a lit memorial candle with a Sinai Memorial Chapel logo on it

Death announcements for the week of Aug. 19, 2022

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

Myra de Hes Berkowitz

Nov. 21, 1935–June 30, 2022

Myra de Hes Berkowitz
Myra de Hes Berkowitz

Myra de Hes Berkowitz loved to laugh. “Go live life,” she advised, and “always say yes.”

To her husband, Nathaniel, of 61 years, Myra was the perfect match. Within the first six weeks of meeting the effervescent Myra, the normally cautious young man dropped to his knees and proposed to her on a full moon at the top of Coit Tower. She said “yes” and became an extraordinary wife, a ski and sailing partner and a loving mother.

To her three children. Myra was an indefatigable supporter, a wise sounding board, and a keen adventurer. She pushed us higher and picked us up when we fell. She said “yes” and slept in the rental car at the “Park Hotel” in Massachusetts, took the night shift on board her daughter’s boat to witness the full solar eclipse in Tahiti, waved campaign signs in Alaska, and eagerly watched the weather reports.

To her six grandchildren, and to her nieces and nephews, Oma served ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner and stocked her home with chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. She cheered them on at their events and was thrilled to see them excel.

Myra knew how to show up for her family and friends, checking in with them regularly, and playing thousands of games of Bridge and Lexulous. She served as a second mom to many, eager to listen and advise.

Myra never took life for granted. In 1939 at the age of four, she escaped The Netherlands with her immediate family. They made their home in the Marina District, a home where people around the world sought safe harbor, enticing conversations and delicious Minxie (Myra’s mother) home-cooked meals. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Myra traveled and taught school before taking over her father’s export business. She built a welcoming home in San Francisco for her children, neighborhood kids, guinea pigs, parakeets, rabbits, and a cat named “Cat.” She later moved to Sausalito where she could sit in the sun and watch the fog roll in. Myra was an active community member, joining numerous groups, including the American Jewish Committee, the Torah Talkers, Sausalito Women’s Club, Economic Round Table, the Grand Jury and Sausalito Police Department. One of her favorite groups was the Sea Gals, who met Tuesdays to sail on San Francisco Bay.

The rock and matriarch of the family, Myra is immensely missed by her husband, Nathaniel Berkowitz, her three children and their spouses, Ethan and Mara, Zachary and Stefany, and Ruth and Tim, her grandchildren, Maya, Ziva, Kai, Eli, Noah and Ari, and her sister, Tilly Gaillard and her family, Delphine, Corrinne, Solene and Luc.

Myra’s generosity and compassion lives on through her family and friends, whom she encouraged to live life to the fullest. Donations can be made in Myra’s memory to Jewish Family and Children’s Services and the American Jewish Committee.

Helen Kaye Glickfeld

Nov. 4, 1924–Feb. 2, 2022

Helen Kaye Glickfeld arrived to brighten the world on Nov. 4, 1924 in London, England, and departed this plane on Feb. 2, 2022 in Danville, California.

Helen was a beloved mother and teacher, working in the California public school system as a substitute teacher by day and as an English as a Second Language instructor in night school. She was a community volunteer and social justice activist, always finding ways to contribute to her fellow human beings.

Sidney Phillip Glickfeld arrived to brighten this world on March 24, 1926, in San Francisco, California, and departed this plane on May 18, 2022. Sidney served in the Army-Air Force during WWII, stationed in both Italy and Morocco as a radio operator. His profession was teaching math, social studies, history and typing at the junior high and high school levels in Castro Valley and Hayward, California.

Helen and Sidney raised their three children in Fremont, California. They remained in Fremont until moving to assisted living at the Reutlinger Community for Jewish living in 2011, where they lived until their passings.

Family members mourning their loss include: daughters Sandy and Ruthy Glickfeld, sister Jeanette Walters, brother Malcolm Kaye, sister-in-law Michelle McAlpin as well as cousins, nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, and family in the U.K. and around the world.

Dalia Liron

March 9, 1944–July 14, 2022

Dalia Liron
Dalia Liron

Dalia Liron of Foster City, Calif., passed on July 14, 2022 at the age of 78, after prolonged illness. She was a technical recruiter in Silicon Valley for over 30 years and owned her own recruiting business. She is survived by her beloved husband Sam, and sons Eran (wife Meredith, grandsons Avi and Geffen) and Ido Liron. Her close-knit family includes sister Zeeva Rotem as well as extended family in both Israel and the U.S.

Dalia led a rich Jewish life from being a soldier in Israel, working at the Israeli consulate in her early years, to supporting Jewish and Israeli causes throughout her life in the Bay Area (AIPAC and the Federation). She was known for her huge heart and her willingness to turn new acquaintances into adopted family.

She loved reading, knitting and her family and being a world traveler.

Ruth Solomon Rischin

Feb. 22, 1932–July 18, 2022

Ruth Rischin
Ruth Rischin

Ruth Solomon Rischin, of San Francisco, California, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, passed away on July 18, 2022 at Buena Vista Manor House in San Francisco, at the age of 90.

A Slavicist and authority on Russian literature, Ruth was born on Feb. 22, 1932 in South Orange, New Jersey to Seymour J. Solomon and Elizabeth Fish Solomon. She received her B.A. in English from Wellesley College in 1954 and her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993.

She married Moses Rischin, renowned Jewish immigration historian, on Aug. 16, 1959.  They were life partners for 61 years until dear Moses passed away on Aug. 17, 2020. She moved to San Francisco with Moses, a native New Yorker, when he became a professor of history at San Francisco State University.

Ruth was known for her boundless energy and gigantic intellect that defied her tiny frame, her dynamism, creativity and generosity, and her capacity for animated conversation across cultures, languages and generations. Devoted to her family beyond measure, Ruth nourished her children and grandchildren in literature, music and art, and supported them unconditionally in all their endeavors. The beautiful, bountiful Shabbat dinners and holiday celebrations she orchestrated were among the countless expressions of her abundant, ever-present love.

She is survived by her brother, Robert Solomon; three daughters, Sarah Rischin Gadye, Abigail Rischin and Rebecca Rischin; five grandchildren, Levi, Nathan, Ari, Julia and Emily; two great-grandchildren, Dan and Esra; and a host of other beloved family members. The family asks that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to Chabad of Cole Valley (Community for Jewish Seniors), San Francisco.

Sinai Memorial
(415) 921-3636

Howard Sturtz, M.D.

June 12, 1935–July 31, 2022

Howard Sturtz
Howard Sturtz

The family of Howard Sturtz, M.D. is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our wonderful father, loving husband, adoring grandfather, gifted doctor and friend to many in our community. Howard lived a long, full life that tragically ended at Sutter Delta Medical Center from Covid-19 complications, following a one year battle with esophageal cancer. He was 87 years old.

Howard was born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., with his older sister, the late Beatrice Wooster. He often reminisced about his summers as a teenage lifeguard at Rockaway Beach in Queens, N.Y., and continued to enjoy the beach and water activities the rest of his life. In 1956 he graduated from Columbia University, and then attended SUNY Downstate Medical School in Brooklyn, where he received his Doctor of Medicine in 1960. He completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Jewish Hospital in New York, with a summer internship on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma in 1965. That same year, he moved to Berkeley, Calif., with his late first wife, Dr. Joyce Welsher, where he practiced for one year. He then relocated to Walnut Creek in 1966, where he joined the staff of John Muir Medical Center and established his own practice directly across from the hospital at 1479 La Casa Via. He established a second practice in Antioch, interestingly at Delta Memorial Hospital where he ultimately passed away.

Howard enjoyed a robust 62-year career as an orthopedic surgeon, assisting well into his late 70s. For years he was a regular in the emergency room and enjoyed being a part of the John Muir Trauma Team and Utilization Review Committee. He was an early advocate for many new orthopedic and surgical technologies, including purchasing one of the first arthroscopic tools for John Muir. He loved sharing his passion for patient care and the “art of fixing bones” with his children. He brought home X-rays regularly to share bones he put back together with screws and rods, demonstrated how to put on a cast during classroom sharing, casted the legs of one of the family cats, had his children tag along during hospital rounds, had many family dinners at the hospital cafeteria and loved having his kids scrub into surgery!

Later in his career, Howard enjoyed assisting cases at Merrithew Memorial Hospital (now Contra Costa Regional) in Martinez and consulting with Bay Area orthopedic practices providing exams for the Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, and Expert Review for the State Medical Board. He was the president of the Contra Costa Chapter of American Friends of Magen David Adom, supporting the people and State of Israel with a gift of an ambulance. He always had multiple professional irons in the fire and truly enjoyed caring for his community in any way he could.

On Oct. 21, 1976, Howard was introduced by a mutual friend to Leslie Stadt and he proposed two weeks later! They married in 1977 at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette and enjoyed 45 years of marriage, traveling as a couple to Israel, Europe, white water rafting and camping, and many romantic dates. Howard and Leslie had two sons together, bringing their combined brood to six children (five boys and one girl). Family was Howard’s top priority. He was generous with all of his children, supporting each as they pursued every sport and activity imaginable, and continued to support them all into college and graduate schools. He delighted in having the entire family over for Hanukkah, Thanksgiving and birthdays, all of which became larger as his family expanded.

Howard had many interests and hobbies in his busy life and was a naturally curious and creative person. He originally moved to California to cultivate his love of exploring its varied landscapes, and his practice enabled him to take extended trips in the summers. He took his two oldest sons, and later the whole family, on camping trips up and down the California coast, visiting state and national parks, ghost towns, deserts, beaches and mountains. Other adventures included driving across the country and back, stopping at almost every national park on the route. During his life he visited almost every state. He loved all things beach and water, and was an avid sailor, acquiring an assortment of boats over the years, including a Lido, Hobie Cat and eventually a Pearson 303, which he loved to sail on the Bay with his sons.

Later in life he would take his El Toro sailboat around Lake Lakewood, near the family home in Walnut Creek. Howard loved bird watching long before it became known as birding, and he set up an array of feeders on his deck and marveled at the assortment of species that visited. Howard also loved to surf and ski with his family and did so well into his 70s. He assisted the medical team at Bear Valley Ski Resort as the on-call “Ski Doctor” orthopedic surgeon while his family was on the slopes.

Howard loved food and particularly enjoyed the flavors of Asian cuisine, frequenting restaurants so often he came to be known as “Doctor Howard.” He regularly worked out with a trainer and astounded everyone at his 75th birthday by doing 75 pushups in front of his cheering family. He loved comics, especially those in The New Yorker. He loved building model sailboats and planes. He loved Warriors games. He was a gardener and literally grew a national forest of citrus trees in his side yard. He enjoyed tending to the pond that he built from scratch, keeping it regularly stocked with fish. He loved animals of all kinds, especially dogs and cats. He loved cars, especially Mercedes-Benz, as he was impressed with their safety features. For years he owned a 1927 Chevrolet Coupe equipped with an “ahooga horn” and rumble seat, which won its class in the 1979 Concours d’Elegance car show at Heather Farms. He would drive his kids around the neighborhood in that old-fashioned car honking the horn with great pride.

Howard is lovingly remembered by his wife, Leslie Sturtz, and children: David Sturtz and wife Pamela Strazdas of Moraga, Michael Sturtz of Alameda, Tara Stern and husband David Stern of Walnut Creek, Chris Matthews of Los Angeles, Jordan Sturtz and wife Natalya Sturtz of Walnut Creek, and Rob Sturtz and wife Eileen Ortiga of Lafayette, and 13 dear grandchildren: Madeline, Milana, Remy, Charlotte, Nathan, Skylar, Nicolette, Vivian, Hunter, Zachary, Sophia, Margaret and Eli.

Howard will be greatly missed, and it will take a lifetime to fill the void that his passing has created. His family held a private burial on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022 at The Garden of Tranquility, Oakmont Memorial Park. Those wishing may send memorial contributions in his name to the Sierra Club Foundation, 2101 Webster St., Suite 1250, Oakland, CA 94612.

Sinai Memorial
(415) 921-3636

Ruthellen Toole


Ruthellen Toole
Ruthellen Toole

On Aug. 3, Ruthellen Toole, devoted wife, mother and grandmother; beloved sister; trailblazer for women in business; arts lover; activist in Jewish causes; and philanthropist, died of complications due to Alzheimer’s disease in San Diego. She was 89.

She was born Ruthellen Dietz in Philadelphia, the first child of Sylvia and Si and older sister to Carl, Bob and Suzi.

As a single mom to three children, she started her career in the late 1960s at the onset of what became a revolution in computing and data processing. In 1967, she began working for Honeywell as a self-taught computer programmer and quickly proved invaluable as a teacher to new employees.

After her boys went off to college, Ruthellen piled her young daughter and all their possessions into her car and drove across the country to California, where they settled in the Bay Area, beginning a new stage in both her career and family life with a data entry position at Bank of America. Soon thereafter she was promoted to Vice President of Product Management, because she had helped the bank improve its data management system with several of her original groundbreaking innovations.

In 1983, she built and managed a computer business in Sausalito with two of her male colleagues from Bank of America. While still working full time, she enrolled in night classes in pursuit of a college diploma, and in 1987, she was awarded a bachelor of science degree from the University of San Francisco. At last she had that diploma!

That year she met Monte Toole, the love of her life. They married four years later. She and Monte became active in Bay Area and Israeli Jewish charities after Monte’s successful semiconductor equipment manufacturing company Gasonics went public.

As a dynamic couple, Ruthellen and Monte traveled the world, New Zealand and Israel being their most frequented countries. Ruthellen volunteered with the Osher Marin JCC, and Monte was made an honorary trustee of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Together they created the Toole Center for Youth and Family at the Osher JCC.

After Monte passed, Ruthellen honored Monte’s legacy by serving as JCC president and supporting Jewish causes for nearly a decade.

Ruthellen found great joy in her love of music. An accomplished singer, she joined the local Marin choir, which eventually performed at Carnegie Hall … the thrill of a lifetime. She loved opera and the theater with a passion and was appointed to the board of the American Repertory Theater in San Francisco, where she became a loyal subscriber and patron of the arts.

She is survived by her three children, Larry Tollin, Mike Tollin and Cindy Tollin, and five adoring grandchildren: Samantha Tollin, Georgia Rabin, Lucas Tollin, Adam Peterson and Rebecca Peterson, and also by her brother Bob Dietz and sister Suzi Dietz, as well as Monte’s children Esther Levandoski and David Toole and their children: Alec Levandoski, Jordan Levandoski, Rachel Toole and Jeni Toole.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to either the Alzheimer’s Association or the Osher Marin JCC in her memory.