Arlene J. Berlin of Atlanta, Georgia, formerly of Dallas and of Peabody, Massachusetts, passed away Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023. Arlene was born June 13, 1939. She was the beloved wife of the late Stanley M. Berlin; the loving mother of Susan Berlin and her husband Jeffrey Rice of Atlanta, and of David Berlin of New York, New York; and the adored grandmother of Georgia and Sophie Rice.
Arlene loved her family and friends and could be counted on to help no matter what was needed. She enjoyed travel and took many trips with Stan, with Las Vegas, Vancouver, Isle of Capri and Hong Kong among her favorite destinations.
Arlene took pride in being at the forefront of the computer revolution, founding and operating a mail-order software company in the 1980s. She loved to tap dance, play mah jongg and video poker and read novels. Arlene’s children and grandchildren were her greatest pride and she was a constant source of love, support and encouragement to all of them.
Arlene is survived by her daughter Susan Berlin and Jeff Rice, her grandchildren Georgia and Sophie Rice and her son David Berlin.
The funeral was held Aug. 30 at Levine Chapels in Brookline, Massachusetts, followed by interment in Newburyport Hebrew Cemetery, Salisbury, Massachusetts.
Memorial donations may be made to the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
Sherrie Matyas, born April 20, 1937, in Cleveland, Ohio, passed away Aug. 23, 2023. After graduating from Ohio State University, Sherrie and her husband, Martin “Marty” Matyas, to whom she was married for 62 years and who passed away in 2020, moved to Phoenix, Arizona and eventually to Dallas, which became their home for over 50 years.
Upon moving to Phoenix, Sherrie was an elementary school teacher. She then stayed at home to raise her sons. In the 1980s, she returned to teaching as a substitute teacher for several private schools in Dallas. In the 1990s, she spent several years as a telemarketer for Horchow/Neiman Marcus Direct. Sherrie was involved in a number of community-based activities including her synagogue (Temple Emanu-El), Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Hadassah and fundraising for the construction of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Meyerson Hall. Sherrie also was an avid fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Dallas Cowboys.
Sherrie is survived by her two sons, Michael Matyas (Judy Baker Matyas) and David Matyas (Jaime Berman Matyas); her grandchildren, Rebecca Matyas Garbose (Jonathan Garbose), Daniel Matyas (engaged to Nicole Clark), Daphne Matyas and Mackenzie Matyas; and her great-grandchild, Emma Garbose.
The funeral took place Aug. 27 at Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, officiated by Rabbi David Stern, followed by a memorial service at Temple Emanu-El.
Memorial donations may be made to any charity of one’s choosing.
Dr. Albert Miller
Dr. Albert Miller, Holocaust survivor and U.S. Army veteran, passed away Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Al, who turned 100 years old Nov. 20, 2022, spent decades sharing his story with thousands of community members and students. In keeping with his commitment to educate and inspire, he celebrated this milestone by sharing his story in front of more than 400 people at historic Union Terminal. His message was simple: “Speak carefully and with kindness. Treat others with the utmost respect.”
Al was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1922. His family owned a successful clothing company and he had many happy memories of his early childhood. As a child, he enjoyed sports until one day he arrived at his favorite recreation center to find it forbidden to Jews. He remembers many of his childhood friends joining the Hitler Youth, wearing their uniforms with pride and cutting him out of their lives for being Jewish. He was the last Jewish student to remain in his class until it was made too uncomfortable for him to stay.
Reflecting on these experiences, Al often said, “The Holocaust didn’t start with bullets. It started with words.”
In 1936, Al attended the Berlin Olympics, where he saw American runner Jesse Owens win four medals. As conditions became worse for the Jews of Germany, his family put together a plan to leave the country and resettle elsewhere. Al departed Nazi Germany in 1937 for Switzerland, while his brother was sent to England. His parents remained in Germany, enduring Kristallnacht and hiding in a friend’s home. The family eventually reunited in England before immigrating to America in 1940.
Entering the U.S. Army in 1943, Al was trained in military intelligence with the 3rd Infantry Division. He became a “Ritchie Boy,” a member of a prestigious American military intelligence group, and returned to Germany, where he used his German language skills to interrogate suspected war criminals for postwar trials covering crimes and atrocities committed during World War II.
Al went on to raise his family in Hamilton, Ohio, where he practiced optometry until his retirement. He was actively involved in the community for over 40 years, including acting in numerous plays for Greater Hamilton Civic Theater, being an active member of Kiwanis and the Lions Club, as well as being a proud member of Beth Israel Synagogue, where he had served several terms as president.
Al and his family were steadfast supporters of Cincinnati’s Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center’s mission. Al shared his story with thousands of students and community members, who were touched and inspired by his warmth, candor and lessons on the importance of kindness and civility. His humor, passion and special ability to connect with strangers allowed him to leave a lasting impression on all who heard him speak.
“Every year I remind myself of the story he shared about a teacher mistreating him. He was visibly still impacted by it even after all of those years. It broke my heart as a teacher when we are tasked with caring for the whole student in front of us,” recalls Cincinnati educator Julie Vaughn. “I promised myself but also promised him at his 100th birthday party that I would always provide and create a classroom environment where every student felt important, valued and loved. That is a great legacy — one of inspiring love,” she shared.
Al recorded two-dimensional video testimony for the Center’s cutting-edge virtual intelligence exhibit. Using specialized recording and display technologies and next-generation natural language processing, “Dimensions in Testimony” allows visitors to ask two-dimensional displays of Holocaust survivors questions and receive responses in real time. His testimony will be available in the museum in 2024 — meaning visitors will be able to ask questions and learn from his story well into the future.
Al was married for almost 70 years to Jane Miller, a Holocaust survivor from Vienna, who predeceased him. In recent years, the family created the Al and Jane Miller Fund to support educational partnerships with students and educators in the Hamilton City School District.
In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by his mother (Lotte Schoenemann), father (Alfred Miller), stepfather (Hans Schoenemann) and brother (Bruce Miller).
He is survived by his children, Fred (Robin) Miller, Randy (Barb) Miller and Dallasite Ron Miller; his five grandchildren, Lauren (Drew) Kipfer, Deborah (Mark) Raines, Stephanie Miller, Jeremy (Kaylie) Miller and Eric Miller; and his five great-grandchildren.
A funeral service was held at Weil Kahn Funeral Home in Cincinnati on Aug. 25.
Contributions may be made to the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center–Al and Jane Miller Education Fund, in Cincinnati; Beth Israel Synagogue, in Hamilton; the Freestore Food Bank, in Cincinnati; or the Fitton Center, in Hamilton.
Pat Silverman Rosson
Pat Rosson of Dallas passed away on Aug. 21, 2023, in Dallas.
Pat was born on April 10, 1945, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to Sam and Eleanor. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and graduate degrees from Columbia University and NYU. Her career was dedicated to improving quality and processes in health care.
Regularly immersing herself in classes and discussions with rabbis, Pat demonstrated a commitment to both her Jewish faith and her love of learning. She was a fan of the arts, fashion and genealogy. She was a soft-spoken and calming presence to everyone around her. She was committed to her community and was a staunch supporter of many charitable organizations, especially Hadassah, where she served as past president of the Dallas chapter.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her son Steven (Arielle), the greatest pride and joy of her life, and her adored grandchildren Shoshana and Lev.
The funeral service was held Aug. 23 at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home. Interment followed at Shearith Israel Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Hadassah.