My name is Linda Silverman Shefler and I started this site. 

As of 18 October 2009 the Höchster-Hoechster-Hochster-Hexter family includes 2347 individuals, 11 generations and goes back to the mid 1600s. 

The following are some of the main surnames found in Höchster family: 



I have attempted to be as historically accurate as possible; hence both given names and surnames are spelled in their various iterations as they evolved over time.  Please be sure to try using the different spellings when you are looking for a specific individual, as the name might not be spelled the way you expect. 

Case in point; German vowels will have an umlat (two dots) over them.  When translated to other languages, many times the umlat is eliminated and an e will follow the vowel.  For example; Höchster without the umlat is spelled Hoechster.  Bründel will be spelled Bruendel.  Löb will be Loeb.  Feel free to cut and paste the letters with umlates to broaden your search.

I look forward to expanding the tree and hearing from family members who have not yet been discovered. It is almost impossible to compile a tree of this size without the help, collaboration and input of numerous people.  While there are many people who are working on their specific branches of the family, I decided to try to locate and reconnect as much of whole family as possible.  I have attempted to be as accurate as possible and to verify information whenever possible, but please let me know if you do see something that needs to be corrected.  


I would also love to include any pictures, documents and other family related items that you are willing to share.  I have been collecting these items from generous family members and will start uploading them shortly.  Any and all contributions will be appreciated by all.

The photo on the left was contributed by Barbara Schwartz Burchstead and is of Leopold and Rosa (Höchster) Mayer and their children. 

The photo on the right was contributed by Caroline Gries and is of the Hays family.  If anyone can identify the individuals please contact me so we can put some names with the faces!

We presently have family members living in the United States, Israel, Canada, Colombia, England and Switzerland. 

This is a work in progress, so please be patient as it continues to evolve.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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Nov 18, 2017
linsilv added 2 photos to album STRAUSS FAMILY
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linsilv added 4 photos to album PLAUT FAMILY
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Nov 06, 2017
linsilv updated the details of Ralph Siegmund Joseph in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Nov 03, 2017
linsilv added 2 photos to album MAYER FAMILY
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Oct 22, 2017
linsilv updated the details of Dorothy Hexter Weiler (Connelly) in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Oct 20, 2017
linsilv updated the details of Henrietta Ross (Strauss) , Cilly Zitone Katz , Meier Katz , Zillda Katz and 9 other people in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Oct 19, 2017
linsilv added 3 photos to album PLAUT FAMILY
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linsilv added the PDF document Erwin Linz Palestine Immigration H to album PLAUT FAMILY
Oct 10, 2017
linsilv updated the details of Hirsch Sondheim , Cilly Zitone Katz , Isidor Katz , Zillda Katz and 3 other people in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Oct 07, 2017
linsilv added Unknown Hochster , <Private> Bradford (Englander) and <Private> Englander II to family tree: Hoechster Family Oct 09
linsilv updated the details of Bertha Katz (Löbenstein) , Joseph Löbenstein , Gretchen Marie Elise Mohr (Roth) , Sigmund Roth and 22 other people in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
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News articles
Obituaries:WILLIAM JOSEPH ZELLERBACH - 1920-2017
Posted by: linsilv on Aug 28 2017 19:40
William J. Zellerbach died peacefully at home on February 5, 2017. Born on September 15, 1920, into a prominent San Francisco family, he was a man of enormous humility, generosity, and goodwill who valued others' humanity and integrity rather than their social or economic position. The well-being of others was prominent in his life, and he gave in many ways to organizations and individuals. Bill joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania to serve as a lieutenant after World War II broke out. Refusing an opportunity to be posted stateside, he served in a Navy beach battalion and saw combat action in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and the South Pacific. After the war, he worked for Crown Zellerbach Corporation, one of the then-largest paper manufacturers in North America that had grown from a small business operating out of a horse-drawn wagon started in San Francisco by his German Jewish immigrant great-grandfather. He served for many years as President of the Zellerbach Paper Company. He was instrumental in establishing a Boys Club in Hunters Point in 1959, and he was appointed by President Johnson to serve on his advisory committee for the Agency for International Development. As long-term Chairman of the Zellerbach Family Foundation, he was instrumental in shifting the Foundation's focus from bricks and mortar to services for the disadvantaged – especially immigrants and refugees and disadvantaged youth– as well as community arts.
Bill played golf and attended 49ers games well into his 90's (taking the bus to and from the games). He owned race horses for many years, an outgrowth of a promise he made to a subordinate when both were under heavy German fire on the beach at Salerno. The man dreamed of being a horse trainer and Bill told him that if they both survived and the man obtained a veterinary degree, Bill would back him. Years after the war the man reappeared after attending veterinary school, and Bill then entered the horse racing business. His most successful horse was named after his granddaughter.
Bill was devoted to his family and for over 70 years was the loving husband of Margery Haber Zellerbach, who predeceased him in September 2016. He is survived by his four children John Zellerbach (Mary Ellen), Thomas Zellerbach (Amy), Charles Zellerbach (Patricia), and Nancy Zellerbach Boschwitz (David); his grandchildren Joseph Zellerbach, Elizabeth Zellerbach Ruffer (Todd), Jennifer Zellerbach O'Connor, Will Zellerbach, Hilary Z. Reek (Terry), Emily Boschwitz, and Elliot Boschwitz, and two great-grandchildren Amaya and Tyler. He will be missed very much by his family and those whose lives he touched.
The family wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to the compassionate individuals who cared for Bill prior to his passing. Private services will be held.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 7 to Feb. 12, 2017
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Posted by: linsilv on June 30 2017 17:37
Ramon Schwartz Jr., widower of Rosa Weinberg Schwartz, died on Friday, June 30, 2017, at Palmetto Health Tuomey.

Schwartz was first elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1969 and was elected speaker pro tempore in 1976 and remained speaker until his retirement in 1985.

Schwartz was a World War II veteran, serving in the European Theater in 1944 and 1945.

He attended the University of South Carolina, where he was elected Student Body Vice President. He received a law degree at USC in 1950. He practice law in Sumter with the firm Schwartz, McLeod & Durant.

From 1960 to 1964 he was president of the South Carolina Jaycees and served on numerous boards including Tuomey Hospital and Solomon Home for the Aged. He was also a president of the Sumter Rotary Club and the Sumter Chamber of Commerce.

He and Rosa had four children: Barbara, Ray, Milton and Bill.

Services will be announced by Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home & Crematory, 221 Broad St., Sumter, (803) 775-9386.

For more on this story, see Sunday’s Sumter Item.

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Posted by: linsilv on Apr 4 2017 19:28

Morrell Goldsmith Biernbaum was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 26, 1895, the son of Sadie Goldsmith and Max H. Biernbaum, an iron machinist. He became "an enthusiastic mineral collector" in 1911, at the age of 16, and began taking courses in Geology at the Wagner Free Institute (with fellow students Samuel G. Gordon and Harry Trudell, among others); he received his certificate in Geology-1 in 1912 and in Geology-2 in 1913. He attended Penn Charter School in Philadelphia and went on to earn a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1917. He then took a position with the American Bridge Company in 1917, as assistant foreman in the construction of a manufacturing plant in Torrington, Connecticut. In 1920 he was working as an engineer for a shipbuilding company in Philadelphia.

He was an avid mineral collector, a member of the Philadelphia Mineralogical Society, and was donating mineral specimens to the Academy of Natural Sciences (under the name of Biernbaum) as early as 1918. On account of being persecuted as a Jew and originally not allowed to join the Philadelphia Mineralogical Society, he is said to have and converted to Episcopalian (probably ca. 1920 because he had been admitted to the Society by 1921), and changed his name to Baldwin in late 1935 or early 1936. A brief report in Henry Dake's The Mineralogists states that the November 1936 meeting of the Frankford Mineralogical Society of Philadelphia featured a talk by the "noted gem expert" Mr. Morrell G. Baldwin, owner of "a most magnificent private collection of gem stones." Again, in 1937, he gave a talk to the Philadelphia Mineralogical Society as Morrell G. Baldwin, on "Ancient and medieval gemology."

He registered for the draft in 1942 as Morrell Goldsmith Baldwin.

He took numerous mineral collecting trips to localities on the East Coast and in Nova Scotia. He assembled several mineral collections over the years, including some outstanding specimens. He acquired a major portion of the Charles Hoadley collection, and built a micromount collection of particularly attractive crystal specimens mounted in small custom boxes for viewing under a microscope. He also contributed a number of particularly attractive specimens to the Smithsonian Institution.

Biernbaum was a good friend of Rocks & Minerals founder Peter Zodac. He wrote an article on how to arrange a small collection in the June 1927 issue of Rocks & Minerals, and another in the December 1927 issue describing a 1924 collecting trip to Nova Scotia; in 1928 he was made "honorary president" of Zodac's "Rocks & Minerals Association," and was elected "honorary vice president" in 1929. He published an article on "where and how to find minerals" in December 1928, and another article in June 1931 listing himself as "Morrell G. Biernbaum, B.S., C.E." indicating that he held a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. It also confirms that his legal name change took place after 1931, leaving the mystery of why he cannot be found on the 1930 censuses (his mother had died by that time, but his father was still working as an ironwork contractor). The title of the 1931 article was "Are the 'good old days of mineral collecting gone?"

He is also mentioned in a 1921 issue of the American Mineralogist, under Miscellaneous Notes, a report of the Meeting of the Philadelphia Mineralogical Society on June 9, 1921: It states: "Mr. Biernbaum reported athree-day trip with Messrs. Frankenfield, Trudell, and Wills, to Falls of French Creek, the Birdsboro trap quarry, and Phoenixville, which resulted in turning up excellent chalcopyrite crystals at French Creek. Dr. Hawkins and Mr. Knabe reported sallies to Paterson, N. J., and O'Neills quarry, Pa., respectively, with negative results."

He is also acknowledged in a 1925 article in the American Mineralogist, (Volume 9, pages 203-252) by Edward F. Holden of the University of Michigan, in his article on "The cause of color in smoky quartz and amethyst." "Grateful acknowledgement is made of the following assistance rendered during this investigation ... M. G. Biernbaum, of Philadelphia ..." His last published article appeared in The Mineralogist in March 1935, titled simply "Micro-mounts."

Around 1936 Baldwin started a "boutique" jewelry shop ("M. G. Baldwin, Unusual gems and jewelry"), located at 1631 Locust Street in Philadelphia. In a May 1937 ad in The Sketchbook (published by the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art) he offered "Jewelry, all of special design and exquisite craftsmanship, [and] Unset gems suitable for mounting or collection." He exhibited much of his mineral collection in three large display cases in the shop. He engaged Edmund Poppy and Edmund's soon-to-be wife, Toodie Helmer. Toody designed custom jewelry and Edmund was the craftsman jeweler. The business focused on wealthy patrons, and became profitable about the time of the outbreak of World War II, when his clientele suddenly no longer wanted to spend the kind of money that was needed to support such a business. He then returned to the shipbuilding industry where he had been employed during World War I. But at age 50 he found it difficult to gain employment. He was forced to sell his entire mineral collection to private collectors, among which was Worth Acker, who was also an ardent member of the Philadelphia Mineralogical society and the second husband of Toodie.

Morrell Goldsmith Baldwin married Grace Luft (died 1991), and together they had two children: Diane (born 1930, married Joseph W. Packer and lives in Westchester, Pennsylvania) and Max (born 1933, married Beverley Carter and lives in Savannah, Georgia). Morrell died of cancer in 1948 (information obtained from his son, Max Baldwin).

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Posted by: linsilv on Mar 18 2017 19:24

A period of appalling suffering during his teenage years in Europe led to Herbert Baer finding his feet in Australia. As he looked back in his memoirs, written when he was 84, he was unsure whether to regard himself as having been born under a lucky star or, like millions of others, deprived of normality by the terrible events which tore apart civilised life in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.

Herbert was born in Cologne in 1924 into a well-established and cultured Jewish family, with roots in Germany and branches beyond. His life had been a happy and sheltered one until the Nazis came to power in 1933 and began their persecution of the Jews. One night in November, 1938, when the 14-year-old Herbert was at home with his father, five uniformed Nazi troops invaded the house around midnight, destroying furniture, books, works of art and anything else they could lay hands on.

When Herbert tried to ring the police, one of the stormtroopers threw him across the roo...

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Obituaries:ROBERT MARTIN BRY - 1964-2017
Posted by: linsilv on Mar 6 2017 19:35
Robert Martin Bry, the son of Charlene and Richman Bry (deceased), died on March 5, 2017.

Bobby was the brother of Richman Bry, Jr. (Helene) and Lauren Bry Rechan (Michael). He has five adoring children, Ryan Martin Bry, Aaron Fleming Bry, Katherine (Katie) Rose Bry, Jackson Richman Bry, and Noelle Smith.

He had boundless energy, a magnetic personality and was beloved by his many friends, uncles, aunts, and nieces and nephews, and his first wife Darlene Bry.

Bobby attended Community and MICDS (St. Louis Country Day School) graduating in 1982. In high school, he was president of his senior class, gave the graduation speech, and was on the varsity football team. He then went to Brown University graduating in 1986. From there, he attended St. Louis University Law School and was awarded the Danforth Fellowship as an outstanding law scholar. He was sworn into the Bar Association by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He worked for Sen. John Danforth in Wa...

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Obituaries:MARGERY (nee HABER) ZELLERBACH - 1921-2016
Posted by: linsilv on Jan 1 2017 17:42
Margery Haber Zellerbach died peacefully at home on September 18, 2016. She was born in San Francisco on March 31, 1921, to Harold and Hilda Haber. She is survived by William "Bill" Zellerbach, her loving husband of more than 70 years, four children John Zellerbach (Mary Ellen), Thomas Zellerbach (Amy), Charles Zellerbach (Patricia), and Nancy Boschwitz (David); their grandchildren Joseph Zellerbach, Elizabeth Zellerbach Ruffer (Todd), Jennifer Zellerbach O'Connor, Will Zellerbach, Hilary Reek (Terry), Emily Boschwitz, and Elliot Boschwitz, and two great-grandchildren Amaya and Tyler. She will be missed very much by all.
Marge loved and cared for her family intensely. She had wonderful friends who shared a life-long loyalty to one another. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman who knew her mind and set high standards. She graduated from Galileo High School, which she attended with her future husband Bill, and from the University of California at Berkeley. During World War II, she worked in procurement for the United States Navy and afterwards volunteered for organizations that focused on infants and children in need. She was an avid sportswoman who played golf with her husband and friends, attended 49ers games (from Kezar to Candlestick), and followed the racing careers of her husband's horses (whether good or bad).
The family wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to the compassionate nurses and aides who cared for Marge prior to her passing. Donations may be made in her memory to the Zellerbach Family Foundation or any charity of your choosing. Private services will be held.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25, 2016
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Posted by: linsilv on Aug 7 2016 21:19

Mark Strouse, a successful business man of San Francisco and proprietor of the Bay City Meat Market, 1136-1140 Market street, and also doing a large meat-packing business, came to the Pacific coast in 1861, when sixteen years of age. He is a native of Germany, born in 1845, received his education and spent the first sixteen years of his life in his native country. His first business in California was mining at Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras county. He obtained a mining claim, for which he was offered $10,000; this he declined, and at the end of six months left it as worthless. He turned his attention to butchering, and in the spring of 1863 went to Virginia City, Nevada, helped take 5,000 head of stock there and for six months worked in the meat market. Mr. Strouse and a brother then purchased the market and began a career of prosperity, which was continued in that city till 1880 - seventeen years. While Mr. Strouse resided there he took an active part in political and other affairs of the city. In 1868 he was elected by his party (the Democratic) Marshal of the city, and filled the position in a most business-like and creditable manner; and at the expiration of his term of office he was elected Treasurer of the city, and in this, as in his former office, his management of the financial affairs of the city gave the highest satisfaction. While Marshal of the city he had the satisfaction of arresting three notorious robbers, who had committed several crimes and were a menace to the country. They were found guilty and sent to State's prison. When Mr. Strouse came to San Francisco in 1880 he purchased his present market and engaged in business in this city, and met with success from the start, soon attaining a leading position in the business, as he has acquired the good will of a large patronage, and has in his employ seventy-five men and twelve boys. He has in his market the largest cooler on the coast, which enables him to keep his immense stock of meats in choice condition. He is a man of push, energy and large business experience, and what he undertakes succeeds. He has a valuable ranch at Honey Lake, Nevada, where he raises a part of the stock for his large business. He usually packs about thirty hogs per day, and also packs beef extensively. He cures the Emlie ham, which has acquired a wide reputation; his lard has the same brand. Mr. Strouse has belonged to many of the fraternal societies, but the pressure of business has caused him to drop most of them.

He was married in 1874 to Miss Lillie Edgeryton, a native of Virginia City, and they had three children, two of whom died; the surviving one is named Berdhea. Mr. Strouse lost his wife, and was married again in 1883, to Miss Amelia Emlie Bulhert, a native of Mokelumne Hill, California. They have two sons, born in San Francisco: Mark and Albert A. Mr. Strouse is what may be styled a self-made man, as it has been wholly by his own efforts that he has acquired his well-earned success.

~From San Francisco County Biographies

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Posted by: linsilv on Aug 4 2016 19:37

A cousin just notified me of this. He participated and said it was an extraordinary trip! He’s given me permission to share this with you:

The city of Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, is inviting children and grandchildren of all people who had to leave Frankfurt because of Nazism and Hitler in the 30's and 40's. The trip for the child or grandchild is free.

If you qualify, contact: "Constanze.Wagner@stadt-frankfurt.de"
Subject: Information Visiting Program Frankfurt.

EC to: "sarah.cienciala@stadt-frankfurt.de"

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Obituaries:EDWARD LOUIS STECKLER JR. - 1927-2015
Posted by: linsilv on July 12 2016 20:46
Edward Louis Steckler, Jr., a well-respected antiques dealer, died on December 23, 2015, at age 88. Born in New York City on February 1, 1927, to Dorothy Brill and Edward Louis Steckler, he grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where he lived throughout his childhood and early adult years. Ed graduated from The Lawrenceville School and then served in the American Field Service in India at the end of World War II, after which he returned to earn a degree in political science from Princeton University in 1948. Ed later graduated from New York Law School, married Joan Abajo in 1960, and became a corporate attorney for NBC. He was active in politics and served as Chairman of the Board of the New York Young Republican Club, and he worked closely with John Lindsay during his congressional and mayoral campaigns. Ed and Joan had three daughters and eventually settled in Windham, Connecticut where he found his true passion as an antiques dealer and collector of early Americana. Over the f...

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Obituaries:WILLIAM BLEECKER MATTESON - 1928-2015
Posted by: linsilv on July 12 2016 19:57
MATTESON--William Bleecker.

1928-2015. Everything in our father's life was carefully planned: right down to the way he died. We were assembled at West Point Military Academy for our uncle's interment on May 8th, 2015. The weather was beautiful, the church service was profound, and the soldiers were impressive and with their rifles and flag-folding and their gratitude for our uncle's service to our country. It was all very moving and maybe a bit too much for our aging father. He enjoyed a lively dinner with us, then stayed up exchanging animated stories with his sister about their childhood. When he went to bed on Friday, he had a smile on his face. Sadly, he never woke up. William Bleecker Matteson was born in 1928 and grew up in Mount Vernon, NY. He graduated from The Peddie School in 1946 and Yale University in 1950, and married Marilee Brill three months later. It was the beginning of a lifelong love story. He graduated from Harvard Law School as a member of the Harvard Law Review in 1953 and for the next two years, he clerked for The Honorable Augustus N. Hand in the Federal Court of Appeals in the Second Circuit in New York City and Justice Harold H. Burton in the United States Supreme Court. He joined the Debevoise law firm in 1955 and became a partner in 1961. He headed the Paris office of Debevoise from 1973 to 1976. He was presiding partner of the firm from 1988 to 1993. What was so great about Bill? Unlike a lot of powerful business executives today, he knew how to balance his career and his family life. He raised us in New York City so he could eat breakfast and dinner with us and still put in a full day at the office. He didn't want to waste time commuting out to the suburbs like his father did. His friendships were deep and often with other "giants" in the law profession. After our mother was in a devastating car accident in 1968, he promised that if she recovered fully from her countless fractures, they would live life to its fullest. In 1973, we moved to Paris, where we spent three unforgettable years. Bill was one of the leading corporate lawyers of his generation. He handled a lot of high-profile, interesting cases. He used to say that each one felt like a whole new job and he was always excited to tackle it. In 1979, he got a call while we were on vacation: Chrysler was about to go bankrupt, and could he become their lead attorney in the first bailout during the time of the Loan Guarantee Act in 1980. Lee Iacocca was so impressed with Bill's work that he asked him to join the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, a private-sector effort to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Bill had three daughters who grew up in the 1970s, and he began to understand the importance of women in the workplace. He was known to mentor young female lawyers at his law firm. One of his mantras was "make your clients your friends and your friends your clients." He was a consummate client developer who worked to understand the people he represented and their businesses. He also lectured at Columbia Law School from 1971 to 1980, except for the years we lived in Paris. He truly believed in the law and we never saw him do anything dishonest, except when he pretended he didn't speak French to get out of a traffic ticket in Paris. Over the years, Bill was active in the International Bar Association and the Bar Association of New York. He served on several boards, including the French-American Foundation, The Hartford Foundation, The Salk Institute, The Board of Foreign Parishes, The Sconset Trust, The New York Institute for Special Education, The Peddie School, Miss Porter's School and Kalamazoo College. A particular interest of his was the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB), where he served as a Vice Chairman from 1986 to 1999, focusing on key issues of world trade, finance and investments as the U.S. representative on the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation in Paris (BIAC). We recently received an email from an old friend: "I heard about your Dad, but have no idea what to say. I planned for Bill to live forever." So did we. But in his own special way, his exit was as dignified as his life and career had been. To have spent his last day at his sister's side with the amazingly beautiful backdrop of West Point in spring, it might've just been his plan. Bill Matteson is survived by his wife of almost 65 years: Marilee; his sister: Anne Sisson; his three daughters and their spouses: Lynn Matteson and John Hoops, Sandra and Perry Helm, Holly and Marshall Pagon; and three grandchildren: William Matteson, and Willow and Samuel Pagon. In lieu of flowers: please send donations in his name to the Sconset Trust, PO Box 821, Siasconset, MA 02564 for conservation efforts on Nantucket Island, "his emotional home." A service is planned there later this summer.

Published in The New York Times on May 17, 2015
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?pid=174876554#sthash.NCMKDFTS.dpuf
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