Herschel Rashi Aaronstein 77, (James J. Sontheimer) left this world for the next on Sunday, February 24, 2013. He was born James J. Sontheimer on November 24, 1935, the son of the late Norman F. and Ruth E. (Dougherty) Sontheimer. Though he was born the son of a bakery owner and worked in almost every bakery in Erie, he knew it was certainly not his calling. Instead he enlisted in the US Air Force and served honorably during the Korean era. Upon his return and throughout his life he worked in countless positions. They ranged from being an orderly at St. Vincent Hospital to working as a part time cab driver. During that time he also was working toward his Bachelors Degree and teaching certification from Edinboro University. Following that, he served as a substitute teacher for the Erie School District for twenty plus years. Along the way he decided to convert to Judaism and subsequently changed his name. A passionate horse racing enthusiast and an accomplished handicapper, he sometimes cashed in on long shots, but seemed more proficient at picking the horse that ran fourth. He read extensively and enjoyed almost any type of music. Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald were among his favorites. He also enjoyed an occasional beer. Herschel graced his family and friends with his humor and kindness. He will be sadly missed by all. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two spouses. He is survived by his beloved sister Sally (Sarah Sontheimer) Dedad and her husband John R. (Dick) Dedad. Further survived by nieces and nephews, John (Debra) Dedad, Sharon (Tony) Hermann, David (Kathy) Dedad, Gina Freeland and many grand nieces and nephews; Lindsey (Aaron), Carla (Mark), Jenna, Sean, Megan, Zachary, Gerard, Courtney, Layla, Jessi and Jace. Lastly, he is survived by one aunt, Eleanor Reisenweber. Friends may visit the family on Friday at Burton Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., 602 West Tenth Street Erie, Pa. 16502 from 10:00 a.m. till the time of a memorial service there, at 11:00 a.m. with Rabbi John Bush officiating. Inurnment at a later time. Send condolences at www.Burtonfuneralhome.com.
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Burton Funeral Homes - Downtown Erie
602 West 10th Street
Erie, PA 16502
Published in the Erie Times-News on Feb. 28, 2013