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Barbara Breger

Obituary Condolences

Barbara Breger Obituary
Barbara Breger

Barbara died on February 21 after a six-month ordeal with ovarian cancer.  To the end, she retained her sharp intelligence, sense of humor, and compassion for others.  Barbara was born July 6, 1938 in Coney Island, New York and moved to Los Angeles at age four where she lived until the last ten years when she relocated to Marin County.  She attended Hollywood High School and received her undergraduate education at Vassar College and U.C.L.A., and then pursued graduate work at the latter institution in 19th and early 20th century Russian and European history.  This background was essential to the chapters she wrote on the First World War and Trauma in her husband's well-received biography of Sigmund Freud.  Several reviews singled out her chapters as the best in the book.  She was very proud of the Free Clinic that she co-founded in North Hollywood in 1970, which has grown into the very successful Valley Community Clinic, a model of low cost health care.  In 1960 she and her first husband sponsored a graduate student from Africa, Higiro Semajege, who eventually became the speaker of the Ugandan Parliament.  He remained a loyal and warm friend throughout Barbara's life.

She is survived by her husband Lou, her two sons John and Steven Feiner, their wives, Gina and Vicki, and five grand children: Dylan, Jack, Anna, Gregory and Thomas Feiner, to all of whom she was close, as well as a large number of loving friends.  She is also survived by Sasha and Petya, two in a long line of Labradors who she loved for many years.   Everyone who knew Barbara was taken with her great capacity to understand others, her love, brilliance and wit, not to mention the excellent meals she cooked, and the gorgeous gardens she created.  Her passing leaves a huge emptiness in our hearts.

Contributions in her memory can be made to the Valley Community Clinic (818-763-1718) or Friendship House in San Francisco (415-865-0964.)

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 11, 2014
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