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Frederick Weiss

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Frederick Weiss Obituary
Frederick T. Weiss

Frederick T. Weiss, Sr., 97, passed away peacefully at home in Piedmont on October 16, 2013. He was married for 68 years to his beloved wife Dorothy who passed away in 2009.

Born in Oakland, California, on July 24, 1916, Fred grew up in Los Angeles and attended UCLA. He received his PhD in chemistry from Harvard in 1940 and immediately went to work for Shell Oil at the Wood River refinery, near St. Louis, and was engaged in work that would become essential to the war effort. He was extremely proud the refinery received the first Army and Navy "E" for excellence in providing high octane aviation fuels. Those fuels helped win the Battle of Britain and by sheer coincidence he and Dorothy were married on that battle's first day, September 15, 1940.

Fred and Dorothy returned to California in 1946 and raised their three sons in Piedmont while Fred worked at Shell Development in Emeryville. He spent over 20 years with the Boy Scouts in Piedmont and was honored to receive the Silver Beaver award. He was an avid hiker and enjoyed adventures and camping with his sons. Yosemite was one of his favorite places and his 70th and 90th birthday celebrations were held there.

After retirement, Fred put his energy into the Judah L. Magnes Museum and during his term as board president he was instrumental in helping to acquire its present site at Allston Way in Berkeley. During retirement Fred's wife, Dorothy, opened the Dorothy Weiss Gallery in San Francisco and he was her biggest supporter by going to every monthly artist opening for fifteen years. He was so incredibly proud of the respect she received from the art community.

During Fred's last decade he began writing a family history with the wonderful assistance of Lisbeth G. Schwab. That collaboration proved to be so successful Fred eventually produced five family history volumes and other books as well.

In Fred's last years he was lovingly cared for by Karen Hennings, his devoted caregiver.

He is survived by his loving family; three sons, Ron, Toby and John Weiss, and daughters-in-law Jocelyn Weiss, Teri Weiss, and Alison Stone; four grandchildren, Meredith Levy and husband Erez Levy, Rebecca Weiss, Jennifer Weiss, and Michael Weiss; and two great-grandchildren, Andrew and Jane Levy; his niece, Linda Spencer and husband Milton, son Charles Spencer and daughter Samantha Spencer M.D. and husband Jean-Manuel Nothias, and their son, Sebastien Frederick Nothias; and Dorothy's sister Pauline Sinow, her daughter Elisabeth Hutchinson and husband Stuart Hutchinson; and son Jordan Sinow M.D. and wife Nancy Janda and their three children, Catherine, Andrew and Claire Sinow.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 20, 2013
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