Seattle’s Jewish community said its goodbyes in late October to Carl Kitz. He passed away suddenly October 17, 2011 from complications following heart surgery. He was 69.
Carl George Kitz was born May 2, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York to Esther and Jacob Kitz. He grew up in the Bronx. After graduating from Indiana Institute of Technology in 1965, Carl headed west to take a position with Boeing. Later, he attended the Seattle University for post-graduate studies. Deciding to settle there, he eventually brought his parents to Seattle to join him.
Shortly after his arrival in Seattle, Carl met the lovely Marion Stern and married on August 22, 1971. The marriage would last over 40 years and produce two devoted and loving daughters, Rebecca and Leah, who both now reside in Los Angeles.
Dedicated to his family, Carl enjoyed visiting his daughters in Los Angeles with Marion as well as their frequent visits back home in Seattle. He instilled in his daughters the Jewish values of tikkun olam; they both work in the Los Angeles Jewish community. In the summer of 2006, the family met in Israel and toured the country together to celebrate Carl’s and Marion’s 35th wedding anniversary. In 2009, Carl welcomed Rebecca’s husband, Opher, into the family. He adored Marion’s parents, Klaus and Paula Stern, Survivors of the Holocaust who reside in Seattle.
Shortly after his graduation from Seattle University, Carl began what would become a 36-year career as a chemical engineer with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While there, he supervised the aftermath of major oil spills, including clean-up efforts, and ultimately he would help determine the impact on the environment. Not one to idle at home, Carl lent his valued skills to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after his retirement from the EPA. He even flew down to New Orleans three times following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to offer his services and considerable expertise. Professionally, Carl was known as a mentor by many, and his family was touched by the many who contacted them after his passing to acknowledge his role in their professional development and training.
A thoughtful listener, Carl was a gentle man of quiet grace; he gave sage advice, but only after careful and due consideration. When asked for his opinion, he took information on the subject to heart and offered wise words that would make an impact.
Carl was buried on October 18, 2011 at Herzl Memorial Park. The family requests that any contributions made in memory of Carl Kitz be to the Washington State Holocaust Center, Shaarei Tefillah Synagogue or the Menachem Mendel Cheder. In addition to Marion, Leah, and Rebecca Kitz (Opher), Carl is survived by his brother Saul Kitz, brother in-law and sister in-law Marvin & Michelle Stern, and his mother in-law and father in law Paula & Klaus Stern.
Reva Ketzlach Twersky
May 8, 1923 - September 30, 2011
Reva Ketzlach Twersky, 88, a Seattle native, passed away peacefully at the close of the Jewish New Year, in the Kline Galland Home. She is survived by son Rabbi David Twersky of Seattle, and daughters Judy Twersky of Forest Hills, NY, and Marya Twersky of Fair Lawn, NJ. She had 6 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren -- all of whom she was very proud. She was preceded in death by more than 20 years by the "love of her life", Meyer Twersky a communal leader and son of the Talner Rebbe of Philadelphia.
Mrs. Twersky was a life long member, regular worshipper and active Sisterhood worker at Congregation Bikur Cholim Machzikay Hadath. She was a dedicated parent, volunteer, and PTA President at the Seattle Hebrew Day School (Academy) and was active in the (Women's) Hebrew Free Loan Society, Mizrachi Women (AMIT), and the Washington State Jewish Historical Society.
Reva was a proud alumnus of the Seattle Talmud Torah, Garfield High School (where she was honored by the Garfield Golden Grads for lifetime achievement), and the University of Washington (from which she earned her MSW and was a founding Social Worker at the UW School of Family Medicine at University Hospital.)
She loved family and was considered to be the "Matriarch" of the Steinberg-Ketzlach-Treiger-Elyn families who were and are pioneers and leaders within Seattle's Jewish community. She authored a two-volume memoir entitled "In the Footsteps of My Grandmother", referring to her grandmother and role-model, Chaya Tsivya (Anna) Steinberg (in whose home Reva was born) who died in 1944.
The family suggests that donations be made to Congregation BCMH, the Seattle Hebrew Academy, or the Northwest Yeshiva High School.
1932 – 2011
Roberta Corets, age 78, of Bellevue, passed away with her family by her side on Monday, May 9, 2011, after a brief illness. Roberta is survived by her husband of 53 years, Ellis; daughters Elaine, Eva (Josh Beloff), Marilyn (Adam Mihlstin) and Linda (Bryan Staats); and grandchildren Reid and Madison Beloff, Brooke Mihlstin, and Max and Taye Staats.
Funeral services were held on May 11, 2011, at Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation with burial at Herzl Memorial Park.
Roberta was born December 26, 1932, in the Bronx, NY, to Mildred and Louis Tepper. “Bobbie,” as she was known to family and long-time friends, was a talented visual artist and professionally-trained textile designer. She was a graduate of High School of Music & Art (now LaGuardia High School) and Pratt Institute in NY. Ellis and Bobbie married on Thanksgiving Day, 1957, and moved to Bellevue in 1962.
Bobbie was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and friend who excelled at cooking, bowling and solving crossword puzzles. While bagels, lox and cream cheese are Sunday brunch standards for many families, Bobbie added her own special touch by making the lox herself. It took many years for at least one of her daughters to realize that not all Jewish moms make their own lox from scratch. Bobbie participated in league bowling for over 30 years at Sun Villa Lanes, where she bowled a personal best of 274 just six years ago. She was adept at solving the daily crossword puzzle and maintained an extensive reference library to expand her vocabulary and general knowledge.
Ellis and Bobbie were proud co-founders of Congregation Ner Tamid. Bobbie provided the artwork for all of the Ner Tamid publications – from the flame logo on the monthly newsletter to event programs and invitations. She was also an active volunteer for Herzl-Ner Tamid Sisterhood, Women’s American ORT, Hadassah and most recently, City of Hope.
In 1996, Bobbie was the recipient of the Esther Eggleston Outstanding Service Award from Women’s American ORT. Her artistic abilities were apparent in all of her endeavors, especially ORT's annual holiday gift-wrapping fundraisers where she wrapped gifts with flare, managed the volunteer schedule and always filled in when help was needed. In the days before computer-publishing software, Bobbie spent countless hours at the kitchen table with her friend Phyllis Cohen z"l, and a trusty typewriter, paper and glue sticks, assembling ORT's monthly bulletin.
Bobbie was a humble and unassuming artist whose intricate drawings exemplified great technique and precision. Her artistic talent and lovely handwriting graced invitations for family simchas and collaborative projects with Ellis, yet Bobbie’s proudest accomplishments were her beloved children and grandchildren. Her legacy is her family with all of her descendants living in close proximity and committed to each other daily – a testament to her hard work raising a family.
The family thanks the compassionate and dedicated team at Overlake Hospital Critical Care Unit.
Donations in Roberta’s memory may be made to City of Hope
, Seattle Chapter, 1309 114th Ave SE, Ste 201, Bellevue, WA 98004, or Overlake Hospital Foundation
, Critical Care, 1035 116th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Regina Kaswan Russak
Regina Kaswan Russak was born in a small Romanian village in 1914. She immigrated to Montreal in 1934 and then moved to Vancouver BC. For most of her adult life she resided in Seattle, where she and her late husband Boris Russak lived until their passing. She lived through long periods of deprivation as a child, and never saw her parents again once she left home. She endured a very sad situation when she had to say good bye to them, and then believe that they had perished in the Holocaust. She found out that they had survived and were able to live out their lives in the Holy land. Unfortunately, they were never able to reunite. Rena, as usual, accepted another disappointment without complaint. She always had the strength and character to move on with her life and hope for a better future.
Rena spent her working life in Seattle as a seamstress and shop owner once her children were old enough to take care of themselves after school. She devoted herself to her family, her work, and as many other activities as time would allow. During her time in Seattle she was involved with the PTA, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, the March of Dimes, and many other activities. She was also a charter member of her Hadassah group and a lifetime member of that organization. Her children still recall the many evenings Regina spent attending night school after hard days at work in order to qualify for her US citizenship exam. She was very proud to be an American citizen and be able to participate in the democratic process. She was always thrilled to spend a day at her local voting station, where she prepared other registered voters to do the same.
Rena kept busy after her retirement. She was able to travel to Israel and other interesting places. She worked part-time and continued her charitable work. After her driving days were over, she spent considerable energy and time traveling between her home in Seward Park and the University of Washington where her great knowledge of the Yiddish language was shared with professors and students alike. She loved to sing the Yiddish songs that she learned as a child, and felt honored to have had a small singing part on commercial CD of Jewish music.
One of her greatest accomplishments and sources of her modest pride was the time she spent as a volunteer at the Kline Galland Home. For 20 years, she drove, took the bus, and even walked to the Home in order to assist the aged and infirmed residents of that facility. When her health declined to the point of needing nursing care, she found herself back among many friends and employees that remembered her from her volunteer days.
Rena was very proud of her daughter Carol and son Ed. She was the source of great inspiration and support for them as they grew from children to responsible adults and ultimately became accomplished in their chosen careers. She loved her daughter in law Sherry as she loved her own children. They, in turn, had the greatest respect for her support, hard work, unselfishness, devotion, and love. She set a wonderful example to her children and others.
She was always a source of moral or financial support, and would reach out to family, friends, and even strangers if she saw someone in need. Her sharp sense of humor, ability to quote famous authors, politicians, and philosophers and even write original limericks in her later years was a source of great entertainment and joy for those who were able to be in her presence. She was very content with her life despite all of its hardships.
On the day of her passing, an out of town niece of her late husband described Rena to her son Ed as a saint. A sermon given by Samuel M. Stahl, now Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth-El in San Antonio stated that “Judaism does not call upon us to become saints or to attain perfection. It only asks us to become good. For this reason, our faith presents us with a galaxy of very human Biblical personalities. Not one of them, even Moses, can be considered a saint. They were people who struggled with life’s problems; who tried to make their lives superior to what they were; who strove, not always successfully, to increase their virtues and to minimize their faults. In other words, our goal, as Jews, is not to reach for sainthood. Rather, our task is to improve ourselves and to become better and nobler than we are at the present moment.”
Rena Russak could not have been a better example of this path through her extraordinary life.
We all feel blessed to have had a person of her character, morality, compassion, and strength in our midst.
There is no question in our hearts and minds that she has moved on to her well deserved place in Heaven, and that she is now entertaining the angels with her wit and humor. God will rest her soul, and the wonderful memories of her will remain with us for the rest of our lives.
Isaac S. Morhaime
Isaac S. Morhaime was born November 20, 1918 in Seattle to Samuel and Sultana Morhaime. He passed away peacefully at his Mercer Island home on April 17, 2011.
Ike, as he was known to all of his family and friends, married the love of his life, Sophie Baroh, on June 27, 1942. He is survived by his children, Stan (Esther) Morhaime and Suzanne Morhaime; grandchildren Sarina (Michael) Behar Natkin, Rob (Kate) Morhaime, Ben Morhaime, and Ann Krigsman; and his four loving great-grandchildren Zoey, Olivia, Hadassah and Shmuel. Ike is also survived by Stan and Esther Morhaime’s children and grandchildren, Terry Robinson and children Jordan, Aiden, Ander and Alena; and Ellie Robinson (Rifky) and children Sarala, Esterella, and Mia.
Ike enjoyed sports, playing golf until his mid 80s, and watching football, basketball and baseball with his wife Sophie.
He also enjoyed playing cards with all his good friends: Pinochle, poker and gin rummy with his lifelong friend, Sam Sidis, who preceded him in death. He would take his wife to the casino to play Texas Hold ’em.
Ike served with the 42nd Division during World War II, and was with the troops as they liberated Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany.
Ike loved his family and friends dearly, along with his Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation where he served as president like his father and brother before him.
He will be greatly missed. He was buried at the Sephardic Bikur Holim Brotherhood Cemetery on April 18. Donations can be made to the Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation or the charity of your choice.