Michael Elliot Davidoff
Michael Elliot Davidoff, a man who touched our lives as an unconditionally loving husband, father, grandfather, dear friend, weekend warrior and most recently ALS fighter, ambassador and philanthropist, passed away July 23, 2023.
He was a true legend.
He was diagnosed two and half years ago and his passing will leave a legacy that will be forever etched in our hearts.
Born May 2, 1948, in Houston, Michael attended The University of Texas as a business major, where he met his loving partner for life, Susan Spiritas. They married the summer after college graduation and moved to Dallas to begin their life together.
Michael was fun and passionate — about sports, politics, his family and friends. He was resourceful, clever and possessed a unique, unlimited quest for knowledge. For those lucky enough to call him a friend, he had an abundance of love, time and genuine care for everyone.
Although there is a hole in our hearts, it is bursting with love for the incredible person that we will miss.
To know him was to love him and we will hold him in our hearts forever.
Michael is survived by his loving wife, Susie, and their three children Rachel (Brian) Ladin, Steven (Lauren) Davidoff and Lauren (Bo) Brownstein and grandchildren Brent and Alexandra Ladin, Natalie, Ashley and Haley Davidoff and Brody and Presley Brownstein. Michael has three sisters: Denise Davidoff, Shelley Aroshas and Marla Davidoff. He was preceded in death by his parents Rose and David Davidoff.
The family would like to thank Ms. Annette Jackson for all of her unwavering tender loving care. We are forever grateful. Also, The ALS Association for all of their knowledge, support and all of their incredible friends.
Linda Jane Ellison, a cherished wife, mother and grandmother, peacefully passed away surrounded by her family on July 15, 2023.
She was born to Lillian and William Birenbaum on June 13, 1946, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Linda grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and received her bachelor’s degree from Boston University.
Linda met Michael Ellison on a blind date in 1968 and they were married on Aug. 17, 1969. After living in Norwood, Massachusetts, their first daughter, Jennifer Gail was born in 1971 and they moved to Framingham, Massachusetts. Their second daughter, Traci Beth, was born in 1973. After living in their beautiful home for eight years, they moved their family to Dallas in 1979.
Linda immediately became active in the local Dallas Jewish community and began her 26-year-long teaching career at Solomon Schechter (Levine Academy).
Linda had a deep appreciation for her family and friends and cherished the bonds she formed throughout her life.
Linda was a devoted wife to her husband of 53 years, Michael S. Ellison, with whom she shared a beautiful journey of love and companionship. Together, they built a life centered around family. Their daughters, Jennifer Ellison Shatto and Traci Ellison Laizerovich and their respective spouses, Dave Shatto and Orone Laizerovich, were beyond blessed to have had Linda as a mother. She showered us all with tremendous love, unwavering support and nurturing care. She took great pride in witnessing her children’s achievements and was always present to share in their lives.
As a grandmother, Linda brought immeasurable joy and warmth into the lives of her beloved grandchildren. Lauren Elizabeth Karr, Talia Edith Laizerovich, Jordan William Laizerovich, Ryan David Karr, Mia Pauline Laizerovich and Abigail Nava Laizerovich shared countless cherished memories with their Grandma. Whether it was sharing stories, offering guidance or simply spending quality time, Linda’s presence always created a loving and nurturing environment for her grandchildren.
Linda approached life with courage, kindness and a generous spirit that touched everyone she encountered. She will be remembered for her beautiful smile, her infectious laughter, her joy in celebrating life and her deep, unconditional love for her family.
The loss of Linda will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing her. She leaves behind a legacy of love, resilience and compassion. While we mourn her passing, we also celebrate a life well-lived and the profound impact she had on all of us.
A memorial service to honor Linda’s life was held July 20 at Sparkman/Hillcrest.
The family kindly requests that donations be made in Linda’s name to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (https://www.lls.org/).
Linda Ellison’s memory will forever be etched in our hearts and her legacy will continue through the lives of all who loved her. May she rest in eternal peace.
Services were entrusted to Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home.
Gerald Wolff Miller
Gerald “Jerry” Wolff Miller was born in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, July 3, 1931, to Rose Lee (Weiss) Miller and Lawrence Miller. He passed away peacefully Monday, July 17, 2023, just two weeks after celebrating his 92nd birthday. He had an older sister Henrietta (Miller) Talpers and a younger sister Sue (Miller) Deutser. He was extremely close with his parents and sisters, whom he adored. He loved Denver, where he lived his entire childhood and early adult life.
Jerry graduated from East High School in Denver. He graduated college from the University of Colorado and also attended Tulane University. He was an active member of the ZBT fraternity at both schools. He then attended law school at the University of Denver.
After college, Jerry served in the U.S. Air Force at the Lowry Air Force base in Denver.
Jerry married Julia Lewis at her parents’ home in Indianola, Mississippi. They started their married life together in Denver and had two sons, Scott Lewis Miller and Geoffrey Lewis Miller. Jerry worked with his father in the family furniture business. When he was offered an executive position in the Lewis family wholesale grocery business, they relocated to Indianola. When he left that business, he bought the local Sunflower Food Store in Indianola and led the store’s growth from the No. 3 market share store in the area to the No. 1 share and recognition as the flagship store of the Sunflower grocery chain. He was farsighted in implementing new technology and ideas. He had business acumen and a mutual respect existed between him and his employees, vendors and customers.
Jerry’s passion was golf. He grew up playing golf at Green Gables Country Club in Denver and was captain of his high school golf team. He won the golf championship at Lowry Air Force base while stationed there. He was very successful on the golf course and even defeated a peer who went on to become a professional golfer. He also enjoyed golf in Mississippi, where he competed for championships at the Indianola Country Club.
He moved in his mid-adult life to Houston, where he lived for almost 30 years. He and Julia divorced but remained close throughout the years. He continued frequent golf games at Westwood Country Club for as long as he could play. His sense of humor was infectious and he loved nothing more than a great social outing with friends. He made friends easily, was outgoing and was the life of a party. He was popular, smart and handsome. He possessed a kind soul. He loved to travel and especially enjoyed the trips with Scott and Geoffrey to Las Vegas, where he loved to play blackjack and craps as well as their many golf adventures together around the U.S. and Canada. He also was an avid supporter of the cultural arts and had season tickets to the Houston Ballet and Houston Symphony.
He was Jewish and his faith was important to him. One of his favorite trips was to Israel. He also enjoyed attending AIPAC events in Washington, D.C. and in Houston. He grew up as a member of several synagogues in Denver and was a longtime member of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston.
The family is grateful to Jerry’s Houston caregivers, Marilyn Williams and Adriana Blinstubas, for their loyal care and friendship. Jerry spent the last three years of his life living in San Antonio near Geoffrey. The highlight of each day was Geoffrey’s visit and the frequent visits from his granddaughter Olivia.
He was preceded in death by his parents Rose Lee (Weiss) Miller and Lawrence Miller, his sister Henrietta (Miller) Talpers, brother-in-law Robert Talpers and several aunts and uncles.
Jerry leaves behind to cherish his memory his sons, Scott and his wife Julie and Geoffrey and his wife Kathy. His beloved grandchildren are Madelyn Ilana Miller, Landon Reid Miller, Jillian Faith Miller, Olivia Miller Tibbetts and her husband Austin and Blake Lewis Miller. His one great-grandchild is Jackson Lewis Tibbetts.
Jerry was adored by everyone and will be greatly missed.
A memorial service with a reception to follow will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, at Temple Emanu-El, 8500 Hillcrest Road in Dallas, with Rabbi Debra Robbins and Cantor Leslie Niren officiating.
A livestream link to view the service and leave condolences is available at dallasjewishfunerals.com.
A graveside service will follow at a later date at his burial site near his parents in Houston.
The family asks that any donations be made in Gerald’s name to: Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, https://jfsdallas.org/
donate/; The Institute of Southern Jewish Life, https://www.isjl.org/donate.html; The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, https://msje.org; or the charity of your choice.
Services entrusted to Dallas Jewish Funerals.
Native Dallasite and first-generation Texan, Donald S. Minsky, 90 (PFC U.S. Army), passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2023, of heart failure. Minsky grew up in South Dallas and graduated from Forest Avenue High School. After attending The University of Texas for a year, he transferred to SMU and graduated with a degree in business administration.
Minsky, a well-known and highly successful commercial real estate broker and investor, began his career in the 1960s as sole proprietor of Minsky’s Furniture. In the ‘70s he partnered with his father, Abe Minsky, starting Dallas Fixture Exchange, which was located in Downtown Dallas on Elm Street, which would later become Deep Ellum, He would then catch the real estate bug, investing in over 50 successful deals, many of them focused in the North Dallas corridor, specifically on Preston Road, investing in Frisco when it was still primarily populated by cows.
He served his country honorably in the U.S. Army as Private First Class in the 1950s.
Always an eternal optimist, Minsky believed that as bad as the news may portray the world, there is always something fun and redeeming about it.
He was a lifelong Frank Sinatra fan and spent his last day on the planet surrounded by family and singing his favorites “New York, New York” and “My Way.”
Minsky is survived by his wife Rachel (neé Wainstein), his son Jeff (and daughter-in-law Debbie), his daughter Michelle (and son-in-law Yehuda Ederi). He also leaves behind five grandchildren (Kobi, Maya, Oren, Ellie and Ava). He will be missed by many.
Rabbi Aryeh Rodin officiated at the funeral service July 17 at United Jewish Cemeteries.
Donations may be made to: Friendship Circle NJ; JCC Dallas; or American Heart Association.
Services were entrusted to Dallas Jewish Funerals.
Gail Rosinoff Weiner, 81, passed away July 26, 2023, surrounded by the love of her family. Gail was the beloved wife of Harvey Weiner; loving mother to Marcia Weiner Mankoff and Mark Weiner; a loyal big sister to brother Bruce Rosinoff; welcoming mother-in-law to Doug Mankoff and Regina Weiner; and devoted “Mooma” to Sarah, Max and Eli Mankoff and Ezra Weiner.
Born on April 7, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, to loving parents Marcia and Fredric Rosinoff, Gail grew up in Larchmont, New York, where she learned to dance and was a high school cheerleader. Gail graduated from Wheelock College in Boston in 1963 with her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and from The University of Texas at Dallas in the mid-1980s with a master’s in special education. The early years of her career were spent teaching elementary school in New York and Boston.
Gail met Harvey Weiner at a fraternity party at Boston University in 1959, when she arrived as the date of Harvey’s roommate. Luckily for us, she decided soon after to make the switch. Gail and Harvey recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
The couple moved reluctantly for Harvey’s work from New York to Dallas in 1972 and were surprised and delighted to find both community and friendship in the city that quickly became their home.
The couple became deeply invested in the Dallas Jewish community, becoming leaders at Akiba Academy and ultimately helping to found two synagogues, Beth Torah and Anshai Emet, the latter now known as Anshai Torah. Gail was a trailblazer, becoming the first female president of a Conservative synagogue in Texas when she became president of Anshai Emet in 1980.
A lifelong teacher and advocate for children’s education, Gail recognized a gap in Jewish education in Dallas in the early 1980s, so she took it upon herself to create Akiba Academy’s Sunday Institute, a Hebrew school designed to meet the needs of children with learning differences.
In 1988, Gail became the professional director of the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. She served in this role for five years, during which time she was instrumental in reinvigorating women’s philanthropy in Dallas by strengthening their Lion of Judah Endowment program (LOJE) and later introducing the Pomegranate program.
Everything she did was with gusto and love. Gail was generous beyond measure, both in her devotion to community and to her family. Known for her legendary cinnamon sugar mandelbread and tender brisket, not to mention her delicious matzo ball soup, she once showed up at LAX to visit Marcia’s family with an entire suitcase filled with vats of frozen matzo ball soup on ice to be enjoyed at their upcoming Passover Seder. She knitted dozens of “fuzzies” for her grandchildren and when their young friends expressed wanting one, she would find out their favorite colors and knit them a fuzzy, too.
Gail was a trusted confidante and friend to many. Her children and grandchildren knew they could share their deepest feelings with her, without judgment. She was a safe space and soft landing spot for anyone in need. We will miss her dearly, every day, but are grateful for the lessons and values she instilled in us, which made us better people, and we will carry those in our hearts forever.
Rabbi Adam Roffman of Congregation Shearith Israel officiated at the July 27 funeral. Burial followed at Sparkman Hillcrest Cemetery.
If moved to do so, please consider honoring Gail’s memory by donating to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, or CHAI (Community Homes for Adults, Inc).
Services were entrusted to Dallas Jewish Funerals.