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Deaths for the week of May 27, 2022

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Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel.

Minnette Diamond

July 19, 1934–May 6, 2022

Minnette Diamond
Minnette Diamond

Minnette Diamond, 87, of Los Gatos (formerly of Cupertino and Atherton), passed away on May 6, 2022. Born in San Francisco on July 19, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Frank and Gertrude Langfelder. Her birth mother and namesake, Minnette, passed away shortly after she was born. A graduate of Lincoln High School, she attended UC Berkeley and graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in home economics. She went on to work as a dietician at the UCLA Medical Center.

Minnette was a quiet leader, a forever learner. A bridge Life Master, a world traveler, an avid reader, Minnette was whip-smart. Her kindness and beauty radiated in all she did. She was a stay-at-home mom and was more than happy to be the central figure in the lives of her children. Minnette especially loved her role as Nana. She had many lifelong friends and continued to make new friends until the very end. Minnette also left her mark on the community as she was active in AAUW and League of Women’s Voters, and volunteered at Stanford’s Ronald McDonald House and the Family Services.

Minnette is survived by her long-term partner, Myron Tygar. She leaves behind her son, Jeffrey Diamond (Diane Pearlman) of Great Barrington, MA, her daughter, Sheri Diamond Ginis of Farmington Hills, MI, her amazing grandchildren, Abbie, Eliana, Jake and Matthew, and her brother Howard (Kathy). She is predeceased by her loving husband, Donald, and her brother, Bernard (Sue).

A private funeral was held graveside at Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, CA. To honor her memory, donations can be made to AAUW, the American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice.

Herbert D. Thier

Feb. 27, 1932–April 27, 2022

Dr. Herbert D. Thier
Dr. Herbert D. Thier

Dr. Herbert D. Thier was a great man, professor emeritus from Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, a world-renowned author and science educator, fiercely devoted to Israel, his Judaism and his family.

Dr. Herbert D. Thier’s life work was to improve science education by introducing and broadening the use of inquiry-based learning in science. He often could be heard saying, “Science is a way of asking questions, not simply answers to be learned.”

He was the author of numerous books and projects that transformed science education from a lecture to a greater understanding of scientific concepts through experimentation. Herb collaborated with Dr. Robert Karplus to develop the Science Curriculum Improvement Study (SCIS) for elementary school students, which marked the beginning of Herb’s work with the University of CA, Berkeley and his 58-year relationship with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Previously, he was a middle school physics teacher and later oversaw science curriculum for the state of New York. He received a doctorate in education from New York University (1962), M.A. in school administration (1954), B.A. in physics and biology (1953) from the State University of New York, Albany. Herb understood the critical role that teachers play in science education, and always worked to support educators. Herb began what became 47 years of leadership in instructional materials development and teacher enhancement projects at Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley.

In 1987, Herb launched Chemical Education for Public Understanding Program (CEPUP), to engage middle and high school students to make informed, personal, evidence-based decisions on chemical-related issues. CEPUP, funded by NSF, spread to more than 40 states and countries, including Australia, Spain and Canada.

By the 1990s, CEPUP broadened to more science fields and became Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP), a nationwide science curriculum and resource.

Herb’s work not only transformed the way science is taught in the United States, but throughout the world. Herb had a very close consulting relationship with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and was awarded several Fulbright scholarships to work there.

Herb received many honors, including a Fulbright Senior Specialists Certificate (2008), National Science Teachers Association Citation for Distinguished Service (1994), Connecticut Science Supervisors Association Distinguished Service Award (1996), National Association for Research in Science Teaching–JRST Research in Science Teaching Award (1975) and many more.

Herb, the proud son of the chief of the New York Waiters’ Union, taught us all never to accept what is in life, but to always strive for what could be.

Herb enjoyed travel, photography, and his hobby was cutting rocks and making beautiful opals and other jewelry for those he loved.

Herb loved his wife, Marlene Thier, more than anything in the world, and their 67 years of marriage began in Astoria, New York.

Herb died peacefully at the age of 90 years old, surrounded by his family on April 27, 2022.

His memory will live on forever with the love of his life, Marlene, his daughters Maura Schofield, Lynne Thier and Holli Thier, his son-in law, Rick Schofield, as well as his grandchildren Rebecca and Ricky Schofield, and Benji and Jaque Thier.

Contributions in his memory can be made to Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, by contacting [email protected], or Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, California.

Michael Kulakofsky

Nov. 11, 1930–May 16, 2022

Michael Kulakofsky, 91, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on Nov. 11, 1930. He passed away peacefully on May 16, 2022, in Houston, Texas. Mike was born to J. Harry and Sadie Kulakofsky. The youngest of four children, Mike was preceded in death by his sisters Ethelyn Kaplan, Beth Smith and Ruth Belzer. Mike is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Carolyn Kulakofsky. They met on a blind date and what followed was a love affair that lasted a lifetime.

Mike is also survived by his sons, David Kulakofsky (Margie); Daniel Kulakofsky (Judy); and Joseph Kulakofsky (Ryuko). Mike adored his seven grandchildren, their spouses, his two great-grandchildren and his numerous nieces and nephews.

In Omaha, Mike worked at the family business, Central Market, and graduated from Central High School in 1948. After graduating high school, Mike was off to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where he earned a degree in

metallurgical engineering. His years at RPI would remain a source of pride throughout his life. After college, Mike moved to Chicago where he met Carolyn. They were married soon after in October 1955.

Mike was a typical engineer and loved a good slide-rule, could calculate using an abacus and was an enthusiastic inventor. Mike took responsibility to his community seriously, serving as a board member and then board president of his synagogue. He also had an adventurous side. In 1969, Mike left a successful career in engineering and started a computer service bureau providing software and other computer-based services. Mike was an ardent environmentalist before there was a word for stewarding the environment. He took Carolyn and three young sons camping at national parks across the country.

Mike loved to travel and was an avid birder. Upon his retirement, he and Carol sold their home and traveled the country in an RV for three years, watching birds and chasing spring.

Mike was dedicated to his family, his Jewish faith and to social justice — values he shared with and passed down to his children and grandchildren.

Clifford “Poppy” Castle

Dec. 28, 1950–April 19, 2022

Clifford “Poppy” Dale Castle left us for the great donut shop in the sky on April 19, 2022. He leaves behind his beloved wife Sparky (aka Joanne Borovoy); his mother Jean Marie Barrett (née Byrne); his brother Kevin Castle; his son Skye Douglas Barnett; his three daughters Amy Erin Borovoy (Clifford Hill), Samantha Chioaru (Razvan Chioaru), Shelby Kobelin; and two granddaughters, Juniper and Aniko, the shiniest gems in his heart.

He was born in 1950 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Lawrence “Cass” Castle and Jean Marie Byrne, and was raised in part by his Grandma Iris and Grandpa Doug. A second-grade teacher dubbed him “Clif with one F,” and it stuck. The stars aligned when he met the love of his life, Joanne. They were married on the Isle of Skye, with a stamp of approval from Joanne’s then-7-year-old, Amy Erin. Their son Skye came along in 1984, and when the twins, Sam and Shelby, were adopted in 1994, their family was complete.

Poppy Clif was a joyful, generous and loving man. We will miss his gentle presence and silly demeanor. He was a lifelong craftsman, happiest when building with his hands. He loved exploring new places at JoJo’s side. He was a prankster who took delight in making everyone around him laugh, often in cahoots with his dear friend Ross Egge. And he loved nothing more than spending time with his rambunctious granddaughters.

He was a cowboy at heart — he chose to be a pioneer in the cutting-edge field of terramation. We expect he will make the most glorious, fertile soil. There will be no memorial service, at his request, but someday there will be lots of trees and flowers in Poppy’s Magic Garden.

The family wishes to send our gratitude to the incredible palliative care team and staff at Kaiser Santa Rosa. They provided great comfort and excellent care to Poppy Clif — and to us, as well.

Poppy, we miss you beyond words. We will cherish your love always. Happy trails.

Judith Mary Einbinder

Jan. 30, 1935–May 6, 2022

Judith Mary Einbinder
Judith Mary Einbinder

Judith Mary Einbinder (nee Simon) was born on Jan. 30, 1935 in Superior, Wisconsin, on her parents’ eighth anniversary. In 1940, Judy moved with her parents, Celia and Louis, and older sister, Georgia Ann, to Waukegan, Illinois. After graduating from Waukegan Township High School, Judy attended University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she studied liberal arts and journalism. She lived in Lincoln Avenue Residence for two years and then across the street at the Iota Alpha Pi Sorority for two years. After graduation, Judy traveled around Europe for three months, and when she returned she moved to Detroit, Michigan, and worked as a copywriter at J.L. Hudson for one year.

In 1957, Judy moved back to Chicago to work in advertising at Montgomery Ward and Olian & Bronner. The following year, she met her future husband, Martin Einbinder, through their mutual friend Joe Pedott. After honeymooning in San Francisco, Judy and Marty settled in Chicago, where she worked at the National Retail Furniture Association as an assistant editor of the National Furniture Review magazine.

In December 1959, Judy and Marty moved to California, first settling in Daly City and then moving to San Rafael in 1965. She worked for Emporium-Capwell as a copywriter and did freelance advertising for various furniture stores.

Interested in music all her life, Judy was a longtime San Francisco Symphony subscriber, as well as ballet, opera and theater-goer. Never one to have an idle minute, she was an extensive traveler, lifelong learner, avid reader, nature lover and was active outdoors hiking, biking, golfing and playing tennis. She was known for her good cooking, baking and entertaining skills, including hosting an annual Rosh Hashanah Open House.

Beloved by friends and family, Judy was caring and compassionate. Even when she was sick, she still made chicken soup and her famous lemon bars for friends who were ill. Judy was active at Congregation Rodef Sholom synagogue for 50 years, volunteered at Jewish Family and Children’s Services, as well as other organizations.

Survived by her three daughters, Susan, Liz and Karen, and her beloved and favorite grandson, Micah Einbinder.

Donations can be made to Congregation Rodef Sholom, JFCS, the Fromm Institute or the Osher Marin JCC.

Charles Todd Gill

July 26, 1945–May 24, 2022

Charles Todd Gill
Charles Todd Gill

Charles Todd Gill was born July 26, 1945, to Jessie (nee Steinberg) and Udell Gill in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After a long illness with Alzheimer’s, Charles peacefully passed away surrounded by his family on May 24.

He attended Northwestern University and graduated with a BS in architecture from the University of Minnesota in June 1969. He married Sylvia (nee Lupe) in 1968.

He began his career as a city planner, first with the City of Detroit in 1969, and then with the City of San Francisco in 1974. Charles later moved into the private sector, doing both project management and construction management for 42 years. He worked directly for companies such as Kimpton, Larkspur, Reutlinger Center, and as a consultant through his company, CTG Consulting.

His passion was his family and being outdoors whether running, mountain biking, or hiking. His passion in his work life was the restoration and rehab of existing buildings.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Stephen, in 2019. He is survived by his brother Daniel Gill and partner, Ruth Rosenthal, his sister-in-law Nan Gill, his wife of 53 years, Sylvia, his sons, Aaron & Matthew, his inherited Gershik family, Steve & Naomi, David & Lani, Sam, Leo, Ali and Sarah Gershik; his niece, Tracy McNulty (Brad) and family; his nephew John McNulty (Chris) and family, as well as many cousins and friends.

Appreciation of and thanks to the people who helped to support and care for Charles for the last 2 years: home caregivers Adi Vanamatasere and Dennis Keating; and caregivers at Hired Hands, Windchime of Marin as well Suncrest Hospice.

Donations in Charles’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, Calif.