Harold Samuel Riskin(1920 - 2013)

Harold Samuel Riskin
June 21, 1920 - December 20, 2013
Resident of Alameda
Son of Charles Abraham Riskin and Ada Nankin Riskin, Harold was born and raised in Oakland where he attended Oakland High School. He studied at UC Berkeley before joining the army following the December 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. During his four years in the army, he studied Japanese and cryptology and served in the South Pacific with a unit that deciphered Japanese codes.
At the end of World War II, Harold returned to Oakland and entered the family business, Riskin's Gem Shop, a jewelry store founded on Broadway by his father in 1915. The Gem Shop became a pillar of the downtown Oakland business community, serving several generations of loyal customers until its closing in 1995.
A resident of Piedmont for over 50 years, Harold was a long-standing member of the Masons, the Rotary Club, and Temple Sinai, and was a certified gemologist. He enjoyed fishing, traveling with his wife, bridge, growing orchids, and Bay Area sports. He was a lifelong fan of Cal Bears football and a diehard supporter of the Oakland Raiders, having been an original season ticket holder from the team's first games at Oakland's Frank Youell Field.
Harold is survived by his wife of 65 years, Selma (Greenstein) Riskin, a brother, Jules Riskin of Cupertino, three children-Marcus Darrell Riskin (Cristy) of Danville, Kathy Riskin Orihuela (Rodolfo) of Sacramento, and Steven Monroe Riskin (Claudine Isaacs) of Chevy Chase, Maryland, seven grandchildren-Sean, Cheri, Daniel, Carla (Brent), Joel, Jeffrey and Timmy, two great-grandchildren—Myles and Dylan, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Marjorie (Riskin) Becker, and a grandson, Ryan.
Harold found particular joy in family gatherings. Known for his warm smile, wonderful sense of humor, his compassion and integrity, and that ubiquitous sparkle in his eyes, he will be sorely missed. He was remembered at a small private service in Alameda where he last resided.
Harold had deep roots in and a special fondness for Oakland. Contributions in his memory may be made to development or beautification programs in the city.


Published in Inside Bay Area on Jan. 5, 2014