Obituaries, December 2020

 

Mildred S. Atkins 

Mildred S. Atkins, devoted wife to Julius R. Atkins, proud, loving mother of five children, engineer, entrepreneur, pillar of the Milwaukee Jewish Community and lifelong Democrat, died on Nov. 2, in Chicago at the age of 95. Mildred was born on April 14, 1925, in Minneapolis. The family moved to Milwaukee in 1929. She graduated from high school in 1942 and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1946. She graduated summa cum laude in mechanical engineering and was one of only three women in her class. She met her husband, Julius, while he was attending law school in Milwaukee, and they were married in 1947. In 1972, she co-founded Medical Placement Services with her niece Barbara Barry. The Atkins’ were active in Democratic politics and in the Milwaukee Jewish community. Mildred started the Glendale Nursery School and chaired the North Shore United Way Campaign. She was also auxiliary president and a board member of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service. Together, Mildred and Julius raised five children, sharing with each of them their belief that hard work, passion, and commitment made any goal achievable.  

Mildred is survived by her children Dr. Maura Keene (Art), Dr. Edward Atkins (Cathy), Dr. Michael Atkins (Susan Crockin), Susan Atkins (Eben Shapiro) and Carol Atkins (David Gottlieb). She leaves 12 grandchildren (Danya, Alex and Eli Keene, Lisa and David Atkins, Ben, Melea and Jon Atkins, Emily and Isaac Shapiro, and Jennifer and Jeremy Gottlieb) and seven great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Wednesday Nov. 4 in Milwaukee at Second Home Cemetery, where Mildred was laid to rest beside Julius. Rabbi Jessica Barolsky officiated. Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, Julius and Mildred Atkins Endowment Fund. Jensen Funeral and Cremation assisted the family. 

Lori Sue Eskin 

Lori Sue Eskin died on Nov. 5, 2020, at the age of 65. She was born on September 25, 1955. Lori graduated from John Marshall High School in 1973, and then from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with her BBA in 1977. Cherished sister of Elliot (Stephen Carlson) Eskin. Dear niece of Janice (the late Fred) Meyer and Allan (Diane) Vesokie. Loving daughter of the late Marilyn Eskin (nee Vesokie) and the late Arnold Eskin. A private family service was held at Agudas Achim Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions made to the charity of your choice appreciated. 

Judie Gershaw  

Judith (Judie) Ellen Gershaw died on Nov. 14, 2020, due to COVID-19. She was 82. Judie attended Washington High School, and went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1960. Following that, she worked for All Seasons Rent All in Greenwood Village, Colorado. In her free time, she loved to do anything with family and friends.  

Judie is survived by her husband, Roger Gershaw, and her children Laura (Seth) Haller, Matt (Tracy) Gershaw. She is further survived by her borther Michael Kransky, as well as brother and sister-in-law David Gershaw and Marlene Gershaw. She was laid to rest in Mount Nebo Cemetary, with Rabbi Rick Rheins officiating. Memorial contributions can be sent to New Centry Hospice of Castle Rock. Feldman Mortuary assisted the family.  

Randee Matsoff  

Randee Matsoff (nee Berlin) died on Oct. 18, 2020, at the age of 72. 

Beloved wife and best friend for 52 years of Martin Matsoff (AKA Toots, Honey or Matsoff).  Loving mother of Marc (Jane) and Chuck (Angela) Matsoff.  Proud grandmother of Helen (fiancé Aaron Ostrander), Madeline, Austin, T, Olivia and Blaze.  Further survived by her sister and other best friend, Shelley (Todd) Parrish; sister-in-law, Judy Pinsker; brother-in-law, Alan (Judy) Matsoff; special cousin, John Lubotsky; special friends, Joann Kellman and Alan Fleming; together with nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and great friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Alvin and Nanette Berlin; sister, Gayle (Robert) Riches; and brother, Jeffrey Berlin. A special thank you to friend and doctor, Larry Pearson, for all of his wisdom and advice during these last eight years. Goodman-Bensman Funeral Home assisted the family. Memorial contributions to the charity of your choice is appreciated. 

Thelma June Montag 

Thelma June Montag died on Oct. 15, 2020, at the age of 96.  

She was born on June 20, 1924, in Milwaukee. She attended Washington High School and Marquette University. Thelma was married to her husband David for 68 years, and they were recognized by the City of Encinitas, California, as Volunteers of the Year. Thelma took pride in being the longest serving docent at the San Diego Botanic Gardens (over 35 years). She was also a volunteer at the Carlsbad Flower Fields. Everyone who knew Thelma enjoyed her zest for life, positive attitude, and joy in living each day to the fullest.  

Thelma is survived by her three children: Terri (John) Rice of Wilmette, Il., Jeff (Helen) Montag of Carlsbad, Ca., Heidi (Jim) Welsh of San Elijo Hills, Ca.; five grandchildren; eight great grandchildren. A Celebration of Life will be held next summer or fall when it is safe to gather. Memorial contributions may be sent to the San Diego Botanic Gardens. 

Tamara (Toma) Nissen  

Tamara (Toma) Nissen passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. 

She was born in Moscow (in the former Soviet Union) and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1976. They settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they have remained there ever since. She made a life with her family in a new country and was forever grateful to be able to live in America with all of the freedoms that were not afforded to her in the former Soviet Union. 

Toma, as she was known to her family and friends, was larger than life. She was kind-hearted and admired by everyone. She not only had a bubbly personality but a witty sense of humor to go along with it. 

Always the life of the party, she could entertain a room full of people and cause a mass hysteria of laughter from her countless jokes, stories, and anecdotes. 

As an accomplished violinist, music was always a large part of her life, especially classical music. With her sharp memory, she could remember and identify an innumerable amount of classical masterpieces from only hearing the first few notes being played. She passed on her love of music to all around her. 

In addition, she had a love for theater, ballet, and musicals. She became a volunteer for various theaters around the Milwaukee area. She also was part of a Russian Theater Senior Vocal Ensemble called Unison, where she played the violin. The group was comprised of fellow immigrants from the former Soviet Union. They used song and dance, and musical theater to perform for local libraries, nursing homes, and elderly communities in and around the city. 

A true fashionista, she was always up to date on the latest styles and trends. She loved bright and bold colors and her wardrobe was always top-notch. You could never find her without her makeup, her favorite pair of boots, or favorite pair of earrings and accessories, and she always would find the best deals on them. She not only looked young in appearance but she was young at heart. She was never called “Grandma,” and she was definitely a “Glam-ma.” 

She will always be remembered as a beloved wife, doting mother, proud grandmother, and even prouder great-grandmother of 3 adoring great-grandchildren, who were so fortunate to have known her. 

A private funeral service was held at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions appreciated and suggested to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra or any charity of donor’s choice.  

Rabbi Shlomo Kittner officiated.  Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. 

Ann Glasser Pereles 

Ben Tolkan