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Death announcements for the week of March 17, 2023

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

Nancy Buck Brundy

Nov. 21, 1941–Dec. 17, 2022

Nancy Buck Brundy
Nancy Buck Brundy

Nancy was born Nov. 21, 1941, in Rochester, MN. After a prolonged illness, she passed away peacefully on Dec. 17,  2022, in Petaluma, CA, surrounded by her loving family.  Nancy was a most caring and thoughtful mother, wife, sister, and friend. Generous of spirit, she brightened any room with her smile, warmth and kindness, sense of humor, and infectious laugh. She was a true joy to know.

The daughter of Dr. Ronald and Leone Buck, Nancy grew up in Saint Joseph, MO, with her two brothers, Ron and Jim. As a teen, Nancy moved with her family to Santa Ana, CA, where she graduated valedictorian from Orange High School. She attended Pomona College, where she met her first husband, Larry Butler. They settled in San Francisco, Nancy’s beloved home for most of the next 55 years. There, she met her second husband, James Brundy, and raised her family. She believed strongly in the power of community and dedicated her career to providing services that helped elderly and disabled San Franciscans remain in their homes and communities.

Her career began as a social worker with the Aid to the Blind at the San Francisco Department of Social Services. She then joined San Francisco Home Health Service, a nonprofit agency dedicated to community and long-term care for the elderly and disabled. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a Master of Social Work degree, Nancy established an Adult Day Health Center (ADHC) at San Francisco Home Health Services, expanding the scope of that agency’s services. As a member of the San Francisco Adult Day Services Network, she developed state policy for and funding of adult day services, championing a continuum of community-based services.

Much of her later career was spent at the San Francisco Institute on Aging (IOA), where Nancy managed the IOA’s ADHC and community-based programs, expanding services to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. She also facilitated a partnership with On Lok to implement innovative PACE programs. Recognized for her dedication to community-based services, Nancy gained a local and national reputation in the field. She served multiple terms as the Chair of the National Adult Day Services Association, was appointed by then-Mayor Gavin Newson to the San Francisco Long Term Care Coordinating Council, and was a board member of Openhouse during its nascent years. Throughout her career, Nancy was a visionary who was able to integrate her big-picture thinking with the day-to-day practicalities of managing complex programs.

Nancy saw the good and potential for better in almost every situation. She loved to host, and her smile welcomed all. An inveterate reader, she was often seen with copies of the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times or a mystery novel. She was an avid follower of local and national politics, was a frequent attendee at the symphony, ballet and opera, and was known to catch a Warriors game or two. Later in life, she found great joy in walking around Lake Merced and Golden Gate Park with James and her family, admiring the natural splendor.

Nancy leaves behind many friends and family, including her husband, James; her daughter, Deborah; her son, Josh, and his wife Julia; her beloved grandchildren, Ben and Nicholas; her brother Jim and his wife, Julie; and several nieces and nephews. Nancy will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

An interment service will be held at Fernwood Cemetery, 301 Tennessee Valley Road in Mill Valley, on March 19, 2023 at 1 p.m. A celebration of Nancy’s life will follow at 3 p.m. at The Junction, 226-CA-1, in Mill Valley. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Nancy’s memory to the IOA (ioaging.org) for their ADHC programs or to Openhouse of San Francisco (openhousesf.org).

Louis Hirsch

July 28, 1935–Feb. 26, 2023

Louis Hirsch
Louis Hirsch

Louis Hirsch, AKA “Tantah Lou Lou,” died peacefully at age 87 on Feb. 26, 2023. The grandson of Rabbi Mayer Hirsch and son of Joseph and Anne Hirsch, he was born in San Francisco on July 28, 1935. He is survived by his brother David (Ann) and sister Susan, and predeceased by his brother Gerald (Sandy). He was a beloved uncle to Rebecca, Deborah, Naomi, Adam, Melissa, Joanna, Steven and Bradley, cousin to Susan Breall, and had many adoring great-nieces and great-nephews. His devoted friend, Ken Pearce, was ever-present during his final illness.

Louis lived in Vallejo, Palm Springs, Mexico, New York, and L.A. He earned an A.B. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and a certificate in Horticulture from UCLA. He was an Army veteran. He was an English tutor, technical writer and worked for the U.N. He was President of Beth Chayim Chadashim of LA, the world’s first gay synagogue. He fought tirelessly for the synagogue’s acceptance into the Reform movement. He was a gay father figure for the next generation and was respected for his great Jewish wisdom. He loved his family, friends, his roses, the opera, potato salad, France, his beloved animals, movies, Randy Rainbow, the color purple and “smart lunches.” Like his adored Auntie Rose, his motto was “if one is good, two are better.” He will be remembered for his generosity, incredible sense of humor, and storytelling. In lieu of flowers please consider sending a donation to: bethchayimchadashim.shulcloud.com There will be a celebration of his life this summer.

Karen Mihalovich

Karen Mihalovich, 71, passed away on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Santa Rosa, CA. Whimsical, musical, super-creative and soprano coloratura. Great chef and bbq master. Her beautiful garden at Pie-in-the-Sky on Trinity Road was the envy of many (and fed her hogs and goats). She was bright, funny, kooky, and one of the most gorgeous women this side of the Mediterranean. She competed for the Merola awards in San Francisco, but also sang all the jazz and Broadway standards. And she rocked.

Karen is survived by her brother, Dan Mihalovich, and his wife, Judy Stern of Tiburon; Dr. Christina Hansen, stepdaughter of Reno; Nate Mihalovich, nephew, his wife, Ellen Mihalovich, and Irving Mihalovich, grand-nephew of Brooklyn; and Cayla Mihalovich, niece; and she was the eldest of 10 first cousins. A private memorial service for Karen will take place in April.

Amy Schwartz

April 2, 1954–February 26, 2023

Amy Schwartz
Amy Schwartz

Amy Schwartz, a well-known author and illustrator of children’s books, passed away at home in Brooklyn, NY. She was born in San Diego, the third of the four daughters of Eva and Henry Schwartz. In 1937, Eva and her parents, Charlotte and Gustav Herzberg, fled Nazi Germany and settled in the Bay Area, where they had relatives.

Amy loved to draw and paint as a child. She graduated from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland in 1976. She took a course on children’s book illustration and writing at the School of Visual Arts. She submitted two projects for her SVA coursework and soon caught the attention of publishers. She was working as a production assistant at Simon and Schuster when her first picture book, “Bea and Mr. Jones,” was published. It featured a kindergartener and her advertising executive father who swap places. In 1983 the book was cited as one of the New York Public Library’s selection of 100 Best Children’s Books.

She won a National Jewish Book Award for her book “Mrs. Moskowitz and the Sabbath Candlesticks.” She also wrote “Yossel Zissel and the Wisdom of Chelm,” “Oma and Bobo,” “Begin at the Beginning,” “A Teeny Tiny Baby,” “What James LIkes Best,” and “100 Things That Make Me Happy.” She illustrated books written by her father, Henry Schwartz, including “How I Captured A Dinosaur.” Amy created over 60 books. She wrote: “All my books begin with something real and important to me, something that has struck an emotional chord.” Drawings of her parents’ houses and furniture and of her grandmother and the family dog appear in some of her books.

Amy leaves behind her husband of 32 years, Leonard Marcus of Brooklyn, NY, her son, Jacob Marcus (Nicole) of Manhattan, her sisters, Joan Schwartz of Berkeley, Deborah Schwartz of Signal Hill, CA, and Rebecca Schwartz MD (Fernando) of Long Beach, CA, her nephews, Joshua Cataldo of Oakland, and Dylan and Bryce Martinez of Long Beach, and her niece, Jenna Martinez of Long Beach. Funeral services were held in New York on 3/1/23.

Zelda Trzesniewski

Oct. 16, 1925–Feb. 24, 2023

Zelda Trzesniewski (nee Sklarz) died Feb. 24 after a short illness. She leaves behind two children, 10 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren in California and New York.

Zelda was born in 1925 into a tight-knit Jewish community in the small town of Stopnica, Poland, located a few hundred miles from Krakow. She was born into a life that was typical of the lives of shtetl Jews in Eastern Europe, a separate existence from and an uneasy relationship with the majority gentile population.

She describes a mostly happy childhood, filled with close family and Jewish rituals. On Sept. 1, 1939, that all changed when the Nazis invaded Poland. Suddenly the Germans were in charge, and the Jews were, rightly, nervous.

Jews were subject to heavy restrictions, and then, starting in 1941, they were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Zelda was sent to the same camp as her older brother, Herschel. Her mother told her to watch out for her brother, who was scholarly but not all that practical. Unfortunately, Herschel perished in the camp. Zelda never saw him or her parents again. She is not sure what happened to her parents; they didn’t survive the war.

Finally, after years of struggle, liberation arrived. Zelda and two friends from Stopnica escaped death. Only 50,000 of 3 million or so Polish Jews survived.

Zelda married another survivor, Leo, in 1946. An uncle of Leo’s in New York arranged for the young couple to immigrate there. Zelda flourished in her new environment, and she and Leo had two children. When Leo retired in 1988, he and Zelda left New York for Moraga to be near their son and family. Leo passed away in 2007. Zelda was fortunate enough to see many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild come into the world. She will be missed for her zest and joy for life. May her memory be for a blessing.

Sinai Memorial
(415) 921-3636

Ilse Ullmann

July 29, 1927–Feb. 28, 2023

Ilse Ullmann died peacefully at Pacifica Nursing and Rehab Center, surrounded by her beloved children and grandchildren and the many staff members who cared for her and loved her.

A Holocaust refugee in Shanghai, Ilse met and married Gunter (1922-2014), her husband of 64 years, when they settled in San Francisco. They were always partners, most especially on the cruises they loved to take, and in their owner-operation of Gunter’s Restaurant in South San Francisco. The Ullmann family helped to found Congregation B’nai Emunah (now Am Tikvah), which became a second home to their children Steven and Peter Ullmann and Lisa Karpanty. Marriages, grandchildren and a great-grandchild have added to the good life that the Ullmanns built together.

Mom, Mommy, Omi, Oma, The Queen, she exuded love and appreciation for all people (and animals), and an ability to engage with each person’s life. She loved to listen, and also to tell her own stories of her life and her imaginings. With that rare gift of making each person she encountered feel special and loved, she showered her family, friends, and caregivers with her wit, wisdom, and immense compassion.

Survived by her children, their spouses Rhonwyn, Vicki, and Joe, and their children and grandchildren — Jeff, Reamy, Bryan, Karen, Izzy, Leila, Joshua, and Reid. Ilse was laid to rest beside her husband at Salem Memorial Park in Colma on March 8, 2023. Donations may be made in her memory to San Francisco’s Jewish Family and Children’s Services, San Francisco SPCA, and Congregation Am Tikvah.

Sinai Memorial
(415) 921-3636

Daniel Edward Wasserman

Daniel Edward Wasserman
Daniel Edward Wasserman

Daniel Edward Wasserman was born in Berkeley to Marcia (Levis) and Andy Wasserman on Jan. 25, 1983, and passed away unexpectedly in Concord on March 4, 2023. A gentle giant, he was known for his kindness, generosity and the way he valued his family. Besides spending time with his family, he enjoyed cooking, travel, movies and farmers markets.

Daniel graduated from Cal State Hayward with a degree in history. He worked as an IT Help Desk Technician, most recently for the U.S. Department of Education.

A devoted son, loving brother and adoring uncle, Daniel was predeceased by his grandparents, Eve and Ely Levis and Rose and George Wasserman. In addition to his parents, he is survived by sister Rebecca (Adam) Lieb, brother Michael, nephew Sammy and numerous extended family members.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Heart Association, Northern California Golden Retriever Rescue or the charity of your choice.

Dr. Gerald Berner

In Memoriam

Dr. Gerald Berner
Dr. Gerald Berner

It has been a year since we lost Dr. Gerald (Gerry) Berner to pancreatic cancer, after a long and painful struggle.

Gerry was educated and trained at Michael Reese Hospital in his hometown of Chicago. During the Vietnam War, he served as an Army doctor at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu before volunteering with Interplast to help children with physical deformities in Central America. He then worked at Stanford Hospital and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation before joining the founding cardiac surgery team at Sequoia Hospital.

Gerry was a proud father and grandfather who traveled the world with his family and wife of 65 years, Harriet.

Rest in peace, Gerry, and know you are missed every day.