Obituaries: August 17th, 2023
Joanie Essenfeld

Joanie Essenfeld

Our dear mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Joanie Essenfeld, passed away on July 26, one month shy of her 90th birthday. Joanie was born Aug. 26, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, to Rose and Max Drilling. She grew up in University Park and attended SMU and then The University of Texas at Austin, where she met Sonny, the love of her life, to whom she was married for 52 years before he passed away in 2005. Joanie and Sonny lived in New York until moving to Dallas with their four daughters in 1966. Joanie was a devoted mother to the girls and taught them to be independent, assertive and giving.

She was a member of Hadassah and volunteered at Scottish Rite Hospital. She worked with Sonny in the jewelry business and later their Fletcher’s Corny Dog restaurant. She loved helping Sonny decorate the miniature doll houses Sonny built for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Joanie was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She will be remembered for her sincere generosity and kindness to others.

Joanie is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law Cherie and Joe Curry, Robin and Mark Stoller, Andrea and Paul Geiger and Audrey and Randall Pincu; grandchildren Mathew Zucker, Amanda Franklin, Brody Zucker, Jessica DuBroc, Nathan Weiss, Ashley Lahasky, Laura Van Meter and Max Pincu; great-grandchildren Mika and Jonathan Zucker, Asher and Lainey Franklin, Winnie Zucker and Winnie’s brother-to-be who will be born any day now.

Services were held July 28, conducted by Cantor Leslie Niren. Donations may be made in Joanie’s honor to Scottish Rite Hospital or Temple Emanu-El of Dallas.

Graham Silberman

Graham Silberman

Graham Silberman, beloved husband, father, “Papi,” son, brother, uncle and friend, passed away Aug. 7, 2023. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 22, 1956.

Graham was a friend to all. His gentle nature and smile invited everyone in. From the local coffee shop to a Cabo beach, he picked up friends wherever he went. Lovestruck at an early age, Graham followed Karen to America. Unfazed by all the ongoing female attention, he only ever had eyes for her. He treasured his family and his deep friendships and made everyone he interacted with feel special. His wife, his daughters, his sons-in-law and especially his grandchildren captured his heart.

Graham was an exceptional athlete. He loved sports, excelling at gymnastics, trampolining, golf and tennis. While growing up in South Africa, he ranked first in the 21-and-under tennis category. He also played in Wimbledon and represented South Africa at the Maccabiah games in Israel. After immigrating to Dallas, he promptly won the Dallas Open. He was instrumental in starting the JCC’s tennis program and pro shop. Graham went into real estate and then found his passion and developed great knowledge and expertise in diamonds and fine jewelry. Graham was quiet but strong and was as balanced and skilled in life as he was in sports.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Karen; daughters, Lynne (Mike) Guillot and Lisa (David) Utay; grandchildren, Presley, Jordan and Kaden Guillot and Eli Utay; siblings, Lorene (Lawrie) Friedman and Marilyn (Gary) Perl; mother-in-law, Ruth Lurie; sisters-in-law, Rhona (Ronnie) Konig, Wendy Stulmaker, Lesley (Brett Myers) Lurie, Melanie (Howard) Rubin; and many adoring nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and special friends. Graham was predeceased by his parents, Gerry and Dennis Silberman; father-in-law, Sol Lurie; and lifelong friend Debbie Wishnow Freed.

The family requests that donations be made in his honor to Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, 5402 Arapaho Road, Dallas, TX 75248; the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research; or the charity of your choice.

A graveside service was held Aug. 9 at Sparkman/Hillcrest. Services were entrusted to Dallas Jewish Funerals.

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