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Recent Obituaries

Morris Levitch, age 94, Munster, Ind., formerly of Overland Park, passed away on Thursday March 6, 2014, from natural causes.

Morris was the beloved and devoted husband to Frances (nee Waisblum), cherished father to Robin (Don) Eldert of Munster, and loving and fond grandfather to Olivia, Sarah, Rachel, Elise and Jason Eldert. He also leaves behind a brother, Harold Waisblum of Overland Park.

He was preceded in death by his father Sam Levitch, his mother Jennie Levitch Cohen, and sister, Marion Estes.

Morris, a decorated Army Veteran of World War II, was deployed to the Pacific campaign of Douglas McArthur and stationed in the Philippines where he spent many long nights hunkered down in foxholes combating the advances of enemy troops. While stationed there, Morris contracted a severe case of malaria and eventually returned home to Kansas City where he met his loving wife Frances on a blind date. The two were soon married and recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary surrounded by adoring family members and friends.

Passing up medical school and dreams of being a surgeon in order to support his family, Morris found another way to put his nimble hands and sharp mind to work, beginning a long and successful career in the rapidly growing and physically demanding garment industry of Kansas City. In charge of the cutting room for Fashionbilt, Morris helped build the company into one of the most successful ladies clothing manufacturers of its time. He retired from Fashionbilt in the mid-1980s, but his love of fine clothing and his gift of easily relating to people from all walks of life led him to a fulfilling second career selling fine men’s suits and clothing for several higher end merchandisers in Kansas City, including Hall’s Crown Center. There he quickly established a loyal cliental, including several well-known Kansas City sports celebrities.

Morris was also an incredible dancer, tall and lean with beautiful white hair befitting a refined gentleman of stature, who together with his wife, taught ballroom dancing to many Kansas City residents. A man’s man and a devoted sports fan, Morris was an incredible athlete and enjoyed playing basketball, golf and cycling. In his later years, he held season tickets for both his beloved Kansas City Chiefs and Royals — never missing a game and never losing hope of a national title.

Forever with us in our hearts, his spirit has touched us all. We know he will be dancing, golfing, and cheering for his favorite teams, eternally, while keeping a watchful eye on all of his beloved family and friends.

A memorial service for immediate family and close friends is being planned for late spring/early summer. In lieu of cards and flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation at www.macular.org in honor of Morris.

Arr: Anthony & Dziadowicz Funeral Home, 219-836-8250.


Christa I. Louis, 81, of Kansas City, Mo., passed away Thursday, March 13, 2014, at the Kansas City Hospice House.

Graveside services and burial were Monday, March 17, at Rose Hill Cemetery. Contributions are suggested to a charity of your choice.

Christa was born Nov. 22, 1932, in Kupferberg, Germany, the daughter of Bruno and Meta Ruffer. She moved to the United States in 1954 and became a U.S. citizen in 1957.

She was a former member of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, Congregation BIAV, Congregation Beth Shalom, Congregation Ohev Sholom, Kehilath Israel Synagogue and The New Reform Temple. She was also a member of Hadassah, B’nai B’rith Women, ORT and the Shalom Geriatric Center Auxiliary.

Christa and her late husband Stanley, who died in 2005, were the former owners of The Louis Memorial Chapel for many years until they retired in 2001. She was also preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her brother, Joachim Ruffer and his family who still live in Germany. Also surviving are many friends and her Yorkie, Suzi.

Condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Dr. Stanley Hellerstein, age 87, died March 7, 2014, at his home in Kansas City from complications of congestive heart failure.

The funeral will take place at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 14, at the New Reform Temple at Gregory and Main Streets in Kansas City. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Nephrology Section of Children’s Mercy Hospital in memory of Dr. Stanley Hellerstein.

He will long be remembered for his innumerable contributions to pediatric nephrology and his devotion to family.

Stanley was born on Oct. 3, 1926, in Denver, Colo. He was the youngest of 10 children born to Meyer and Ida Hellerstein. At age 17, he enlisted in the Army during World War II. While training for the Army Corps of Engineers, he met his future wife, Edith Levy, in Washington, D.C.

In 1948, Stanley earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from the University of Colorado at Boulder. There he also renewed his acquaintance with Edith Levy, whom he married in 1949. He chose to study medicine, and in 1952, he graduated from the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. He completed his pediatric internship and residency in Indianapolis, Ind.

In 1955, he was awarded a fellowship in fluids and electrolytes with Daniel C. Darrow, a renowned expert in the field. This fellowship brought him to Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

In 1957, after completing his fellowship, Dr. Hellerstein joined Dr. Joseph Borenstine in private practice. During the next six years — an era when doctors still made house calls — he continued his research into fluid balance and the use of oral electrolyte solutions to avoid hospitalizing children with dehydration.

Because Dr. Hellerstein missed the stimulation of an academic setting, in 1963 he returned to Children’s Mercy. During a distinguished career that lasted nearly five decades, he participated extensively in the hospital leadership; contributed significantly to pediatric research; and improved the health and lives of tens of thousands of patients. He served as president of the medical staff, director of Medical Education and chief of the Nephrology Section. He taught and mentored hundreds of faculty, residents, and medical students. He won numerous teaching awards, including the 2006 Clinical Advances in Pediatrics Clinical Teacher Award. In 2007, he was selected as an Honored Member of the medical staff in recognition of his distinguished contributions. 

Dr. Hellerstein published more than 120 scientific articles and book chapters and authored a 1982 book, “Urinary Tract Infections in Children.” He established Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Nephrology Section. This was one of the first pediatric nephrology departments in the country, and is now among the top ranked in the country. He was recognized with the Kreamer Pediatric Research Excellence Award, and in 1998, he was named as the Ernest L. Glassock Chair in Pediatric Research. Because of his significant contributions to the study of urinary problems and kidney function in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics selected him to serve as chairman of its Nephrology Section. Dr. Hellerstein retired in 2009 after devoting nearly five decades to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

His wide-ranging contributions also included founding the clinic for children with sickle-cell disease. In addition, in the late 1970s after treating several infants for a rare kidney disease, Bartter’s Syndrome, his research indicated that the cause of the disease was inadequate chloride in Neo-Mull-Soy formula. This discovery led to the removal of the defective product from the market and a series of legislative and regulatory steps to ensure the safety of infant formulas.

Dr. Hellerstein exhibited a rare combination of keen intellect, enthusiasm for learning, humor, and compassion toward others. He was a devoted husband and a beloved father and grandfather.

He was preceded in death by Edith, his wife of 61 years, and his nine older siblings.

He is survived by his children, Joseph Hellerstein of Seattle, Alice (Michael) Ra’anan of Potomac, Md., and Ann Hellerstein (Samuel Belkin) of Rockville, Md. He is also survived by grandchildren Myra and Toba Hellerstein; Gabriella and Joshua Ra’anan; and Daniel, Mitchell and Melanie Belkin.

He will be deeply missed by all.

Online condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Sylvie Schuman Reice, 94, of New York City, died peacefully at her home on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

Graveside services were held Sunday at New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, N.Y. The family suggests contributions in her memory to Congregation Beth Torah.

Sylvie was preceded in death by her husband, Albert Reice.

She is survived by her children, Milo Reice, Naomi Buchwald, Dr. Seth Reice, Andrew Reice and Richard Reice; and her grandchildren, David Buchwald, Jennifer Buchwald, Rabbi Rebecca Reice of Congregation Beth Torah, Max Reice and Alexandra Reice.

Sylvie was the editor-in-chief of Ingénue Magazine for a number of years in the 1960s, when it was one of only three teenage magazines. She also worked for Seventeen Magazine. Her work in magazines and editing took her to some fabulous places, where she met famous people such as Anthony Quinn, Charleton Heston, Rex Harrison and Princess Christina of Sweden.

She later ghostwrote the nationally syndicated Dr. Fox pet advice column for many years (even though she never had a pet). She wrote young adult advice columns, books and short stories before “Young Adult” was a genre. Amazon still carries a few of her titles under the name Sylvie Schuman.

In later years, she settled into being an art critic and wrote a column for a paper on Long Island. She could get in anywhere in New York City with her press pass and would take her grandchildren to museums and art openings, theater productions and films.

She was a stunning person in her brilliance and her beauty. She would have been 95 on March 28.


Helen Shapiro, 105, of Overland Park, passed away Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at Village Shalom.

Graveside services were held Friday at Mount Carmel Cemetery. The family suggests contributions to Village Shalom, Congregation Beth Shalom Lechem Committee or Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care.

Helen was born Sept. 2, 1908, in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Wolf and Pearl Lena (Karol) Glazer.

She was a legal secretary for Cohen, Schnider, Shamberg & May law offices for 26 years before her retirement in 1978 at age 70. Helen began working in 1952 following her husband’s death. Prior to this she was a homemaker raising her children, Audrey born in 1938 and Bill born in 1945.

Helen was a current member of Congregation Beth Shalom and was a longtime member of Kehilath Israel Synagogue. 

She was described as a woman of valor — a modest, strong-willed, passionate parent and grandparent. Helen was a woman of few words, but they were always from her heart. She had tremendous integrity. Her examples were shown by her deeds, not just her words. 

Her dedication was to her family. Her life revolved around raising all the generations of her family, always putting herself last, although she deserved to be first.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 15 years, Bernard Herbert Shapiro; brothers, Morris, Lou, Jay and Ben; sisters, Mina, Bertha, Fannie and Ruth; and grandson, Binyamin Greenblatt.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, William and Joyce Shapiro, Overland Park; daughter and son-in-law, Audrey and Martin Greenblatt, Jerusalem; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Village Shalom where she lived since 2006. They are truly caring and dedicated people who deserve the highest praise for what they do. Also high praise should go to Kansas City Hospice that helped her through her final days.

Online condolences may be left at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Sandra Bates, 73, of Leawood, passed away Thursday, April 3, 2014, at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital.

Funeral services were held Monday, April 7, at The Louis Memorial Chapel, followed by entombment at Rose Hill Cemetery Mausoleum. The family suggests contributions to Great Plains SPCA, 5428 Antioch Dr., Merriam, KS 66202, www.greatplainsspca.org.

Sandy was born June 30, 1940, in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Hanan and Helen (Feinberg) Eisen.

She attended Southwest High School and the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her career included General Motors, Telecable and Ambassador Cards.

Sandra was member of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah.

She is survived by her loving husband of 36 years, Patrick Bates of the home; daughter and son-in-law, Margo and Aaron Herwig, Leawood; her pride and joy, her grandson, Jordan Herwig; brother, Burton Eisen, of Kansas City, Mo.; and her chocolate Labrador, Albi.

Her best days were spent traveling to far lands, exotic locations, and laughing with her family and friends. We have lost Sandy far too soon and will deeply miss her loyalty, love, wit, and smile.

Condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Sylvia Spector, 86, of Austin, Texas, peacefully passed away Friday, March 28, 2014, at Heartland Nursing Center in the presence of her loving children and friends.

Services were to be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at The Louis Memorial Chapel, with burial at Rose Hill Cemetery. Contributions are suggested to elayna’This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or a charity of your choice..

Sylvia was born July 15, 1927, in St. Louis, Mo., the youngest of three children of Max and Moly Palder.

Sylvia and her late husband Jack are survived by children Sharon and Allen Spector, many loving relatives and countless friends. She will be missed.

Online condolences may be left at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Sherman Titens, 81, of Leawood, passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at St. Luke’s Hospital-Plaza.

Funeral services were held Friday, March 28, at The Louis Memorial Chapel, with burial at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family suggests contributions to Jewish Vocational Services, 1608 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO 64108; the Stacey Titens Wizig Cancer Research Program at ICAN, 27 W. Morten Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021-7246 (askican.org); or the Coda Jazz Fund, P.O. Box 412116, Kansas City, MO 64141-2116.

Sherman was born on July 27, 1932, in Cleveland, the son of Louis and Celia (Shafran) Titens.

He attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and history and his LLB and JD law degrees. After graduation he worked at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., and then formed his own law firm in Cleveland. He later pursued business management and consulting in the Kansas City area. He also taught graduate level classes in marketing and business management at Webster University and authored several articles and business publications focused on family-owned business.

Sherman was a long-standing member of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah and Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles. He served for many years on B’nai Jehudah’s board of trustees and also served on several other community boards.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Stacey Titens Wizig, in 2010.

Sherman is survived by his wife of 55 years, Peggy Titens, of the home; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Stacey Titens, Dallas; daughter, Joan Titens, New York City; son-in-law, Howard Wizig, Leawood; and three grandchildren, Marissa Wizig, Hayley Wizig and Josh Titens.

His greatest joy was his family, who will miss him dearly.

Online condolences may be left at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 


Michael Barry Mendelsohn, 68, of Kansas City, Mo., passed away Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at Village Shalom.

Graveside services were held Friday, March 21, at Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge Cemetery. The family suggests contributions to Village Shalom, 5500 W. 123rd St., Overland Park, KS 66209; Jewish Family Services, 5801 W. 115th St., #103, Overland Park, KS 66211; or Cancer Action, 10520 Barkley, Ste. 100, Overland Park, KS 66212.

Michael was born Aug. 23, 1945, in Portsmouth, Va., the son of Elic and Helen Felice (Wolf) Mendelsohn, who preceded him in death, and came to the Kansas City area shortly thereafter.

He started his career as an artist, creating posters all over the city. He then went into interior design, both residential and commercial. His passion for food led him into a career of cooking. He was known as “Pasta Mike” throughout the industry. His creativity can be seen everywhere. When you enjoy a wonderful meal, please think of Mike.

Michael is survived by his son, Kevin Paul Mendelsohn, Yakima, Wash.; daughters, Rhonda Mendelsohn Wolfe, California, Michelle and Israel Martinez, Florida, and Laura and Jim Marquez, Rialto, Calif.; brother, Bob Mendelsohn, Sydney, Australia; sister, Judy Lanes, Overland Park; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Online condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Jack Wolf, 79, of Houston, passed away Thursday, March 20, 2014. 

He was married for 44 years to the late Marlene Wolf.

Jack is survived by a brother, Joe Wolf and his wife Fran of Kansas City, Mo., and their family. He is also survived by his stepchildren, Steven and Karen Moore and David Moore; and five step-grandchildren.

At the University of Missouri, Jack was a member of Phi Sigma Delta fraternity. As a successful insurance agent, Jack was a Charter Life Underwriter and a member of The Million Dollar Round Table for many years consecutively. During his leisure time, he was an avid bridge player and attained the level of Life Master.

In retirement, he enjoyed travel and collecting art. He was a founding member of Temple Beth El, in Missouri City, Texas, and member of Chai Learning Center in Houston. The family suggests contributions to these two congregations.


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