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

Death announcements for the week of May 26, 2023

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

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


Kenneth Ronald Cherry

Oct. 4, 1930–May 14, 2023

Kenneth Ronald Cherry
Kenneth Ronald Cherry

Kenneth (Ken) Ronald Cherry, born on Oct. 4, 1930, passed away on May 14, 2023. Born and raised in Oakland to Arnold and Hattie Cherry, Ken was the youngest among his siblings, Stanley and Beverley (Mednick).

Upon returning from the Korean War, Ken met the love of his life, Barbara (Bobbie) Berman. Their connection was so undeniable that after just four dates in one week, he proposed and they were married 60 years. After Bobbie passed, Ken discovered companionship in the presence of Marilyn Cachapo for the past eight years, as they made memories spending the majority of their time in Lincoln, CA.

After Ken’s time in the military, he drove for McKesson & Robbins. In 1973, Ken and his brother Stan opened up the Dublin, CA Big O Tires, where he worked for 20 years.

Ken had many pleasures while in Dublin, selling fireworks, serving many years at the Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club.

After raising their children in Moraga, they moved to Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville, where they spent their time golfing, dancing, playing Bingo, traveling and enjoying making fond memories with their friends.

Ken loved supporting his favorite teams, Raiders, Niners and the Warriors, but his greatest joy was cheering on his children and grandchildren to participate in the many sports they enjoyed to play.

Ken is survived by his children, Bruce (Kathy), Jeff (Lori) and Linda (Michael). He will be fondly remembered by his grandchildren, Jessica (Greg), Lisa, Corrine (Daniel), Jason, Justin (Alicia) and Bryan (Taylor), who were his pride and joy. Additionally, his great-grandchildren, Hunter, Briella, Aria and Madeline, will carry his love in their hearts as they grow and thrive.

Ken will be remembered by his large smile, charisma and kind heart. He will be greatly missed.

Services are to be held at 10 am, Sunday, June 4 at Congregation B’Nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek, CA.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) or your favorite charity.

Sinai Memorial
(415) 921-3636


Dr. Susan “Shoshana” Katherine Shavin

Dec. 14, 1948–Dec. 8, 2022

Dr. Susan "Shoshana" Katherine Shavin
Dr. Susan “Shoshana” Katherine Shavin

Dr. Susan “Shoshana” Katherine Shavin passed away in San Francisco on Dec. 8, 2022, days before her 75th birthday, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Born Dec. 14, 1948 in New York and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Susan always retained her Southern charm. At Byrd High School, she balanced smarts and popularity as a yearbook editor and member of the National Honor Society with cheerleading and as homecoming queen.

After high school, she spent a year in Israel on the Young Judaea year course, connecting with relatives there and making lifelong friends. On her return to the U.S., she studied at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, where she met her first husband, Michael Messer. They later lived in Jerusalem, where their daughter, Alisa, was born. They traveled together around the world, eventually settling in San Francisco.

Susan returned to school to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a psychologist, earning her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. For nearly three decades, she worked in private practice, sharing her warmth, insights and compassion with a range of clients. Her research and counseling with breast cancer survivors was especially important to her. She loved her work and described herself as maintaining “an enormous appreciation for the challenges we face in life.”

In 1983, Susan was a founding member of Congregation Sherith Israel’s SIMCHA young adults’ organization, bringing many unaffiliated single Jews back to synagogue life. Along with two friends, Susan became a proud midlife bat mitzvah, an achievement that had not been open to her as a young girl. Her involvement with the community at Sherith Israel was a lasting feature and joy in her life.

In recent years, as her career as a healer was cut short by the encroaching effects of Alzheimer’s, she could be found determinedly walking the hills of San Francisco and enjoying the flowers and plants. Even as her health declined, she was known for her sense of style, her ebullient charm and her undeniable flair. She brought color, song and flowers with her wherever she went.

Susan is survived by her daughter, Alisa Messer, and Alisa’s partner, Aaron Vick; family in Shreveport and Israel; and a bevy of dear friends and chosen family with whom she maintained deep, lifelong connections. She was laid to rest on Dec. 15, 2022, next to her beloved mother, Rosabel Lieber Shavin, in the B’nai Zion section of Shreveport’s Greenwood Cemetery in a ceremony officiated by Rabbi Dr. Jana De Benedetti.

Please share memories and photos of Susan at bit.ly/SKSonline. A celebration of Susan’s life will be held this fall, with opportunities to share stories and be in community. To receive notification, please contact [email protected]. In her final years, support from Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco was immeasurable; please direct donations in Susan’s memory to jfcs.org.


Tamara (Tamme) Mitchell Cohn

Tamara (Tamme) Mitchell Cohn, O’BM, 89, passed away peacefully on 18 Nissan 5783 (April 8, 2023) with her daughters by her side. Gary D. Cohn, O’BM, her beloved spouse of 58 years, and her parents, Max and Frances (nee Sklar) Mitchell, O’BM, and her older brother, Eugene (Gene) Mitchell, O’BM, preceded her in death.

Formerly from east side Detroit and Grosse Pointe, her parents owned and operated two dry cleaning businesses, Imperial Cleaners and Dyers on Mack Ave., and Mitchell’s Cleaners and Dyers on Jefferson Ave.

Tamme and Gary raised three children together as they continually moved from Southern, then Eastern United States to Western Canada (Calgary, Alberta), finally settling in Southern California. They dubbed themselves “The Wandering Jews.”

Tamme is survived by her children, Marty (Debbie) of Agoura Hills, Audrey (Chuck) of Livermore, and Joanne (Jeff) of Livermore, CA.

She is the beloved “Grams” to seven grandchildren; Avi, Alona, Aaron, Joseph (Bridget), Noah, Jacob and Sarah.

Also surviving is her sister-in-law, Sue Mitchell (Gene, O’BM) of Bloomfield Hills, MI.

A graveside service was held on Chol Hamoed Pesach at Eden Memorial Cemetery in Mission Hills, CA, where she is buried alongside Gary D. Cohn (O’BM).

If you would like to honor her memory, please consider donating to the Jewish National Fund, National Council of Jewish Women, synagogues or other Jewish organizations, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Alzheimer’s Research, and/or Myasthenia Gravis Research.