10.31.21

Myrna Fenn Baskin

Myrna Fenn Baskin, 91, of Whitney Center, Hamden, and Palm Beach, Florida, passed away peacefully on October 27, 2021. She was married to the late Arnold M. Baskin, M.D. for 50 years. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Myrna was the daughter of Ann and William H. Fenn.

She attended Hillhouse High School, from which she graduated as Valedictorian. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from Smith College in 1952. Myrna was an exemplary civic and community leader. She lived by her motto to appreciate her blessings and to make every effort to enhance the lives of others and she worked tirelessly on behalf of organizations in New Haven, of which she was a third-generation resident and an enthusiastic supporter.

After a brief stint in New York City after college dancing on the Arthur Murray television show, she returned to New Haven to marry her beloved Arnold and worked at the New Haven Redevelopment Authority. Myrna served on the board of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra for almost forty years and as its President for three years (known as the first woman elected President), served on the board of the Shubert Theater for many years, including during its renovation and reopening in the early 1980s, and was President of the New Haven Chorale, in which she sang for decades.

Myrna helped found the Community Fund for Women and Girls at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and created the Myrna & Arnold Baskin Fund there to support local programs that aid women and girls. Myrna founded and was a director of Spotlight on Books, bringing packets of books to schoolchildren in New Haven, and was recognized for that work in the United States Congressional Record. Myrna also contributed her time to Friends of Music at Yale, was a fellow at Jonathan Edwards College at Yale, and was the first non-Yale graduate elected to the board of the Mory’s Association. Myrna served on the Board of Trustees of Whitney Center and was President of her alumna class at Smith College for five years.

Myrna was on the board of the Hopkins School, where she also worked for almost a decade, founding and directing its annual fund. Myrna was on the Board of the New Haven Lawn Club and served in the Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation Guild in Palm Beach, Florida, where she was also a member of the Society of the Four Arts. Myrna was honored in 2008 by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra as a Woman of Note and was the 2014 NHSO Gala honoree.

Myrna and Arnold raised their family at their home of over forty years on Old Orchard Road in North Haven, and spent many happy times on Uncas Lake in Lyme, CT and later in their lives, on their boat, the Oasis. While dedicating endless time, energy, and excellence to her commitments, Myrna always put her family and friends, and all of the people in her life, first, with her well-known kindness, generosity, warmth, and love.

Myrna is survived by her brother, John Fenn, M.D., by her adoring children, Suzanne Baskin Slade (Jonathan Blair Slade) of Potomac, MD and Nancy Fenn Baskin (Jorge Plutzky, M.D.) of Boston, MA, and by her loving grandchildren, Amanda Slade of Boston, MA, Jeffrey Slade of Washington, DC, Abigail Baskin of Cambridge, MA, and Emily Baskin of New York, NY.

Private graveside funeral services were officiated by Rabbi Herbert Brockman at the Congregation Mishkan Israel Cemetery in New Haven.

Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the Myrna & Arnold Baskin Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven at cfgnh.org/baskinfund.

09.15.21

Janet Germaine

Janet Germaine of West Haven, Connecticut, passed away peacefully at the age of 85 on September 14, 2021. She was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 16, 1936 and was the youngest child of Samuel and Gertrude Weinstein.

Janet moved to New Haven when she was very young and was a graduate of Hillhouse High School. It was there that she met the love of her life, Donald. They had a wonderful courtship and were a very social couple with many wonderful friends. They were married on October 30, 1955 after Donald graduated from UConn. After several years of working for the telephone company in New Haven, she became a full-time mother upon the birth of her first son in 1957. Another son in 1960 and then a daughter in 1962 followed as well as their first house in Hamden. Then there was a move to a bigger house in Woodbridge in 1968. It was aptly name “The Brierwood” because of the hotel-like existence it took on due to so many relatives and friends staying over. This was because of Janet’s welcoming and loving nature, she wanted everyone to feel at home.

“Meemz”, as she was affectionately known by her children and grandchildren, was a loving, thoughtful and caring woman who always put her family first. With Donald having irregular work hours when the children were younger, she was the one who took care of most of her children’s needs. She truly loved all of the “duties” of being a mother, whether it be playing with her kids, reading to her kids, helping her kids with school homework, watching her kids’ many basketball, baseball, football games, attending her kids’ piano concerts or helping out at Brownies events. All of her caring and loving was then naturally extended to her six grandchildren. She was overjoyed to do the same things with them that she did with her own children.

Janet was involved with the Congregation MishkanIsrael Sisterhood for many years, a service organization for which she went on to serve as Co-President. She was named a “Woman of Valor” in 1984 because of this service. She was an avid reader and volunteered often at the Woodbridge Library. She loved to play golf and mah-jong with her girlfriends. She enjoyed being a UConn sports fan along with her family. Janet and Donald also embraced travelling the world with many of their friends from which they had wonderful memories.

Janet is survived by her loving husband of nearly 66 years, Donald, a son Steven Germaine (Alisa), a son Mark Germaine (Stacey), a daughter Joanne Germaine(Jules Yasuna  ), six grandchildren (Jamie (Spenser) Germaine, Haley Germaine, Adam Germaine, Oliver Yasuna, Eli Yasuna, Marina Yasuna), three great-grandchildren (Delaney Germaine, Harrison Germaine and Bradley Yasuna) and her nieces and nephews from Florida whom she loved as her own. She was pre-deceased by her sister and brother-in-law, Dolores and Jack Spivack and her brother and sister-in-law, Russell and Estelle Weinstein.

A graveside funeral service will be held at MishkanIsrael Cemetery, 701 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 2pm. A celebration of life will be held after the service at the home of Mark and Stacey Germaine 6 Wilbraham Court Branford, CT.

The family wishes to extend its sincerest thanks to Janet’s most recent caregivers at Seacrest Retirement Center, St. Raphael’s Hospital and Connecticut Hospice as well as her original caregivers, Marvett, Dahlia and Tammy.

Memorial contributions may be made to the MishkanIsrael Nursery School Fund 785 Ridge Road Hamden, CT 06517 or to the Woodbridge Town Library 10 Newton Road Woodbridge, CT 06525.

09.05.21

Herman S. Bershtein


Attorney Herman S. Bershtein was born in New Haven on September 2, 1925. He is the son of the late William and Bessie Burke Gamm Bershtein, and the widower of the late Shirley Lufer Bershtein. He lived in Hamden his entire life. While at Yale, at age 17, he enlisted in the Army in 1943.

Mr. Bershtein, a W.W.II Veteran, attended The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. He served with the 86th Black Hawk Infantry Division; he later served as a lieutenant under General Douglas McArthur at General Headquarters, Allied Forces Pacific AFPAC in the Far East. Among his duties, he was responsible for the transportation and security of the International Prosecution Section, which prosecuted Japanese war criminals. After he was discharged from the Army in Japan, he remained in Tokyo as a civilian employee of the U.S. Civil Service. He was also responsible for coordinating ground transportation and billeting for civilian United Air Lines crews, transporting cargo from California to Tokyo, and from Tokyo to Shanghai, China.

He attended Columbia University in New York City, University of South Carolina, Cornell University, and graduated from Yale University. Mr. Bershtein was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1953. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1954, and was admitted to the Federal Bar in 1955.  He was the founder and senior partner of the law firm of Bershtein, Bershtein & Bershtein, Professional Corporation., d/b/a Bershtein Law Center. Mr. Bershtein was a member of the New Haven County and Connecticut Bar Associations, and he was an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He served as a judge advocate for many years, for the Jewish War Veterans, Hamden Post 204, now associated with Levitow, Post #45, P.O. Box 150, Bloomfield, CT 06002.  In 1967, Mr. Bershtein represented the entire Hamden Fire Department. He successfully negotiated a 52 hour work week, – reduced to a 42 hour week-with Hamden’s first Mayor, the late John DeNicola.

He was also involved in Hamden’s acquisition of some of the acreage for The Laurel View Golf Course. For many years, he was the attorney for the Paradise Country Club in Hamden. He was successful in obtaining a permanent injunction, and also damages against the Town of Hamden, which was diverting the natural flow of water to the Paradise Country Club recreational area, in order to irrigate The Laurel View Golf Course. He served as the Co-Chair of the 60th, 65th and 70th year reunions of his 1943 Hamden High School Class. He was a dedicated runner, having completed 19 marathons, including New York City, Bridgeport, Hartford, Mystic, Narragansett, Rhode Island, Boston, and Chicago. He was a previous member of the Yale Baseball Association. He is a member of the National Registry of ‘Who’s Who of America”.

He is survived by two daughters, Attorney Joy A. Bershtein of Branford, and Attorney Jan Bershtein of Bethany, and a son, Attorney Richard A. Bershtein of Madison, and ten grandchildren (William, Allison, Sheryl Leigh General of Branford; Marc and Alexa Cafasso of Bethany; Richard William, Hunter Sammy, Dylan James, Cody Sap and Shayann Shirley Bershtein of Madison). His five brothers, David Bershtein of North Haven, Alexander Gamm of Hallendale, Florida, Henry Gamm of South Carolina, James Bershtein of Hamden, and Morris Gamm of Wallingford predeceased him. He is survived by his dedicated companion, Lucy LaCava formerly of DePodesta Real Estate, and presently of Coldwell Banker.  He is also survived by great granddaughter, Jada Joy Lyman and great grandson, William General V, is due to arrive this month.

A Celebration of life will be held at Weller Funeral Home 424 Elm Street, New Haven, CT on Tuesday, September 7 at 10:00am. Burial services, to follow with Military Honors, will be held at Adas Israel Cemetery, Section “L” of Beaverdale Memorial Park, Fitch Street & Wintergreen Avenue, New Haven.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish War Veterans, Hamden Post #204, c/o Jewish War Veterans, Levitow, Post #45, P.O. Box 150, Bloomfield, CT 06002.

Friends, Hamden High School, and Yale classmates, are invited to join the family after funeral services for lunch at the Bershtein Law Center, 1188 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden. Parking is available in the lot across the street.

08.31.21

Marian Hubelbank

Marian Hubelbank recently passed at The Linden in Woodbridge at the age of 98.

She was the daughter of Nicholas and Louise Revitch and the wife of the late Sidney Hubelbank. She leaves a son, Mark Hubelbank, his wife, Jeanne Hubelbank, and grandson, David Hubelbank and his wife, Laura Hubelbank. Marian studied nursing before marrying Sidney after his discharge from the Air Corp following WWII. Along with raising her son, for many years, Marian was an assistant and secretary for the John B. Pierce Foundation, a research affiliate of Yale University. After retiring from Yale, she served as a data entry operator for the Agency on Aging South Central Connecticut, transcribed recordings for the greater Yale community and for Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and volunteered.

Marian and Sidney built a home in West Haven. Marian enjoyed traveling with Sidney to many Lion’s Club and Architectural Woodworking functions world-wide. Marian was an active member of Hadassah for many years and received an award from them. While in West Haven, they were members of the local Synagogue. Over the years, Marian hosted many family gatherings. Family and friends would often drop in for “coffee and.” Sid and Marian spent many hours out on Long Island Sound, first aboard a 21’ and then a 26’ sailboat. The boats were named Maruska, Marian’s name in Russian. Marian enjoyed the sailing, but she would often say she was happy to see Charles Island. Family and friends will miss her intelligence, love for her family, and “What Me?! Worry?!”

Funeral service will be private with interment in the Keser Israel Memorial Park, West Haven.

08.19.21

Edward Thomas Biondi

Edward Thomas Biondi, 63 died August 19, 2021. He was born in New York City son of the late Carol LaBrecque and Joseph Biondi. He was also predeceased by his siblings, William Biondiand Carol North. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Sheila Greenstein and children Kyle (Hannah) and Nora Greenstein Biondi of Austin, TX. He had lived in North Haven for 28 yearsand more recently had been a resident of Onset, MA and Austin, TX. Ed was employed by Nationwide Insurance for more than 30 years, most recently as Claims Quality Assurance Attorney. Ed loved music: listening, live shows and playing guitar. Family meant everything to him-his nuclear, extended and the family of friends he created.

FUNERAL SERVICES HAVE BEEN RECHEDULED FOR MONDAY AT 2:00pm at Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Rd. Hamden. Proof of vaccination and masks required.

Livestream link: https://cmihamden.org/livestream.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ed’s name can be made to Congregation Mishkan Israel, Columbus House, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Halfway Home Rescue or the charity of your choice. The Weller Funeral Home, 424 Elm St. is in charge of arrangements.

08.05.21

Grace Spiegel-Davis

Grace Spiegel-Davis peacefully passed away at 103 years old on August 1, 2021. She joins her loving husband of 26 years, Charles Spiegel, who passed away November 1966 and Harold Davis of 3 years who passed away on June 1983. Grace was the daughter of Max and Anna Weismann, and was predeceased by her brother, Irving Weismann.

Grace was raised in New Haven, CT, where she and her husband met and began their lives together. Grace was the loving mother to Arthur Spiegel who passed away January 1971 and two step children Suzanne and Richard Davis. Grace was the proud grandmother to Charlie Spiegel and wife Wendy Spiegel. Grace was also blessed with a loving daughter-in-law, Ann Spiegel-Yazgoor.

Grace will be remembered for her immense love for her family, which she expressed frequently through her exuberant attendance of life events and meaningful daily phone calls. Grace leaves behind three great-grandchildren, Ashley, Zachary, and Dempsey Spiegel. She was a lover of travel, golf, and playing mah-jongg with her friends. Her community of friends will remember and adore her strength and perseverance, and of course, her wit. Her family loved her dearly and will carry on her legacy, her inspirations of drinking red wine and martinis every night.

Grace will be cremated and a celebration of life will be at a later date. The Weller Funeral Home, 424 Elm St. New Haven is in charge of arrangements.

06.27.21

Daniel Weller Klein

Daniel Weller Klein passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his loving family and friends at Alive Hospice in Nashville, Tennessee on June 26, 2021. He was the beloved son of Jerome Klein, (deceased) and Sylvia Weller Fish (deceased), loving father of Jerome Klein (Tiana) and Jackie Babat (Brett), devoted brother of Macky Miller, devoted grandfather of 6 grandchildren, favorite uncle of Betsy Cohen and Steven Miller, beloved friend of Carmen Delia and Kristen Klein, the best dog parent to Pippa and Remy, with gratitude to his devoted caregiver May Hayes.

Danny resided in Nashville, TN for the past three years where a private service was held on Sunday, June 27th. He will be laid to rest next to his mother in a private ceremony at Mishkan Israel Cemetery, New Haven.

05.16.21

Frances Engel Kirschenbaum


Frances  Engel Kirschenbaum peacefully passed away on May 14, 2021. She joins her loving husband of 62 years, Jack Martin Kirschenbaum, who passed away on April 16, 2016. Frances was the daughter of Phillip and Mollie Engel, and was predeceased by her siblings, Bernie and Nat Engel. Frances was raised in Brooklyn, NY, where she and her husband met and began their lives together. Frances and Jack were loving parents to Lisa Kirschenbaum Kandrach and Peter Kirschenbaum, settling their family in Orange, CT. Frances was the proud grandmother to Melissa Kandrach, Samuel Kirschenbaum and Andrew Kirschenbaum. Frances was also blessed with a loving daughter-in-law, Christine Kirschenbaum and supportive son-in-law, John Kandrach. An inspiring love story, Frances and Jack represented unconditional love and companionship. They worked side-by-side in their dry cleaning stores, and later in their retired years at Sears. Jack and Frances were intentional in the time that they spent with their family, sowing traditions and instilling values that will be carried on with love and respect by each person. Frances will be remembered for her immense love for her family, which she expressed frequently through her exuberant attendance of life events and meaningful daily phone calls. A lover of fashion, she will forever be remembered for her intricate ensembles and adorned jewelry and accessories. Her family will carry on her traditions of matzoh ball-making and fondly remember the love and care that went into each handcrafted piece. Her community of friends will remember and adore her strength and perseverance, and of course, her wit. Her family loved her dearly and will carry on her legacy, her inspirations and her teachings for years to come. She will forever remain in our hearts as a beacon of love and joy. Friends and family are invited to attend a graveside service at Beaverdale Memorial Park, 90 Pine Rock Ave. New Haven, CT 06515 on Wednesday, May 19th at 12:30pm. The service will be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend. For details, please email FamilyKirschenbaum@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, online donations can be made to Masonicare at Masonicare.org.

04.05.21

Valentine (Val) Tuckell

Valentine (Val) Tuckell of Pompano Beach FL formerly of New Haven passed away peacefully on April 2 at the age of 100. Born June 27, 1920 in Kiev, Russia Val came to America at the age of two. She was predeceased by her husband of fifty-five years, Murray Tuckell. She is survived by her daughter Vicki Hobbs of West Palm Beach, FL and her son Peter (Margot) Tuckell of Hamden, her grandchildren Travis Tuckell  and Kylie (Michael) Kelly and great grand children Sage and Miles Kelly of Soquel, CA. She was also predeceased by her son-in-law Calvin Hobbs and grandson Corey Hobbs. Val worked at Congregation Mishkan Israel for forty years retiring as Executive Director.

Funeral services will be private with interment in the Mishkan Israel Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be sent to Congregation Mishkan Israel or the charity of one’s choice.

03.05.21

Walter Rochow

Walter Rochow, beloved husband for 59 years of the late Myra Morse Rochow, died on Thursday, March 4th at the age of 84. Walter was born in Queens, New York to the late Adele and David Rochow. Walter will be lovingly remembered by his children, Sharon Gaynor (Eric), Faye Pite Beresner (Steven), and Carl Rochow (Heidi). Walter will also be dearly remembered by his six grandchildren, Rebecca (Byron), Michelle, Renée, Samantha, David, and Lauren. Walter graduated from Richmond Hill High School in Queens, New York in 1954 and worked as a court stenographer for the Superior Court in New Haven for 28 years and the US District Federal Court for 20 years. Walter served in the US Army Security Agency during the Cuban Missile Crisis from 1958-1965 and earned the ranking of 1st Lieutenant. He was a Trustee of the Judaical Employees Union for 10 years and a longtime member of the Elks Club in Hamden. Walter enjoyed many hobbies: including tooling around in his antique cars and was involved in the Connecticut Historical Automobile Society. Walter had a great love of flying and became a private pilot in 1987. He was an avid reader and a Titanic and WW2 buff. His greatest joys were dancing with his beloved Myra and spending time telling stories with his family and friends.

Due to the pandemic, funeral service will be held graveside for the immediate family on Sunday at noon, at the B’nai Jacob Memorial Park, New Haven. To attend virtually, please visit https://assaabloy.zoom.us/j/7328025511. Donations in Walter’s memory may be made to: Autism Services & Resources Connecticut at ct-asrc.org or to the Building Fund at Cong. Or Shalom in Orange, CT.