s ultimate pride and joy.

Bill was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 9, 1936, attended Central High School, the University of Pennsylvania (where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa), and then attended Jefferson Medical School. He and Toby met on the SS Herzl sailing from Haifa to Marseille in 1959, and were married soon thereafter on June 26, 1960.

Bill received a Fulbright scholarship and worked at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, and was selected to be the Chief Resident at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) before being inducted into the United States Army, where he served as a pediatrician at Martin Army Hospital, Fort Benning, Georgia.

He and Toby moved with their boys to Orinda in 1968, where they joined Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland. They moved to Congregation B’nai Shalom in 1978 in time for Harry’s bar mitzvah, and have been members for the last 43 years, befriending Rabbi Emeritus Gordon Freeman and his wife, Susan, and more recently, Rabbi Daniel Stein, both of whom were part of the memorial service held for Bill on Oct. 1, 2021.

Bill Gottfried began his career as a pediatrician at Kaiser Walnut Creek in 1968, and spent the next 35 years of his life dedicated to his patients, fellow doctors, nurses and hospital staff, providing some of the early programs and concepts establishing Kaiser’s education program that supported the preventative health model. He served as the Chief of Pediatrics in Walnut Creek for many years, and regularly ran into his family of patients throughout the Bay Area, even after retirement. He was a member of the Kaiser Executive Committee and ran hospital surveys for the Joint Commission.

To his family, he was “Daddy,” “Zayde” or “Billy,” and he was an ever-present, tender, loving husband to Toby to the very last day. He loved books (particularly mysteries), birding, global travel, art, history, Jewish culture and biblical studies and was constantly on the hunt to satisfy his everlasting thirst for knowledge and education.

Throughout the entire Covid period, Bill and Toby would enjoy educational programs of all kinds presented on Zoom, enabling Bill to make new friends and maintain existing ones. His mind was sharp, and his intellect highly vivid until the final days of life. He was an inspiration to all who had the pleasure of knowing him, a friend of Israel, the Jewish community, wildlife, women’s rights and progressive causes around the world.

His family is deeply saddened by his loss, but we are forever grateful for his life. We know his dear memory has been and will be a blessing for all of us for many years to come.

If you are able or interested in making a contribution in his name, please consider Congregation B’nai Shalom (in Walnut Creek, CA), Planned Parenthood or the Sierra Club.

Irving Holzberg

Nov. 29, 1938–Oct. 5, 2021

Irving Holzberg
Irving Holzberg

On October 5, 2021, Irving Holzberg died in Redwood City, California, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. His family was at peace knowing his suffering had come to an end. He was 82 years old.

Irving is survived by his wife, Lorri Holzberg, his children Rachel Hulst and Emily Rakow, and three grandchildren Owen, Evelyn and Cody, along with his stepsons David Buch and Robert Buch and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents Maurice and Diane Holzberg and his sister Ruth Namad.

Irving was born on November 29, 1938, in Cairo, Egypt. He grew up speaking three languages, often in his youth interchanging French, Arabic and English in one breath. Irving graduated from Victoria College High School in 1955. Throughout his life, he enjoyed remaining connected with his Victoria College buddies from Cairo. At the age of 17, he courageously left Cairo, traveling by boat from Alexandria through Italy and France to England. He ultimately obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Manchester University in 1959. He then fulfilled his father’s dream when he journeyed to the United States. He studied at Cornell University on a full scholarship, where he earned a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering in 1966.

Early in his career, he worked as an engineer at General Foods and Johnson & Johnson. He earned patents related to a process of decaffeinating coffee. Later in his life, he took on a second career of financial planning.

Until Irving became more disabled from Parkinson’s disease, he and his wife Lorri traveled, attended concerts and plays, and spent lots of time with friends and family.

Simple things in life brought Irving joy: reading a good book and/or multiple news publications, a favorite film, working on his computer, participating in deeper conversations of subjects of interest, and spending time with family and friends. He could never enjoy his favorite piece of black licorice or chocolate without sharing it with others. He was profoundly committed to Judaism, always remembering his time in Egypt when he had to hide his religion.

Irving was a quiet, wise, and intellectual man with a generous heart. He lived his life with dignity and strength and always made his family feel safe, protected, and loved. Despite his many accomplishments, he was modest and always put others before himself. He will be deeply missed.

John Samuel Lowitz, M.D.

Feb. 25, 1936–Oct. 10, 2021

John Samuel Lowitz
John Samuel Lowitz

Born in Rock Island, Illinois on Feb. 25, 1936, son of Samuel and Evelyn Lowitz, John passed away peacefully in Berkeley, California, on Oct. 10 , 2021 after a long battle with bladder and kidney cancers.

Dr. Lowitz was a graduate of Rock Island High School and attended Washington University (St. Louis, MO), graduating from Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), where his 1956 thesis documented the then-unreported linkage of cigarette smoking and lung cancer. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine (Chicago, IL.) and served as a Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy in Key West, FL, during the Vietnam War.

Originally trained as a pediatrician, Dr. Lowitz became a psychiatrist specializing in child, family and group therapy. He worked at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in San Francisco and Walnut Creek, CA, for over 35 years, becoming Assistant Chief of Psychiatry in San Francisco. He is believed to be the first person to put chalkboards in hospital waiting rooms for children to draw on, and was a mentor and teacher to many psychiatry residents.

A bon vivant, Dr. Lowitz was a lover of travel, golf, cigars, good food and fine wine, and was one of the founders of the FAWTS (Friday Afternoon Wine Tasting Sessions), where he made great lifelong friends. He was a classical music aficionado with eclectic taste in music, from Paul Simon to Scott Joplin to Stravinsky. His sharp ears and discerning palate elevated his friends’ musical and epicurean tastes. He is lovingly remembered for cooking barbecue from a sawed-in-half old oil can in his backyard, and for sharing lively gourmet meals with family and friends.

He served for over 10 years on the board of the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley, CA and was a supportive member of the advisory board of the Jewish Community Free Clinic of Sonoma County, CA.

Dr. Lowitz is survived by his wife and partner of 40 years, Dr. Fran Krieger-Lowitz of Berkeley, and their daughter Saraevelyn Lowitz; daughters Dr. Robin Lowitz and son-in-law Ned Hoffman, Leslie Lowitz and Leza Lowitz; and his grandchildren Shaviv, Skyler and Yuto; his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Robert Lowitz and Carol Lowitz of Walnut Creek; nieces Kelsey Lowitz and Ally Thorndike and their families of California; first cousins Pete and Jan and their children Benjamin and Wanda Temko and family of Georgia; and Leonard and Janice Temko of New York.

A celebration of John’s life will be held on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021 at the Crowden Music Center at 1475 Rose St. in Berkeley, CA  from 1 to 3 p.m. Kindly RSVP to [email protected].

In his honor, contributions can be made to the Jewish Community Free Clinic of Sonoma County at 50 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (jewishfreeclinic.org/opportunities-to-give/donate) and the Crowden Music Center (donate.crowden.org).