Obituaries, July 2024 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Obituaries, July 2024 

Boris Bakalinsky 

Passed away on May 25, 2024 at the age of 86. 

Beloved husband of Svetlana Bakalinsky (nee Sidelman).  Loving father of Boris (Anna) Bakalinsky. Further survived by three grandchildren, other relatives and friends. 

Graveside service held May 26, 2024 at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Cemetery, Milwaukee. Rabbi Moishe Rapoport officiated. Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. Memorial contributions to the charity of your choice appreciated. 

Jack Gerald Cohen 

Jack Gerald Cohen died peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 16, 2024, at the ripe age of 96. He was quick to remind everyone that he’d had a long, great life.  

Jack was born in Milwaukee on December 15, 1927, to Ruben and Bella Cohen, middle child of sisters Faye (Sloane) and Gloria (Shapiro). They grew up in the apartment above his parents’ business, Ruben Cohen Delicatessen, on 17th and North Ave. His father later sold the business to Jake Levin, and the deli still operates to this day as Jake’s Deli. 

Jack graduated from North Division H.S. and received a degree in Business from UW-Madison. In 1954, at the Lubavitch temple Jack married Charlotte (Stern), the much-professed love of his life. They were blessed with four children: David, Barry, Lawrence and Stacy. The Cohens were members of Temple Emanuel, living within walking distance when the synagogue was across from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

Jack opened his own deli in Shorewood, “Cohen’s Nosherei”. Two years later, Jack sold the restaurant to Werner Benjamin and that deli continues to operate to this day as Benji’s. A career in restaurant supply sales followed, with Jack eventually transitioning into selling Mayflower Life Insurance with Mike Krasno and Thomas Mueller. A stint selling cars at Humphrey Chevrolet rounded out Jack’s era of salesmanship.  

In the late 1960s, Jack purchased and operated a laundromat across from UWM around the corner from Green’s Book Store, the start of a successful career which grew to include four additional laundromats. The business brought Jack much satisfaction, not least because he was able to offer employment to his children. After retiring from the laundromat business, Jack became a private investigator for several attorneys, a job Jack found truly fascinating.   

The couple eventually moved to an oceanside condo in Hollywood, Fla., where for 20 years they enjoyed swimming, taking classes, attending the ballet and opera, and in general basking in the glow of a place they considered paradise. Jack and Charlotte loved to travel and see the sights. Jack, a competitor on his high school swim team, continued to swim laps until the age 92. In December of 2021, Jack and Charlotte relocated to Maple Grove, Minn. to enjoy the care of daughter Stacy (Share) and her husband Michael.  

Jack and Charlotte had been married for 68 years when Charlotte passed away in the summer of 2022. Jack was also preceded in death by his parents and older sister Faye (Sloane). Surviving Jack are all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a younger sister, a nephew and two nieces.  

A Celebration of Life to honor Jack will be held on Sunday, Aug. 11 from noon until 5 p.m. in the barn at the home of his son Barry (Ellen O’Brien), N9661 Willow Rd., Elkhart Lake. All are welcome.   

Jordan N. Fink 

Jordan N. Fink, M.D. died on May 10. He was the beloved husband of Phyllis Fink, (nee Mechanic). Loving father of Leslie (Brad) Gordesky, Rosanne (Craig) Silver, and Robert (Tamara) Fink. Proud grandfather of 6 and great-grandfather to 12. Dr. Fink was a world-renowned physician and academic, and a groundbreaking pioneer in the field of Allergy/Immunology research. He was a fixture in the Milwaukee Jewish community, as a member of Beth Israel for almost 60 years, a camp doctor and committee member and chair of Camp Interlaken JCC. Services have been held.  For the full obituary and information on contributions in memory of Jordy, please visit

Samuel Gahr 

Dr. Samuel Gahr, DDS, of Sarasota, Fla., died on June 16, 2024, at the age of 96. Sam was born June 1, 1928, and lived in Milwaukee through his 80s. Sam was a kind and outgoing man, and a Korean War Veteran. He made friends easily, and many were lifelong. He kept his unique sense of humor to the end. Sam loved to shop and eat out. He played racquetball until the pandemic closed the courts; this was when he was in his early 90s! He especially loved dogs. He will be deeply missed by family and friends.  

Sam is survived by his wife of 62 years, Rona Gahr (nee Borkon), and his three children: Gailya (the late Robert) Paliga of Raleigh, NC, Steven (Debra) Gahr of Sussex, WI, and Deborah (John) Barrett of Venice, Fla. He is also survived by five grandchildren: Elise Paliga, Julia & Jason Gahr, Rebecca (Cole) Barrett–Brathol & Mia Barrett. 

Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Max and Yetta Gahr, and by four siblings and their spouses: Bonnie (Ben) Zaret, Louis (Lillian) Gahr, David (Ruth) Gahr, Rose (Phil) Stein. He was also predeceased by his brother-in-law, Daniel Borkon, and is survived by his sister-in-law, Diane Borkon of Cedarburg.  

Sam loved to spend time with his children and grandchildren.  He was dearly loved by them and also by his many nieces and nephews.  He communicated daily with his children and his nephew Jerry Zaret until the end.  

He received his dental degree at Marquette University Dental School of Milwaukee, and his bachelor’s degree at University of Wisconsin, in Madison. 

When he was a child, Sam received free dental services at Mount Sinai Hospital, Milwaukee.  Later, he spent years giving back by volunteering his dental services.  He also volunteered running games at a nursing home in Sarasota for a few years. 

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent in Sam’s memory to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 

Shia Ben-Hur 

Dr. Shia Ben-Hur died June 10, 2024 at the age of 87.   

Beloved husband of Candace Ben-Hur (nee Dondero).  Cherished father of Gia, Daniel and the late Evan Ben-Hur.  Loving grandfather of Jonah and Jennaclaire and Ryan Ben-Hur.  Dear brother of the late Uri Ben-Hur.  Further survived by other loving relatives and many dear friends. 

Shia was a prominent veterinarian for over 30 years, a real estate entrepreneur and businessman.  He will be missed. 

A graveside service was held on June 14th at Mound Zion Cemetery, Brookfield.  Rabbis Avremi Schapiro and Cheski Edelman officiated.  Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions made to Israeli Children’s Fund appreciated. 

Richard Low Kahn 

Richard Low Kahn, 90, died in Palm Springs, Calif., on June 17, 2024. 

Dick was born in Appleton on July 8, 1933 to Elise Low Kahn and Herbert Mandel Kahn. He attended grade school and junior high in Appleton until 1947 when his family moved to the Milwaukee area. Dick attended Whitefish Bay High School, graduating in 1951. While at Purdue University, he was part of a greeting committee that welcomed a train with new freshman, and on this train was his future bride, Maureen Ball of Chicago. Maureen and Dick were married September 2, 1956. Dick and Maureen moved to Madison,  where Dick obtained a master’s degree in business administration. Upon graduation they moved to Milwaukee and had two children, Julie Ellen and Michael Alan. They raised their children in Whitefish Bay, with grandparents close by in Glendale and Fox Point. 

Dick pursued a career in engineering, working for A. O. Smith and General Merchandise where he was a programmer for the very first IBM computers. He also had numerous business interests, which eventually led him to more schooling to obtain his Stockbroker License and Certification as a Financial Analyst. After a dedicated career as a trust officer and analyst, he retired from Robert Baird and Company to do private consulting work. 

Dick had a multitude of interests that ranged from sports to art. Even though he retired 35 years ago, he stated that he never ever was bored, not even for a minute. Dick was always busy, no idle time in his life and he was engaged in higher learning, community and religious volunteer work. His lifelong interest in sports could be attributed to his time as a young boy at North Star Camp and cheering for the Green Bay Packers. He loved playing tennis and golf, sailing and snow skiing, reading, bridge and photography. Dick was an officer of Congregation Sinai, a trustee for the Village of Whitefish Bay, and a board member of North Shore Country Club in Mequon.  

Above everything else Dick was a caring and loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend for life. He never missed a tennis tournament, track meet, cross country event, horseshow, camp musical, or orchestra concert. He attended his grandchildren’s special events whether they were in Whitefish Bay or Springfield, Missouri. He was a treasured grandpa, beloved by his four grandchildren. He was known to granddaughter Erin and her family as Boppy.  

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, his beautiful wife and mother of his children, Maureen Lois Ball Kahn (September 1994) and his second wife Judi Weil Kahn (December 2008). 

Dick is survived by his children Julie Ellen Kahn (Sam Bradley) Squires, Springfield, Missouri; Michael Alan (Margaret) Kahn, Kenosha, Wisconsin; grandchildren Kathleen Kahn, Robert Kahn, Peter Kahn, Erin (Aaron) Olson; great-grandsons Sam and Sterling Olson; brother, Charles Herbert (Teri) Kahn, Los Angeles, California; cousin, Tony (Jan) Joseph, Sarasota, Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his very special love of the past 15 years, Susie Freeman; her daughters Ellie (Jeff) Byrd, Kathy Lederman, Gail Feinstein; and her many grandchildren. 

Funeral services were June 21, 2024, at Congregation Sinai, 8223 N. Port Washington Rd., Fox Point. Interment at Greenwood Cemetery, 2615 W. Cleveland Ave., Milwaukee. Memorials to Congregation Sinai. 

Rabbi David Cohen and Blane Goodman Funeral Service assisted the family.  

Beverly Lakritz 

Beverly Lakritz (Nee Picus) Passed away June 10, 2024 at the age of 91.  Beloved wife of the late Samuel Lakritz.  Cherished mother of Gary Lakritz, Glenn (Nina) Lakritz and Gregg Lakritz.  Loving grandmother of Justin and Stephanie Lakritz, Melissa (Nathan) Lauterbach, Jennifer, Nathan and Madison Lakritz.  Further survived by other loving relatives and dear friends. 

A graveside service was held on June 14th at Mound Zion Cemetery, Brookfield.  Rabbi Steve Adams officiated.  Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. Memorial contributions made to the charity of your choice appreciated. 

Robert Evan Leib 

Robert Evan Leib, known to his loved ones as Bob, died in his home on Thursday morning, May 23, 2024, at the age of 73.  

He is survived by his wife, Felice; his children Melissa (Brian), Ted (Libby), and Andrew; and his grandchildren Brooks, Oliver, Jonathan, Vivian, and Penny, who affectionately called him Zadie. 

Born on Dec. 9, 1950, in Los Angeles at Temple Hospital, Bob was a mentor and role model for his younger brothers Sam (Rosalie), Mitch (Stacy), and Dan (Judy). He was an extraordinary athlete and sports fanatic, playing in the 1965 U.S. Western Regional Championship. He played on University of Wisconsin’s Hockey team in 1968, donating his front teeth to the sport during practice. He was the first stick boy for the NHL team “The Kings” when they moved to Los Angeles. He was also a lifelong skilled golfer and would custom-build clubs in his basement workshop.  

After graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison, he attended law school and became a member of the California and Wisconsin Bar. He received a master’s in tax law from Boston University, earning a C.P.A. degree, and went on to become a Global Partner with the worldwide accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Company. His practice focused on professional sports team franchising and stadium financing, which led to the formation of his own firm, The Leib Group. Bob participated in monumental transactions in the MLB (Los Angeles Dodgers), NHL (Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, and Nashville Predators), NBA (Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors), and the creation of the Jackie Robinson Ballpark.  

Bob was a voracious reader, especially of World War II history and British spy novels. Bob could tell a story like no other, almost all of which were humorous and self-deprecating. He’d tell jokes and laugh so hard in the process that you’d end up laughing harder at him cracking up instead of the joke itself. He loved playing guitar with his sons, as well as collecting and rebuilding obscure Japanese vintage guitars. 

Bob was happiest when surrounded by family. As a father, one of his remarkable qualities was his sage advice-giving. He possessed an art of offering support and guiding through life’s decisions without imposing his solutions. With attentive ears and a non-judgmental demeanor (mostly), he was a steadfast supporter, instilling the belief that no challenge was insurmountable. His warmth extended to his kids’ circle of friends, who found in him a welcoming presence. 

There were two types of people on this earth: those who loved Bob Leib, and those who didn’t know him. May his memory be a blessing. 

Bob is also survived by his nieces and nephews; brothers and sisters-in-law, and his mother-in-law, Renee Diamond. He was predeceased by his parents, Norman and Charlotte Leib; his grandparents, Samuel and Dora Leibowitz and Birdie and Earl Kolen; his first wife, Barbara Jean Hoesly Leib; her parents, Bob and Olga Hoesly; his friend and father-in-law, Leo Diamond; his sister-in-law, Ilene Diamond; and many uncles, aunts, and cousins. 

Funeral services will be held at 10 am. on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at Congregation Sinai, 8223 N. Port Washington Rd., Fox Point. Interment will follow at Mound Zion Cemetery, 14510 W. North Ave., Brookfield. Donations to the New York City Hope Lodge can be made at Blane Goodman Funeral Service and Rabbi David Cohen assisted the family. 

Merele Kay Mitz 

Merele Kay Mitz (nee Cutler) died on May 9, 2024 at the age of 76.   

Beloved wife of Howard Mitz. Loving mother of Lindsay, Carley and Cacey Mitz. Dear sister of Karen Butenhoff and Shari Gozali. Further survived by other relatives and friends. 

Graveside funeral service held May 12 at Agudas Achim Cemetery, Cudahy. Rabbi Dovid Rapoport officiated. Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. Memorial contributions to the charity of your choice appreciated. 

Scott P. Phillips 

Scott P. Phillips, Whitefish Bay, died May 8, 2024. He was 65.  

Scott graduated from Nicolet High School in 1976, then University of Wisconsin and Marquette Law School. He was a member of The Shul Bayside and an attorney.  

Survived by dear spouse Nancy Stone Phillips. Loving children Andrew (Skylar) and Stephanie; mother Nancy; brother Kenny (Julie), sister Debbie Schwartz (Jim). Scott received a kidney transplant in February 2020. He considered every day after that a “bonus” and woke up each morning filled with gratitude. 

Burial at Spring Hill Cemetery, May 10, 2024, 9 a.m. Rabbi Cheski Edelman and Blane Goodman assisted the family.  

Allan O. Salzstein 

Allan O. Salzstein died on June 5, 2024 at the age of 81.  

Preceded in death by beloved wife, Josephine G. Crosariol-Salzstein (nee Giuffre), and parents, Louis and Jean (nee Jubelirer) Salzstein. Dear brother of Harriet (Marvin) Rudack and the late Michael Salzstein. Loving uncle of Barry (Tracy) Rudack, Avi (Shoshana) Rudack and Debbie (Gary) Bruce.  Further survived by other relatives and friends. 

Graveside service held June 6, 2024 at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Cemetery, Milwaukee.  Rabbi Benzion Twerski officiated.  Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home assisted the family. Memorial contributions to the charity of your choice appreciated. 

David Raymond Waxman  

With great sadness I wish to announce the passing of my son, David Raymond Waxman; son of Linda Raymond Siegel and Irving Jack Siegel. David attended Milwaukee Jewish Day School, Nicolet High School and Boston University. He majored in geology yet had aspirations in other fields. Ultimately, he studied for three years to become an electrician.   

He was a man of many interests, from antiquing to kayaking, biking, and being an avid reader. He lived a very rich life.  

David was born into a very eclectic family. Most of the Waxman side of the family lived and lives in Israel. On his mother’s side of the family there was immense historic richness. His mother, Linda, was born and raised in Salem, Mass. She moved to Milwaukee to perform as a musician with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. David was a supportive listener, and many times would be an eager and proud audience member. They call this “Shepping Nachas.”  

In essence, David was blessed with an enormous family that loved him very deeply, and David had endless joy in sharing his life experiences with them. A humorous and gentle loving man was a joy to be around.   

As I write this obituary in honor of my son, I feel the deep pain that a mother or father would feel in losing her child so soon. May I always feel his presence.   

Love to you my sweet son.