Michele Barnett, 58, of Plano, beloved wife of Dr. Brian Barnett and loving mother of Brittany, Sarah and Rachel, passed away on Dec. 17, 2022, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.
A native of Newark, New Jersey, Michele was the daughter of Jeanette, also her very best friend, and of Frank Sona Sr., and sister of Frank Sona, Jr.
A trained ultrasound technician, Michele gave up her career to support her husband’s medical practice and to raise her three daughters; her girls’ success, and seeing them become beautiful young women, was her greatest joy. It was her role as wife of 31 years, and mother for 29, that she cherished most.
Michele was always there to provide for anyone in need, including her children’s friends, with an ear to listen, a hug for strength or any kind of help at all. She made sure the family supported the Jewish community; Chabad of Plano/Collin County and the Jewish day schools that her children attended.
Michele’s heartfelt hugs were from deep within, her laugh one to cure any solace.
Michele Barnett was compassionate and will be missed for her kindness and love.
Donations in Michele’s memory, to Chabad of Plano/Collin County or the Be The Difference Foundation (www.bethedifferencefoundation.org), are appreciated.
Roberta (Bobbie) Schwartz Berger lost her fight to a rare form of leukemia on Jan. 31, 2023. After being in remission for more than two and a half years, she died peacefully in home hospice. Bobbie was a trailblazer. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree at eight months pregnant, and earned her Master’s of Childhood Education and Ph.D. in psychology while raising three children. She was also a tour de force. In 2015, she received the Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women of the Southwest Award from the Southwestern Jewish Committee. She also received the SMU Profiles in Leadership Award from the SMU Women’s Symposium. She was best known and loved for her empathy and giving heart. She and Murray opened their home to so many who needed a respite including fostering a child who fled Iran and a number of friends who were in transition. Her work as a psychologist concentrated on helping women and children every day. Bobbie also focused her time on charitable endeavors, which included setting up Vogel House in Dallas. She also served on the boards of multiple nonprofit institutions, including the American Jewish Committee and the Conservative movement’s national sisterhood organization. More recently, she volunteered with the local synagogue in the Atlanta area, Or VeShalom, making burekas every week. Everyone knew her for baking and sharing cupcakes, her secret sin cookies and other goodies with people who lived in her senior community. Her challah was legendary, winning the championship for Challah Baking in Dallas. Bobbie was an avid traveler from the time that she was a teenager — starting in Israel and visiting many countries on every continent in the world, to include Asia, Europe, the Americas and India. She loved learning about new cultures, history and meeting new people. Bobbie is survived by her husband, Murray, of almost 60 years and her three children, Karyn Berger (Karen Humphrey), Allan Berger (Carita Backman) and Heidi Geller (David Geller). She was lovingly known as Bubbie to her grandchildren: Mikko, Elli, Rachel, Felipe, Daniel and Julia. She was blessed to know her great-grandchildren, Olivia and Hailey. May her memory always be a blessing. Funeral services were held on Feb. 3 at The Temple in Atlanta, with interment at Crest Lawn Memorial Park.
Donations may be made to:
Southwest Jewish Congress, https://www.swjc.org/support-us.html;
Women’s League of Judaism, https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E5371&id=7;
The Temple, https://www.the-temple.org/payment.php;
and Or VeShalom sisterhood, https://www.orveshalom.org/payment.php
Eleanor Kohlberg Goodman
Eleanor Frances Kohlberg Goodman passed away peacefully on Jan. 31, 2023. Born on April 18, 1928, she was a third-generation El Paso resident and the granddaughter of pioneer El Pasoans Olga and Ernst Kohlberg, who came to El Paso in 1875. Her father, Walter Kohlberg, was born there in 1885. Eleanor attended Dudley Elementary School, El Paso High School and the University of Illinois before receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from the University of New Mexico. In 1949, she married Leonard A. “Nardo” Goodman Jr., a member of another pioneer El Paso family, and they raised their four children here. Eleanor will be remembered for her intelligent, compassionate, spirited, warm, elegant presence. She was a life force for all who knew her in her family, her friends, the El Paso community and as a businesswoman. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and accomplished woman with a kind and caring heart who saw the diverse needs of her community and assumed her leadership roles with relish. She spent much of her childhood in the now-historic home of her grandparents Olga and Ernst Kohlberg, surrounded by “old El Paso” history. Like her father, an avid El Paso historian, she was fascinated by history. Eleanor enjoyed giving presentations as the official family historian, which she did with a delightful flair and humor that amused her audiences. She donated The Kohlberg Family Papers and Exhibits to Special Collections at the UT–El Paso Library. Eleanor was also the CEO of her family’s Kohlberg Corporation and had important roles in numerous community organizations. She was elected to serve on the first El Paso Community College Board of Trustees in 1973 and served as vice president until 1983. She helped to expand the roles and courses for women and increase technical and vocational classes, daycare workshops and staff and student development. She was president of the El Paso Symphony Guild and debutante chairman as well as a co-founder and president of the Kermazaar Art Festival and a founder of the Los Artistas Art Show, both of which exist today. She was passionate about providing food to everyone. She valued her role as chairman of Drive A Meal, delivering meals for years to the elderly on behalf of the National Council of Jewish Women. Eleanor was also a loyal member of Las Comrades and the Pan American Round Table of El Paso and a member of the Members Guild of the El Paso Museum of Art, where she and Nardo established the Leonard and Eleanor Kohlberg Goodman Fund. Eleanor took immense joy in her family and friends and entertaining large groups. She was a warm and gracious host well known for her impressive culinary talents and dinner parties. She and Nardo loved to travel with their children, taking them on camping road trips, cultural travels in the U.S. and throughout Europe and archeological trips in the Yucatan and elsewhere. As avid fly fishers late in life, Eleanor and Nardo enjoyed searching for the best fly-fishing spots, regaling their friends with fly-fishing stories. Eleanor was preceded in death by Leonard “Nardo” Goodman, her loving husband of 45 years, and her parents, Genevieve McHugh Kohlberg and Walter Kohlberg. She is survived by her sons Leonard A. “Tripper” Goodman III and Walter Goodman of Boston; her daughters Elizabeth Levy (Jim) of El Paso and Karla Steinberg (Larry) of Dallas; and grandchildren Aaron Goodman, Leah Olivia Levy and Oliver Steinberg. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Eleanor will be missed by her large and extended family and her wide circle of dear friends. Her beloved grandchildren will remember her fondly for her love and kindness. She maintained a lifelong devotion to her childhood friends. Eleanor embraced the great fullness of life. The family extends appreciation to the Hospice of El Paso and heartfelt thanks to caregivers Rosenda Bujanda, Norma Antunas, Raquel Serrano, Mary Ponce, Rosa Lopez and Guadalupe Castruite. Funeral Services were held Feb. 3 at Temple Mount Sinai in El Paso. A graveside service followed at Temple Mount Sinai Cemetery in El Paso. Donations in Eleanor’s memory can be made to: Temple Mount Sinai, 4408 N. Stanton, El Paso, TX 79902; El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, 9541 Plaza Circle, El Paso, TX 79927; or the El Paso County Historical Society, 608 W. Yandell, El Paso, TX 79902.
Gary S. Hoffman died on Jan. 25, 2023, in Galveston at the age of 82. He was born on May 29, 1940, in Dallas, to Solomon and Esther Hoffman. He spent his childhood in Comanche and Fort Worth, and graduated in 1958 from R.L. Paschal High School in Fort Worth. Gary received a BBS in accounting with honors from the University of Texas, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu, Beta Alpha Psi and Mu Gamma Sigma. Following college, he served in the U.S. Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard. He became a CPA and spent the next 45 years in the practice of public accounting in Dallas, retiring as a partner in the firm of Weaver and Tidwell, LLP. Throughout his career, he was dedicated to the highest professional and ethical standards and held numerous leadership positions at the local, state and national levels of the accounting profession, as well as assisting in the development of peer review standards adopted by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
Throughout his life, Gary was devoted to making his community and his world a better place. He held numerous leadership positions in the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and its affiliate agencies, the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation, the Dallas Community Relations Commission and The Children’s Center, Inc. of Galveston. He also was a volunteer for Galveston County Big Brothers Big Sisters, Galveston Community Recovery Committee, the Galveston Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and Jewish Family Service of Denver.
Beginning at the age of 8, Gary was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing many well-known courses throughout the country during his professional travels. In his later years, he worked as a starter and a marshal at Moody Gardens Golf Course in Galveston.
Gary’s greatest joy was his family. He is survived by his wife, Harriett Bornstein Hoffman, his true love and best friend for almost 59 years; their children, daughter Julie Hoffman Fishman and her husband Mark Schwartz of Aurora, Colorado, and son Russell Hoffman of Riverdale, New York; and grandchildren, Maia and Ella Fishman and Bailey Schwartz, and Katriella, Emet and Moriel Hirsch-Hoffman. In addition, he is survived by his brother and sister-in-law David and Susan Hoffman of Leesburg. He was preceded in death by his sister Carol Okstel and his daughter-in-law Jessica Hirsch.
Cremation was handled by J. Levy & Termini in Galveston. A memorial service for family and friends was held at J. Levy & Termini Funeral Home on Jan. 29, with Rabbi Peter Kessler officiating. Memorial gifts may be made to Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Galveston County or the charity of your choice. May his memory be a blessing.
Florence Broder Shapiro
Florence Broder Shapiro passed away in Dallas at the age of 97. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and showed a love for science and mechanics at a young age. Florence attended drafting and mechanical drawing courses after high school and worked at The BG Corporation designing spark plugs for the U.S. military during World War II. She married her husband, Daniel Shapiro, and moved to Roslyn, New York, where she served on the school board and ran a successful floral business. After her husband’s passing, she settled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Florence is survived by her two sons Jonathan (Susan) Shapiro of Plano and Dr. Henry (Suzanne) Shapiro of Superior, Colorado; grandchildren Jeffrey (Hara) Shapiro of Los Angeles and Lauren (Hunter) Snyder of San Francisco; and great-grandchildren Jake and Emily Shapiro. Florence loved cooking, sewing, gardening, Julia Child TV shows and building dollhouses with her son Jonathan. Please send donations to Children’s Advocacy of Collin County (https://www.caccollincounty.org/). Florence will be greatly missed for her spirit, love for science and entrepreneurial spirit.