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Death announcements for the week of June 23, 2023

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

Linda Joyce Attell

April 19, 1942–June 15, 2023

Linda Joyce Attell
Linda Joyce Attell

Linda Joyce Attell, born April 19, 1942, passed away peacefully on June 15, 2023 in San Mateo, CA. Born at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco to Louis and Sylvia Segal, Linda was the older sister of predeceased Beverly Norman. She attended Lincoln High School in San Francisco, and during this time, met her high school sweetheart and eventual husband, Gary. Upon graduation, she was a student at San Francisco State University.

The couple married on Jan. 25, 1964, and continued to live in San Francisco where Linda gave birth to their first child, Michele. In 1966, they moved to San Bruno and added two more kids to the family, Nadine and Michael. Linda and Gary left San Bruno to move to Foster City, CA, in 1998 where she spent the rest of her years.

In her professional career, Linda began working as a sales manager at Danzas, and then at Fuchs Publications. After leaving this role, she owned the Homes and Land Magazine of the South Peninsula, and upon selling the magazine, joined the Zouves Fertility Center as the Director of Marketing before retiring in 2007. She coordinated the Miss Millbrae Pageant for the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce for several years. She was a past board member of Jewish Vocational Service, past member of the Executive Committee of Peninsula Temple Beth El, ran an art program for the religious school of Peninsula Temple Sholom for 10 years, and volunteered on the art committee of the Filoli Gardens.

One of Linda’s favorite ways to spend her later years was by traveling the world with her husband. Together, they visited all seven continents and most of the countries in Europe. Despite visiting so many places, her favorite was always Israel, for which she had a deep connection and love as a proud Jewish woman. When she wasn’t abroad or on one of her frequent trips to Hawaii, Palm Desert, or Scottsdale, Linda spent her free time painting. She was an incredible artist who attended studio classes with her friends every Tuesday. Over the years, she produced countless pieces in the impressionist style of art. Some of her favorite artwork depicted scenes of cities that Linda and Gary traveled to as well as the barns and vineyards of the California countryside.

Another one of Linda’s talents was her excellent cooking, as she was famous amongst the family for making the best matzo balls ever. She was an exceptionally smart woman who loved visiting museums, reading books, and watching television shows and movies. Linda had a schedule: every night had a different show, only to be interrupted by a Golden State Warriors game. Her favorite sports team always brought her joy, and she went multiple years without missing a single game.

Linda was an outstanding wife, mother, grandma, and friend. She enjoyed sharing her love of travel with her grandchildren, whom she took on many trips with Gary. Most importantly, she was known for her character, something she exhibited to everyone who entered her life. Linda was incredibly thoughtful, caring, and attentive; anyone who had a conversation with her knew of her immense capacity to care for others and to listen deeply to whatever anyone had to say whilst being an active listener. She always made each and every person feel important and valued, and was treated the same way by her peers in return. No matter where she was, every conversation resulted in a new friendship.

Linda is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Gary; her three children: daughter Michele Morgan and husband John, daughter Nadine Attell, and son Michael Attell and wife Kimberly; her four grandchildren: Rachel, Joshua, Claire, and Sophia; as well as her nieces and nephews. She will be deeply missed by friends near and far, many of whom she considered a part of her family.

A service was held at Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame on Thursday, June 22, 2023.

Geraldine Brownstein

Oct. 7, 1930–June 11, 2023

Geraldine Brownstein
Geraldine Brownstein

Beloved mother, grandmother, wife, sister, and friend, Geri Brownstein passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by family.

Born to Lilian and Harry Moskowitz in 1930, Geri grew up in San Francisco’s Fillmore and Richmond districts with her older sister, Shirley. Even in youth, she had led a historic life: walking across the Golden Gate Bridge on opening day in 1937, dancing the Maypole at the Golden Gate International Exposition, and spending every Sunday with the cool crowd at the Blackhawk jazz club.

But Geri would say that, in many ways, her life truly began when she went on a blind date with a young Navy dentist from New York City named Marty. Geri and Marty fell quickly and deeply in love — and wed on April 17, 1955. The happy couple moved to Sausalito where Geri, a trained phlebotomist, helped Marty establish his private dental practice. It didn’t take long for them to become prominent members of their new community, serving as founding members of Congregation Rodef Sholom. And soon, they began to grow their family, welcoming their first son Howard in 1957 followed by Laurence in 1960.

Geri was a generous, kind, warm, loving, funny, gracious person. An expert host who opened her heart and home to anyone who needed it, she was a font of strength, support, and compassion to all those whose lives she touched. Which is why it comes as no surprise that Geri cherished nothing in the world so much as being a grandmother. When her first grandson, Jordan, was born in 1985, Geri lavished him with a boundless affection that only grew larger when grandsons Jesse, Barry, and Kai came along.

Geri will be remembered and admired for many things, but perhaps none more so than this: even though her heart already overflowed with love, she always made room for more. Near the end, this love extended to her friends and caregivers Tina, Josie, and Rosemarie. Geri is preceded in death by her parents Lilian and Harry, sister Shirley, and husband Marty — and is survived by sons Howie and Larry, nieces Mindy and Dia, nephew Stephan, daughters-in-law Janna and Kirsten, grandsons Jordan, Jesse, Barry, and Kai, and granddaughter-in-law Nikki.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, June 15, 2023, at Mount Tamalpais Cemetery, 2500 Fifth Ave. in San Rafael. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Congregation Rodef Sholom.

Sinai Memorial
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Linda Capin Gross

Sept. 10, 1938–June 5, 2023

Linda Capin Gross
Linda Capin Gross

Linda Capin Gross passed away peacefully on June 5, 2023 at the age of 84, surrounded by family at the Reutlinger Community in Danville, after battling a long illness. She was a striking redhead with a luminous personality and a stylish flair, who was a loving mother, sister, daughter, grandmother and devoted friend. Linda will always be remembered as an extraordinary woman, who was “wonderfully elegant and kind,” with an immensely generous heart, a keen interest in the world around her, a remarkable strength of character and fortitude to pursue in her words “a worthwhile life” despite any challenges she faced.

Linda (born Elaine Linda Capin) burst upon the scene in Nogales, Arizona on Sept. 10, 1938, the first child of Helen and Zellie Capin. Linda spent her entire childhood there, having adventures with her younger sister Lois and cousins, within an extended, close-knit family. After graduating from Nogales High School in 1956, Linda began college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After her freshman year, she transferred to the University of California Berkeley, where she excelled and was on the dean’s list, majoring in Spanish, and studying psychology. There she met Stephen (Steve) W. Smith, they fell in love and were married in Nogales in 1959. Linda and Steve settled in Oakland, where they raised their two children, Jesse and Leslie.

Establishing community roots in the East Bay, Linda served as a board member for the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, the local Brandeis organization, as well as conducting fundraising for the Jewish Women’s Federation, and later for the Home for Jewish Parents in Oakland (now the Reutlinger Community). Linda balanced all these volunteer obligations with her primary focus on the joys of motherhood. She enjoyed a passion for cooking and fine cuisine, demonstrated a talent for writing poetry and prose, and relished family vacations.

Linda and Steve divorced in the late 1970s; and in 1983, she remarried, to Leonard (Lennie) Gross; they were together for over 25 years. Linda remained in her beautiful home nestled in the Montclair hills neighborhood for 62 years, before moving to the Reutlinger Community in December 2022. She also took pride in and gained much pleasure from her pristine, enchanted garden. Linda was a steadfast supporter of both educational and medical causes and a loyal patron of the arts. She loved attending performances by the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet, and going to see theater or musical productions, as well as viewing art exhibits at the DeYoung Museum.

Even though, in the end, Linda only resided at Reutlinger for less than six months, she touched the hearts of staff members and was adored by many. For the last 10 years of her life, Linda was blessed to have a wonderful caregiver, Emily Kibicho, who stayed by her side and became her closest friend. Any time they were together, the warmth of their connection was undeniable, evidenced by their infectious laughter and lively conversations. The family is forever grateful to Emily for her loving care, professionalism and devotion.

Linda is predeceased by her beloved parents, Zellie Capin (1998) and Helen Capin (1993), and she will now join alongside them in eternal rest at the Nogales Jewish Cemetery. Linda is survived by her sister, Lois Esformes; her son, Jesse Smith; her daughter, Leslie Silberman and son-in-law Mark Silberman; her grandchildren, Julian Smith (Anna Mordell), Sophia Smith, Zellie Silberman and Alysa Silberman; and her nephew, Jon Esformes (Mintha Sheffield), and nieces, Fanny Esformes and Lisa Esformes Russell (Chris Russell). Linda will be lovingly remembered and dearly missed by so many.

A memorial service was held on June 12, 2023 at the Nogales Jewish Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Linda’s memory to the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville, CA or to the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.

Carolynn Licht

Oct. 27, 1930–May 29, 2023

Carolynn Licht
Carolynn Licht

Carolynn nee Pinsler Licht passed away peacefully on May 29, 2023, age 92, 5½ months after the diagnosis of lung cancer. She had abdominal cancer 5 years ago, which was treated successfully.

She was a proud native of San Francisco, born in 1930. She grew up in a house across the street from the front door of Washington High School from which she graduated. She went to Cal for 1 year, then worked in the office of a furniture store in the Mission District while her husband Norman Licht was in his last year of Optometry School at Cal.

Their parents Jack and Serena Pinsler, Mayer and Sarah Licht, were friends. A mutual friend gave a party where the teenagers met. Norman was 18 and Carolynn was 15. They dated for 5 years and were married at the SF Fairmont Hotel in September 1950. They were married for 72 years.

Norman enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for 3 years during the Korean War, and she went with him to Montgomery, Alabama, to the School of Aviation Medicine. They moved to a home at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento. Their son Ron was born in the base hospital.

Then Norm opened an optometry office in San Mateo, where he practiced for 37 years. Carolynn was the receptionist and handled eyeglass frame selection for patients.

Carolynn is survived by her beloved family: husband Norman, son Ron and his wife Cathy, by her grandchildren Hana and spouse Mik Lyles and their infant son Rui, Andrew and wife Adna, and Daniel. Carolynn had 14 nieces and nephews.

Norman and Carolynn first rented a duplex in San Mateo, bought their first home in San Mateo, then their home in San Carlos where they stayed for 60 years before they moved to Moldaw Residences in south Palo Alto 1½ years ago.

She was tragically predeceased by their daughter Diane Licht, who died suddenly after a one-week illness of the flu in February 2019.

Carolynn is survived by her 3 sisters: Miriam Suslow, Roberta Cohn, and Lorraine Marshall.

Carolynn is predeceased by Norman’s sister Carolyn Wiener and brother-in-law Stanley Wiener.

Thank you to Angel Hospice and all the staff members who cared for her in Memory Support at Moldaw.

Services were at Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City. She was laid to rest at Eternal Home in Colma.

Donations in her memory can be made to Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City, JNF, Sarcoma-Oma Foundation, or the charity of your choice.

Judith S. Schiff

Judith S. Schiff
Judith S. Schiff

Judith S. Schiff, 81, of San Francisco, passed away suddenly on June 12, 2023. Judith was born in New York, and lived in Santa Barbara and Hawaii before moving to San Francisco in 1987. She was a K-12 teacher in Marin and San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Active in the Democratic party, and in 2004 candidate for Community College Board of Trustees.

Judith was Co-Ordinator of the Nob Hill Community Garden, sat on the Board of Action for Nature and was a digital photography and multimedia artist. This year she published her book, “Jewish Folktales and Character Education: A Guide to Teaching Character Education with Jewish Folk Stories.”

She is survived by her daughter Brigette Hunley and granddaughter Hannah Hunley. Services were held Tuesday, 1:00 p.m., at the Home of Peace cemetery in Colma. A Life Celebration will be held July 23 in the Nob Hill Hooker Alley Community Garden, 3-7 p.m. Cards and messages may be sent to — 2813 Iris Court, Fairfield, CA 94533.