Obituaries, August 2019 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Obituaries, August 2019


John Livingston Fried

John Livingston Fried of Milwaukee died May 23, 2019. He was 90.

John was born Feb. 18, 1929 in Milwaukee.

He graduated from Lawrence University in 1951. John was a star basketball player for the school. He graduated with a degree in business.

John was a member of Congregation Sinai and longtime owner of Blue Star Knitting. He won the super senior division of the Senior Olympics in racquetball and squash. Also was interested in all sports, especially golf.

He is survived by spouse Bunny Alberts Fried and children Sally (Lawrence) Fried Reiner of New York, Ed (Kathy) of Brookfield, Billy (Donna) of Minocqua, and Michael of San Francisco. Further survived by six grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Pre-deceased by his sister, Mary Fried Miller of New York. Memorial contributions may be sent to the charity of your choice.

Russell Andrew Graff

Russell Andrew Graff of Madison died June 29, 2019. He was 64.

The eldest of Daniel Aaron Graff and Marion (Kaplan) Graff, Russell was born March 23, 1955 in Manitowoc.

Russ is survived by his spouse, Dale Graff; sisters Leah Joy Duckworth and Ann Graff Banks; their spouses David and Richard; mother-in-law Lois; brother- and sister-in-law Robert and Linda McAllister; aunt Virginia Graff, as well as multiple nieces, nephews and cousins.

Russell loved family. He telephoned everybody, keeping his spirits up as he managed a life with progressive disability related to juvenile onset diabetes. Russ was a huge Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan and enjoyed keeping up on current events.

Burial was July 19 at Prairie Mound Cemetery, Oregon, Wisconsin. Rabbi Jonathan Biatch of Temple Beth El in Madison conducted a graveside service and eulogy. Memorials may be sent to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at

Bernice Holzman

Bernice (nee Weller) Holzman of Scottsdale, Arizona died June 27, 2019. She was 97.

Bernice was born July 23, 1921 in Milwaukee.

Bernice died with her devoted family at her side, having been preceded in death by the love of her life, Daniel D. Holzman in 1989. They met at age 15. She was the wonderful, caring and beautiful mother of Stuart (Michele) Holzman and Marilyn (Scott) Levin. She was the adored and loving “NiNi” of grandchildren: Jay (Jess) Levin, Raquel (Scott) Adashek; Karli and Danny Levin, Becca (Eric) Hughes and Ryan Taylor; great-grandchildren: Dylan and Kyle Adashek, Maks and Stella Levin, Riley, Corey and Toby Hughes. She is also survived by her dear sister-in-law Reggie Holzman and loving nieces, nephews and cousins. Much appreciation to the loving, caring and excellent staff and devoted care of Atria Park and Sage Hospice. She will always be remembered, missed and have a special place in the hearts of her family and all who knew her.

Funeral services were July 1, 2019 at Congregation Shalom, with interment at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Cemetery. Rabbi Ronald Shapiro and Blane Goodman Funeral Service assisted the family.  Memorials to Congregation Shalom, 7630 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Fox Point, WI 53217; Temple Menorah, 9363 N. 76th St., Milwaukee, WI 53223; Autism Speaks.

Joseph Karp

Joseph Karp of Milwaukee died June 30, 2019. He was 91.

Joseph was born July 9, 1927. Loving husband of the late Sally Karp for almost 70 years. Dear father of Jeffrey (Vance Larson) Karp and David (Donna) Karp. Cherished grandfather of Shelley (Brian) Renzelman, the late Andrew Karp; Michael (Megan) Karp and Kelley Karp. Great-grandfather of Dylan Grueneberg and Kyle, Ean, and Bryce Renzelman. Memorials to Sarcoma Foundation of America or Congregation Shalom. July 2 burial at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Cemetery with Rabbi Ron Shapiro and Blane Goodman Funeral Service.

Milton Raymond Kulakow

Milton Raymond Kulakow of Brookfield died June 13, 2019. He was 83.

He is survived by June (nee Mackman) Kulakow, son Arthur (Marcy) Kulakow, daughter Jodi (Jeffrey) Amidon and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Also survived by brother Stanley (Sally) Kulakow and other family and friends.

Memorial donations welcome to the Alzheimer’s Association and Congregation Emanu-El of Waukesha.

June 16 burial was at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Cemetery with Rabbi Ron Shapiro and Goodman-Bensman Funeral Home.

Bess Lerner

Bess (nee Shein) Lerner of Milwaukee died June 8, 2019. She was 99.

Bess was born in Milwaukee on June 8, 1920.

She was predeceased by spouse Henry Lerner in 2011. She is survived by her sons Jay (Bobette), Kent (Eileen), Ross (Nancy), and daughter Meris. Further survived by grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a dear part of the family, Lois Goldberg.

Funeral services were June 12 with burial at Mound Zion Cemetery, with assistance from Goodman-Bensman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions appreciated to Cure SMA, 925 Busse Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007.

Aleksandr Milenkiy

Aleksandr Milenkiy of Shorewood died June 14, 2019. He was 93.

He was born Oct. 29, 1925 in Minsk, Belarus. He was predeceased by spouse Tsilya Genkina in 2005.

Aleksandr volunteered in Red Army Infantry to fight Nazi Germany in fall of 1942 at age 17. He participated in big Battle of Kursk in summer 1943.  In October of 1943 after he got wounded crossing the Dnieper river under enemy fire, he was captured by Germans. Then he was a prisoner in Sachsenhausen concentration camp just north of Berlin, where he joined an international resistance group opposed to the Nazis. In April, 1945 he was liberated by US Army. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, he came to the United States.

Aleksandr came to Milwaukee from Belarus in 1992. He earned a Ph.D. in psychology.

Survivors include daughter Svetlana Kordun and sons Oleg Milenky and Yevgeny Milenky.

Burial was at Mound Zion Cemetery June 17, with assistance from Goodman-Bensman Funeral Home, with Rabbi Elman.

Aidel Samuels

Aidel Samuels of Brooklyn, New York died May 9, 2019. She was 92.

Born in Czechoslovakia on Aug. 21, 1926, she was predeceased by spouse Rabbi Moshe Samuels in 1986. She was employed with the Jewish Association Serving the Aging and the New York Jewish Federation for 55 years. She was a social worker and was devoted to helping people and distributing charity. Aidel survived the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Survivors include sons Rabbi Yoseth Samuels of Milwaukee, Rabbi Shragi Samuels of Jerusalem and daughter Leah Bamberger of Manchester, England. Also survived by brothers Rabbi Asher Samuels of Brooklyn, New York, Rabbi Dov Samuels of Monsey, New York and Rabbi Eli Samuels of Brooklyn, New York. Aidel leaves behind many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Burial was at Mount Judah Cemetery on May 5 in Jerusalem. Aidel’s children served as rabbi, with assistance from the Yereim Orthodox Chapel in Brooklyn.

Memorial contributions are welcome to Chabad of Downtown, P.O. Box 510525, Milwaukee, WI 53203.

Shirley J. Sweet

Shirley J. Sweet of Milwaukee died April 11, 2019. She was 99.

Born July 27, 1919 in Milwaukee to Sam and Anna Rubin, she was predeceased by her dear husband Arthur M. Sweet.

Shirley was an elementary school teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools for many years. She and her husband were longtime members of Congregation Beth El Ner Tamid. She was a lifelong reader, kept abreast of political and social developments, and was always open to learning new things. Most of all, she cherished her family and many wonderful friends. For the past 10 years she resided at Ovation Chai Point.

She is survived by children Nancy Thomadsen and Steven Sweet, and grandchildren Raphael (Jillian Adler) Thomadsen, Jordana (Nathan Eisenberg) Thomadsen, Randall Sweet, Wesley (Kelley) Sweet, and Natalie Sweet, and great-grandchildren Andrew, Ryan, and Joshua Thomadsen and Ashley and Halia Eisenberg, as well as extended family and dear friends.  She was preceded in death by sisters Esther Werba and Gertrude Turetsky.

Burial was April 12, 2019 at Mound Zion Cemetery with Rabbi Joel Alter officiating, and Goodman-Bensman Funeral Home assisting the family.

Donations to a charity of one’s choice or doing an extra act of kindness in her memory are always appreciated.

Phoebe S. Wechsler

Phoebe S. (nee Rosenfeld) Wechsler of Fox Point died May 11, 2019. She was 84.

Phoebe was predeceased by spouse Ronald F. Wechsler in 1995. 

Born in New York City on April 20, 1935, she came to Wisconsin from Princeton, New Jersey in 1991. A 1954 graduate of Brooklyn College, after attending Midwood High School 405 in Brooklyn, she became an administrative assistant at Nicolet High School in Glendale. She also worked for the Boy Scouts of America in Glencoe, Illinois. Phoebe worked at Educom and the Institute for Advanced Study, both at Princeton, New Jersey. At the Institute for Advanced study, she was tasked with compiling advisory studies from more than 300 scientists, prior to the publication of a book, “A Decade of Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics.”

Phoebe was a member of Congregation Shalom and a lifelong Milwaukee Art Museum volunteer. She lived in a multi-generational home with her daughter’s family for 26 years. She loved owls, was a past membership chair of B’nai B’rith Women in New Jersey and a past program chair for Hadassah in Milwaukee.

She was an avid New York Times reader and crossword puzzle solver, using only red ink. She was a patron of the arts and enjoyed needlework and knitting for the needy.

Survivors include brother Walter (Carole) Rosenfeld of Plainview, New York; daughter Linda (Craig) Settler of Fox Point; son Bruce (Jackie) Wechsler of Denver, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Cremation was held. Services provided by rabbis Ronald Shapiro and Noah Chertkoff, with Northshore Funeral Services.

Memorial contributions welcome to Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center, W4953 County H, Fredonia, WI 53021.

Nora Zien

Nora Zien of Baltimore died April 25, 2019. She was 98.

She was predeceased by spouse Herbert D. Zien.

Born Aug. 19, 1920 in Warren, Minnesota, Nora came to Wisconsin from Spring Grove, Minnesota in 1938. A graduate of Spring Grove High School, Nora earned a degree from Milwaukee Hospital Nursing School in 1942. She held a bachelor’s degree in science in nursing.

Nora was a member of Congregation Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion in Baltimore. She worked as both a registered nurse and, later, a managing editor of Wisconsin Beverage Journal. She enjoyed spending time with her growing family, reading, history, parsha classes and mahjong.

She is survived by three children: sons Dovid/William (Ziporah) Zien of Haifa, Israel; Yaakov/Tom (Susie) Zien of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel; daughter: Bebe Abergel of Baltimore; 12 grandchildren, 36 (double chai) great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

Nora Zien’s mother died only eight days after she was born. Raised by an aunt and later by her grandmother, she moved to Wisconsin after high school. Nora was often described by others as dignified and regal – a quality one doesn’t see so often. Her quiet strength and love of Yiddishkeit merited her to raise a large family committed to Torah and mitzvot – of which she was most proud.

Burial was at Spring Hill Cemetery, April 29, 2019, with Rabbi Dovid Rapoport and Blane Goodman Funeral Service. Memorial contributions are welcome to Lubavitch of Wisconsin or the Peltz Center for Jewish Life.