Our beautiful Mom, Shirley F. Gotlieb Frankowitz, died peacefully on March 25 at the age of 95. Shirley was born in Kansas City, Mo. and married Martin Gotlieb (z’l) in 1948. Before the birth of their third child, they moved to Dayton in 1956, joined Beth Abraham Synagogue, and made Dayton their home. After Martin’s sudden death in 1970, Shirley worked tirelessly to support her family. Initially as a full-time legal secretary, Shirley simultaneously taught religious school. Then after 14 years of membership at Beth Abraham, she became the executive director for a decade before retiring. Shirley remarried to Morris Frankowitz (z’l) in 1984 for three years, until his death in 1987. In recent years, Shirley was renowned and admired for her incredible creative skills as an artist, a pianist, a baker, and a writer; while in younger years, Shirley’s reputation for her impeccable work ethic earned her the respect of everyone she knew. But her true calling and most important life’s purpose was her family. She was beloved, admired, and treasured by each one of them and will be missed beyond measure. She is survived by her four daughters who were the light of her life, Linda Valderrama, Gail (Bob) Flacks, Janice (Bob) Kohn, Marsha (Larry) Weisel; eight beloved grandchildren, Marti Flacks, Adam (Melanie) Flacks, Alisa (Alex) Gelber Valderrama, Chad (Julie) Valderrama, Rachel (Josh) Drian, Daniel (Emily) Weisel, Ben (Sierra) Weisel, Becca (Zach) Chervitz; and six precious great-grandchildren. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Donations may be made to Beth Abraham Synagogue or to Dayton Heart Association.

Nadezhda Gofer, born Aug. 23, 1932, passed away at age 91. She was a resident of Dayton since 1995 when she came to the United States from Latvia at the age of 62 to be near her family. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, walking, and spending time with friends and family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ruvim (Roman) Gofer in 1995, and her mother-in-law, Khana Gofer in 2006. She is survived by her daughter, Julia Nodel, and her son, Val (Rachal) Gofer; grandsons Eugene (Amy) Nodel, Ilya (Shayna) Nodel, Roman Gofer, and Nolan Gofer; and great-grandchildren Liam, Bella, Abriella, Masha, and Libby. Interment was at Riverview Cemetery.

The heavens gained another bright light on April 2, as Robert B. Kahn, at the age of 100, joined the love of his life, Gertrude. He was surrounded by his devoted children Ronald, Susan, Karen and son-in-law Ira. Bob closed his eyes for the last time, but leaves his mark as a proud Holocaust survivor. Born in Mannheim, Germany, Sept. 30, 1923, Bob was a remarkable man of ideas with the ability to bring them to fruition. An ordinary man with an extra ordinary love for peace in the world and for the people around him. He was a natural leader, highly respected on his job with the U.S. Air Force where he worked at the highest level of the Armed Military Services including the National Security Council. Bob was recognized with numerous citations including one by President Lyndon B. Johnson. At his retirement, he received full honors by the logistics commanders of all military branches.

Inspired by his fascination with nature and love of elephants, he and Gertrude went on safaris in Kenya and Tanzania and traveled the world. He was an avid gardener and enjoyed playing tennis past his 90th year. One of his favorite charities was Father Flanagan – Boys Town to which he donated his extensive and valuable philatelic collections. He enjoyed music, particularly opera, and was a volunteer usher with his wife at the Victoria Theatre and Schuster Center for 11 years. He was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and served as president of the Ruslander Lodge of B’nai B’rith. As a volunteer for 45 years for the Miami Valley Boy Scouts of America, he earned many awards as chair and chaplain of the Interfaith Committee on Scouting. For his dedication and compassion, he was given the St. George Medal from the National Catholic Committee and the Cincinnati Archdiocese. He also received the Shofar medal, the highest Jewish award for Scouting. Having honorably served in World War II in the Pacific theatre, he was also a member of the Jewish War Veterans since 1953. Bob was a 78-year member of Temple Israel, as well as an active member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.

In addition to these accolades, he championed the idea of a mobile Holocaust exhibit that paid tribute to the powerful stories of many men and women who called Dayton home. This exhibit was so successful it is now on permanent display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. A central feature of this installation is his violin, which he was forced to play for the enjoyment of the Nazis during Kristallnacht on Nov. 8, 1938, while his parents’ belongings were destroyed, and his father taken to Dachau concentration camp. Bob was a prime mover for the World Gathering of Holocaust Survivors in 1991 of his hometown in Mannheim, Germany. He authored and published Reflections of Jewish Survivors of Mannheim, and lectured at many local churches, schools, the University of Dayton, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Sinclair College, and addressed in person the German Parliament in Berlin. As many will know, Bob’s motto was “Never, never, never give up.” And he lived those words with a passion that saw the publication in his ninth decade of life of an expanded 800-page autobiography, The Hard Road of Dreams: Remembering Never to Forget, a treasure trove of family history and historical documents that had previously been unknown and unshared. Robert was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Joseph and Martha Kahn, and his dear sister, Irene Elizabeth (Albert Poll), all survivors of the Holocaust. With his last breath, he declared his undying love for his wife, Gertrude (nee Wolff), for 75 happy, wonderful years, and to his children, Dr. Ronald Kahn (Mary), Susan Rapoport, and Karen Weiss (Ira). He adored his seven grandchildren, Brennan Kahn (Kara) and Dr. Cameron Kahn, Emily Rapoport and Sam Rapoport (Lisa), Jenna Halperin (Eden), Adam Weiss (Gillian), Aliza Lambert, Ph.D. (Ben); and great-grandchildren, Jonah, Max, and Lily Rapoport, Noa and Levi Halperin and Jack and Colette Weiss, who all affectionately called him Opa. Sadly, he will be missed by nieces Faye, Peggy, Rita, and Roslyn, nephew Marc, as well as his extended family, many good friends, and all those who knew him. The family wishes to thank all the loving caregivers for their compassion and friendship. Internment was at Riverview Cemetery. Contributions may be made to Temple Israel, Chabad of Greater Dayton, or Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.

Paula Benjamin Levitt, age 89 of Dayton, passed away April 11, embraced by the love of her family. She was born to Frank and Ida Benjamin on Jan. 25, 1935 in Boston. Paula was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin, of 64 years. She is survived by her three children, Mitchel (Patty) of Columbus; Wayne (Ilise) of Lake Hopatcong, N.J.; and Lee (Karen) of Pittsburgh; five grandchildren whom she adored, Paul (Michelle), Nicholas, Alexandra, Sophie, Noah. Interment was at Beth Jacob Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Koester Pavilion, Freedom Wing, 3232 N. County Rd., 25A, Troy, OH 45373.

William I. Schoenfeld, age 97, passed away on March 26. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Schoenfeld; parents, Maurice and Beatrice Schoenfeld; brother, Arnold Schoenfeld; sisters, Rose Ross and Helene Westerman. He is survived by his sons, Roger Schoenfeld and Scott (Joanie) Schoenfeld; daughter, Tovah Leah (Gabi) Nachmani; grandchildren, Brad, Ross (Kim), Todd (Brittany), Karen (Ryan), Lauren (Ted), Dan (Molly), Matan (Ruti), Michal (Shlomi), Ariel (Hodaya), Rachel (Mordechai), Amichai (Naama), Tehila (Yehuda) and Talia (Ro’ee); and 23 great-grandchildren. Bill was born in 1926 in Port Huron, Mich. He and his late wife Ruth moved to Dayton in 1955 when he was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In 1957, he founded his CPA firm, William Schoenfeld & Co. He was active in the Jewish community in Dayton, serving on the board of the Jewish Federation. He and his wife Ruth were members of Temple Israel and then Beth Abraham Synagogue. Bill retired in 2015 and moved to Columbus in 2021 to be closer to his family. Bill was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He always made family and friends a priority, even as he built his successful accounting practice. He was blessed with a kind heart, an unwavering moral compass, a strong work ethic, and a quick wit that endeared him to so many people throughout his long life. His legacy will live on in all those who were fortunate to know him. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery, Dayton. Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to Tenufa Bakehila (, a relief organization founded by Gabi Nachmani that repairs homes of the needy in Israel.

Lois Brook Unger of Dayton, passed away on April 15. Along with her parents, she was proceeded in death by her husband of 67 years, Gilbert Unger, daughter Rachelle Sherman, sister Shirley Klausner, great-grandsons Shiloh and Eli Jacobson, as well as in-laws and dear lifelong friends. She is survived by children Susie and Eddie Katz, Philip and Helen Unger, Amelia and David Ramer, and Richard Sherman; grandchildren Michael and Lauren Sherman, Ben and Hope Katz, Allison and Stephen Friedman, Alex Jacobson, Jacob and Kelly Unger, Rachael and Josh Sheradsky; and many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends, all of whom both adored her and depended on her for her strength and wisdom. She will be dearly missed. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery.

To read the complete May 2024 Dayton Jewish Observer, click here.

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