Obituaries, April 2021 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Obituaries, April 2021


Ruth Beder  

Ruth Beder, of Bayside, died on Jan. 23, 2021, at the age of 89. She was born in Milwaukee and the loving wife of Albert Beder. Dear mother of Jeff (Heidi) Beder, Rick Beder, Gary (Sherri) Beder, and Melissa (Michael) Spanjar. Caring sister of Mayta Schnoll and preceded in death by siblings Milton Turner and Beatrice Seidel. Adoring Bauby of Joy (Ben) OBrien, Beth (Merritt) Steinbach, Crystal Beder, Stephanie (Brandon) Thorn, Jessica Blackford, Kaitlin (Daniel) Pysno, and Jacob Spanjar. Great Bauby to Arthur Harmon, Gwen Steinbach, Luke and Natalie Thorn, Madison and Nikko Blackford, and Max Pysno. Further survived by other relatives and friends. Memorials to Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid General Fund. Blane Goodman Funeral Services assisted the family. 

Marvin Bensman 

Dr. Marvin R. Bensman of Weston, Florida died March 2, 2021, at the age of 83. He was born in Two Rivers to David and Rose Swerdlow Bensman, and grew up in Sheboygan. He was devoted to his wife Harriet, as well as his children and grandchildren. He leaves behind his daughter, Lauren B. Adkins of Weston, and his son, David A. Bensman (Saiko) of Bartlett, Tennessee. He also leaves his grandson, Berret Adkins and two granddaughters, Rebecca Bensman and Raven Adkins, his sister Laeh McHenry, his sister-in-law Sandra Bresnick and his uncle Morton Swerdlow, as well as his nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces. Dr. Bensman, after receiving his B.A., went on to teach high school at Sheboygan North High School. He returned to school to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and then a J. D. degree from the University of Memphis. After this he taught at the University of Vermont and at the University of Memphis. He was a noted scholar in the field of Broadcast History and Communications Law. He was an author of three books and scores of articles. He loved old radio, movies and was a voracious reader. He and his family were long time members of Beth Sholom Synagogue. The family requests donations be made to the Kidney Foundation, Beth Shalom Synagogue or a charity of donor’s choice. 

David Boxer 

David Boxer, born July 20, 1944, died on Feb. 23, 2021, after a stroke. David went to high school in Whitefish Bay and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as Marquette Law School where he received his J.D. degree. He lived in Milwaukee for 70 years before moving to Orange County to be near his son’s family. While he originally worked in law, he eventually made the change to being a restauranteur and owned Mo’s Chicken, The Coffee Trader, and Henry’s. His favorite past times were watching Broadway musicals, New Age Music, and cooking delicious meals. His greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren. He is survived by his brother, Richard Boxer, and his children, Josh (Yvette) Boxer, Juli (Boxer) Sherman, and Joanna (Boxer) Sanford, and 9 grandchildren. Donations can be mailed to: Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, ATTN: In Memory of David Boxer, PO Box 896076, Charlotte, NC 28289-6076. 

Barbara Burko  

Barbara found peace while surrounded by family on Feb. 25, following a long illness. She is survived by Henry Burko, her husband of nearly 69 years, and their children: Julie (Michael) Czerwinski of Florida, Robert Burko (Randi Kreger) of Milwaukee, and Terry Burko (David Taggart) of Glendale. Other survivors include her brother Edward Treisman of Michigan, step-granddaughter Jessica Quimby (Tony Harp) of Ohio, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Barbara excelled in her artistic endeavors – music, dancing, sewing, and theater. Dance might have been her chosen path if not for an injury in her 20s. Following the family’s move to Milwaukee in 1978, Barb earned a bachelor’s degree in theater from University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a Master’s in Oral Communication from Marquette. She was chosen to lead a theater program for challenged youth at Hamilton High School in Sussex, a particularly joyous accomplishment for her. Barb looked for ways to serve those facing challenges and disadvantages. Barb made a friend of virtually anyone with whom she interacted, so birthday and anniversary celebrations were always packed with a broad variety of people who loved her. The family would like to acknowledge our special bonds with the Radicevic family of Three Brothers Restaurant with special gratitude for all the love and attention they offered Barb over many years. Thanks go to Barb’s home caregivers, Dina, Luz, Raquel and Beverly, who provided steady compassionate care with their warm touch. Gordon Steckler’s presence helped assure a steady flow of humor, ample supplies of brisket, and smooth operation of the household while Barb was ill. The family has gratitude for Horizon Home Care & Hospice, particularly Cheryl Faller, for caring, professional support. 

A funeral service via Zoom was held at Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home on February 28th.  Memorial donations to the WI Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society appreciated. 

Rose Chrustowski  

Rose Chrustowski (nee Cygler) died on March 15, 2021, at the age of 98. She was born to Yossel and Yachet Cygler on March 18, 1923 in Katowice, Poland and was married to the love of her life, the late Arthur Chrustowski, for 53 years. Rose grew up in Strzemiesyce, Poland, and her life changed dramatically when the Nazis invaded in September 1939.  She was taken from her family, forced to work in various camps and eventually liberated from the Bergen Belsen death camp in April 1945. Her mother and siblings perished in Auschwitz, and her father died in Buchenwald shortly after the war. 

After marrying Arthur, they emigrated to the U.S. through Ellis Island, and eventually settled in Milwaukee in 1949. They worked hard to provide for their three children. Rose was involved in numerous charitable organizations and her greatest joy came from baking and cooking for her family and friends. She was known throughout her close-knit Jewish community for her homemade gefilte fish. 

Rose felt it was very important to educate young people about the Holocaust. She shared her experiences with school children and church and synagogue groups throughout the state. Rose is survived by her daughters, Betty Chrustowski, Jeanette (Bruce) Peckerman and Judy Chrustowski-Garfinkel (Doug Garfinkel); grandchildren, Danyelle (Jeff), Rachel (Michael), David (Talia), Jason and Alex; and six great-grandchildren. Rose was known for always looking lovely, for her warmth and her sweet smile. She will be remembered by her family for her strength, her perseverance and her love for her family and Yiddishkeit. Contributions to the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, 1360 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202 are appreciated. Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. 

Grigory Gurovich 

Grigory Gurovich died on March 14, 2021, at the age of 83. Beloved husband of the late of Natalia Davidzon. Cherished father of Michael (Nely) Gurovich and Arkady (Vita) Gurovich. Loving grandfather of Alex, David, Yanna and Veronica Gurovich. Further survived by other loving relatives and dear friends. A private graveside service was held on Tuesday, March 16, at Mount Zion Cemetery with Rabbi Yaakov Elman officiating. Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions made to the charity of your choice appreciated. 

Sherwin Peltin  

Sherwin Peltin died on Feb. 21, 2021. Sherwin was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and spent nearly all of his life in that area. He was the son of the late Alvin and the late Rebecca Peltin (nee Weisfeldt). Sherwin was a legal scholar, earning advanced degrees in law and federal taxation. After completing his military service in the Korean War, Sherwin became a leading tax and business lawyer and CPA, working into his 80s. Sherwin also served as a trustee of the Village of Bayside and President of Congregation Shalom. Sherwin was devoted to the late Julie Peltin (nee Stern), his wife of 67 years, as well as their three children, the late Laurie Peltin Merar, Steve (Nena) Peltin of Seattle, Washington, and Bill (Saree) Peltin of Long Grove, Illinois. He also cherished his relationship with his six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Sherwin and Julie traveled widely, but also enjoyed opening their home to family and friends and cheering on the University of Wisconsin Badgers. Private services were held with Rabbi Noah Chertkoff officiating. Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family.  

Donations in Sherwin’s memory can be made to the Wisconsin School of Business Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, to COVID-19 relief through The Fund for Jewish MKE at, or to Congregation Shalom, 

Ken Plavnick 

Ken Plavnick died on Jan. 15, 2021, at the age of 85, with his family at his side. Private services were held at Restland Cemetery in Plano, Texas, and officiated by Chabad of Frisco Rabbi Mandy Kesselman. Beloved husband of 64 years to Marlene Plavnick. Father to Jay (Jill), Gary (Leah), and Cindy Rubin. Proud grandfather to Lauren, David, Arielle, Nathan, and Lexi. While previously a Wisconsinite, three years ago, Ken made the move to Frisco, Texas, to be close to his beloved daughter and grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him. 

Edward Allan Pereles

Dorothy Rothman  

Dorothy Rothman (nee Weill) was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1929. Escaping the Holocaust at age 10, she was grateful to be welcomed to the United States. For the last 61 years, she lived in her Wauwatosa home, proud of her status as wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Married for 57 years to late radio and television personality Lee Rothman, Dorothy’s steadfast support was vital to his career success. She was known for keeping an immaculate house and for her ability to do the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink. Dorothy was a longtime member of Congregation Shalom, with stints as Girl Scout leader, PTA member, president of the Variety Club Women’s Auxiliary, and VA volunteer. Her home was always open to family and friends. Dorothy happily attended countless school concerts, dance recitals, and theater productions, while always in tune with political and world events. Above all else, she cherished time with her family. She leaves behind two daughters, Lynne Pearson (Richard) and Susan Dwyer Loveridge (James), and six granddaughters: Amy O’Day (Quinn), Lori Lancaster (Jeffrey), Lisa Cook (Michael), Beth Mulkerron (Bryan), Amanda Santiago (Juan), and Allison Sielaff (William). She will also be missed by her beautiful brood of great-grandchildren who loved and admired their Omi, and special friends Elizabeth Callan and Rob Dwyer. With gratitude to the angels from St. Camillus, Wauwatosa, who enabled her to remain in her beloved home until the very last moment. Private services were held. Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. Memorials to the Holocaust Education Resource Center ( appreciated. 

Dorene Sager 

Dorene Sager of Scottsdale, Arizona, died on March 7, 2021, at the age of 79. She had cancer. She is survived by her spouse of 60 years, Jay Sager, brother; Armin (Holly) Feldman, children; Debbie (Eric) Toizer, Jeff (Wendi) Sager, and Allan Sager. Grandchildren; Sam, Barbara, and Andy Toizer, and Josh, Ben, and Danny Sager. Dorene spent a majority of her life in Wisconsin, first attending Shorewood High School and then the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She loved to bake and cook, and nothing made her happier than entertaining guests. She was a member of Temple Shalom, and previously a member of Temple Emanu-El. Memorial donations may be sent to Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona, or City of Hope. Fountain Hills Mortuary assisted the family. 

Charlotte Shavzin 

Charlotte Shavzin (nee Stein) died Dec. 19, 2020, age 95. Born April 27, 1925, in Milwaukee to Dora and Sam Stein. Dear mother of Richard (Judy Blue) Shavzin, Jeffrey (Debra Medzon) Shavzin, David Shavzin, and Donna (Leo) Kleiner. Adoring grandmother of Emily (Jennifer) Gruener; Claire, Julia, and Daniel Shavzin; Jacob and Evan Kleiner, and great-grandmother of Christopher Aguilar. Preceded in death by her loving husband Arthur and sister Lorraine Klein. Further survived by brother-in-law Morris Klein and many other relatives and friends. The family would like to thank the staff at Terova Senior Living (Sarah Chudnow), especially those in the memory care unit, for their care and compassion. A private funeral service was held on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Donations in Charlotte’s memory may be made to Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid, Jewish Family Services, or Southern Poverty Law Center. Blane Goodman Funeral Service assisted the family.