Eva Strauss Izenson passed away on March 22 at home with her husband and three children by her side. Born in Leipzig, Germany in 1937, Eva grew up in Portsmouth, Ohio. She practiced as a dental hygienist after graduating from The Ohio State University. She enjoyed traveling, playing competitive bridge, and, above all, spending time with her family and friends. Eva was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert and Gisela Strauss. She was survived by her husband of 63 years, Fred; her children and their spouses, Mark Izenson and Susan Sheffield of Atlanta; Rivers and Cathy Jenkins of Charleston; Dan and Peggy Izenson of Cincinnati; and her grandchildren, Riv, Peter, Cason, Sam, Will, Molly, Lark, and Chris. Donations may be made in Eva’s memory to the UD Men’s Basketball Restrictive Fund, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-7054.

Fred M. Izenson, age 87 of Kettering, passed away April 4 at Cleveland Heart Clinic with his three children by his side. Sadly, Fred‘s beloved wife and companion of 63 years, Eva Izenson, passed away less than two weeks prior. Together, they cherished spending time and holidays with their children, grandchildren, and friends. Fred is survived by his loving children, Mark (Susan) of Atlanta; Cathy (Rivers) Jenkins of Charleston; Dan (Peggy) of Cincinnati; his grandchildren, Riv, Peter, Cason, Sam, Will, Molly, Lark and Chris; his sister Nancy (Ira) Leeds of Davie, Fla., and her daughters, Marci, Susan and Jennifer. Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Rae and Al Izenson, and in-laws, Herbert and Gisela Strauss. Born in Pittsburgh, Fred grew up in Weirton, W.Va. He attended the University of Michigan, where he proudly played first clarinet in the marching band. He graduated from the University of Miami and earned his Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University. Fred practiced law for 41 years in the Dayton community, followed by 15 years as a magistrate for Vandalia Municipal Court. Among his many legal appointments, he served as assistant City of Dayton prosecutor and law director for the City of Trotwood. Fred’s hobbies included painting, cartooning, writing and rooting on the Buckeyes and Flyers. Family meant everything to “Pop.” Interment was at David’s Cemetery. Donations may be made online in memory of Fred Izenson in support of research to the Cardiovascular Medicine Department Fund at The Cleveland Clinic,

Irving Kaplan, age 91, of Jacksonville, Fla., formerly of Dayton, passed away March 31. Irving was the retired owner of Kaplan & Associates and Kaplan Warehouse Rental. He was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War, a member of the Jewish War Veterans, Hadassah, and Beth Abraham Synagogue. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Shirley; and son, Jonathan. Irving is survived by his nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Beth Abraham Synagogue.

Gerald “Jerry” R. Kotler, Ph.D. On April 6, Jerry went to be with his beloved wife of 60 years, Lorraine, who preceded him in 2020. His daughter was holding his hand when he left. Jerry was born on June 19, 1938, in Brooklyn, N.Y., a fact he was proud to tell anyone who commented on his accent. He received his B.S. in metallurgical engineering in Brooklyn, his M.S. in metallurgy at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-Mellon) in Pittsburgh, where he met his wife and they had their first child, and his Ph.D. in materials science at Stanford, Calif., where his son was born. He left California to take a position in research and development at Ford in Michigan. After two years there, he left for a better opportunity in Hightstown, N.J., at a large corporation called N.L. Industries. After four years there, he was promoted to technical director of the company’s die-casting division, in Toledo, Ohio, Doehler-Jarvis, the largest die-casting company in the world at the time. Five years later, the company underwent a reorganization and his position was eliminated. Given six months severance to find a new position, he had multiple offers, and in 1979, chose to take a position as vice president of engineering for a manufacturing company called Dayton-Walther. Jerry purchased a home that happened to be two doors down from the home of the recruiter who brought him to Dayton. They spoke frequently, and the recruiter convinced him that Jerry would make an exceptional recruiter. He was a scientist, a patent-holding engineer; recruiting would be a risky change — going from a VP’s salary to straight commission. But because Jerry was very unhappy where he was and did not want to uproot his family again, he decided to make a total career change and took a position as an account executive for the Dayton franchise of Management Recruiters International in 1980. With over 3,000 recruiters worldwide, Jerry was named MRI Account Executive of the Decade in 1989, thereby reaching pinnacles of two completely different careers within 21 years. He eventually became co-owner of the Dayton MRI franchise, and continued recruiting in Dayton until 2007. Jerry loved recruiting because he felt that he was improving many companies by finding them the best employees, and improving the lives of many people by finding them better jobs. It made sense that he would be good at this, because he had previously fixed up 10 couples who married, and clearly had a gift for making connections. He simply loved helping people and making people smile. He often said, “A compliment doesn’t cost you a cent, and it can make someone’s day. Why would you keep it to yourself?” His daughter has been overwhelmed by the number of people who have recently told her, “I wouldn’t be the person I am today, if it weren’t for Jerry.” He had 15 real nieces and nephews, each of whom adored him, but he also had many diverse young people who called him “Uncle Jerry.” Over the years, Jerry served on multiple synagogue boards and as a lay cantor in several synagogues. In Dayton, he was a concurrent member of three congregations, Beth Jacob, Beth Abraham, and Temple Israel. He was passionate about Judaism, but in the spirit of making connections, he studied other faiths as well. He was a founding member of the Dayton Christian Jewish Dialogue (now the Interfaith Forum) and he and his wife were past co-presidents. He also started a small, interfaith Bible study group that still meets over lunch. Jerry was also passionate about music. He was first violin in his high school orchestra, and he took voice lessons for over 30 years. In addition to all kinds of Jewish music, he loved to sing old show tunes and especially opera. It has been said that Jerry would sing for anyone at the drop of a hat, and even if they kept their hat on. He also loved plants and trees, and had an abundant vegetable garden every year, as well as berry bushes of many kinds and a cherry tree. He and Lorraine would make cherry pies (he picked, she pitted and baked), and several zucchini breads every year from Jerry’s produce. He could sometimes be spotted pruning neighbors’ trees without bothering to ask first, because he couldn’t bear to see a tree uncared for. Jerry loved little children and was the Sabbath Candy Man in many congregations over the years. If a stranger ever came up to you in public when you had a baby or small child with you, smiled, and told you what “diamonds,” “gold,” or a “gem” you had, that was Jerry. He was a self-taught expert on many subjects, owned over 3,000 books, and was a sought-after lecturer in congregations of many faiths and other forums as well. Though teaching was never his career, it was always one of his many passions, and he taught religious school for several years, was briefly an adjunct professor in metallurgy at UD, and with his wife, gave seminars in résumé writing at various Dayton Public Library branches and other sites. Once he retired from recruiting, he started a small, part-time résumé writing business with his wife and daughter. He served on the local school board in New Jersey when his children were in school there. Here, he served on the board of The Dakota Center in West Dayton. He insisted on recruiting the first African American for their board. A lifelong learner, he and his wife were taking classes together right up until Covid began, despite Jerry’s already advancing dementia. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, Esther and Louis Kotler, his brother-in-law and dear friend, Steve Marcus, and his beloved nephew, Joshua E. Kotler. He is survived by his aunt, Evelyn Barnett, older brother, Martin (Fran), younger brother, Herman (Mina), younger sister, Renee Krieger (Abraham), sister-in-law, Sandra Marcus, sister-in-law, Mona Abramowitz (David), daughter, Beth “Batsheva” Fullenhull (Andrew Shlomoh), son, Michael (Hillary), nieces and nephews, Marcy, Kelly, Kevin (Stacey), Avery (Corinne), Matt, Jonathan (Julia), Anna (Dan), Daniella (Joseph), Tanya (Zach), Larry, Brian, Rebecca (Benjamin), Benjamin, and Danny (Mickey). As well as cousins, great-nieces and nephews, countless dear friends, and the light of his golden years, his only grandchild, Lily Fullenhull. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Jerry would have wanted to offer his deepest appreciation to the wonderful staff of Spring Hills Singing Woods Assisted Living Facility and the blessing that is Compassus Hospice. Donations may be sent to,,, or the charity of your choice.

Nancy Wiviott, age 88, of Kettering, passed away April 10. Nancy was born in St. Louis. Nancy is survived by her sons Jeffrey Wiviott, Gary Wiviott and daughter Sheryl (Mike) Erlichman; grandchildren Dr. Robert Erlichman (Blair), Brian Erlichman, and Adam Erlichman; great-granddaughter Luci Erlichman; life companion Ernie Keucher. Nancy retired as a civilian employee of Wright-Patterson AFB. Nancy was a member of Temple Israel. Nancy enjoyed spending time with her family. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.

To read the complete May 2022 Dayton Jewish Observer, click here.

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