Doris embraced every aspect of life, especially sharing its highlights with beloved family and friends: a scenic picnic, a holiday gathering at home, a stirring program at San Francisco Symphony and bold art exhibitions around the globe. A 25-year student at San Francisco's Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning, Doris was an avid bridge player, world traveler, volunteer, independent thinker, terrific chef and gracious hostess. She visited San Diego regularly, where she was a huge part of the lives her daughter and granddaughters.|
Born in Wuppertal-Elberfeld, Germany, to Greta and Eric Livingston, she survived Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938) before emigrating at age 11 with her parents and 5 year old sister, Vera, to San Francisco in 1939. Doris graduated from Washington High ('45) and UC Berkeley ('49) a Delta Phi Epsilon, with a BS in Public Health.
She married Harold J. Simon, also a German Jewish immigrant to SF, in 1949 before leaving for Boston, where she worked at Pfizer Labs. They moved to New York City in 1955, where daughters Leslie and Lynne were born.
In 1959, the family relocated to Menlo Park to join the School of Medicine community at Stanford. Then, in 1966, to La Jolla where Harold helped create UC San Diego School of Medicine. Doris was a founding member of Oceanids, the support group to the UCSD faculty, staff and student body, which remains a valued and active organization today.
Doris returned to San Francisco in 1973 following her divorce, working in catering and events at The Sheraton Palace, and later with the American Cancer Society and The American Lung Association where she designed and taught smoking cessation programs. Doris volunteered with SF region of ORT, the Museum Committee and Sisterhood at Temple Emanu-El, JCRC, JFCS, among others. Her second marriage to Richard Grasshoff ended after 22 years in 1997.
She lives on in the hearts of her two daughters, Leslie Simon of La Jolla and Lynne Simon of Corte Madera, whom her sister credits for extending their mother's life by at least five years by skillfully managing her care with unwavering intelligence, proactivity and love. She is missed and remembered by her granddaughters, Adrienne Simon Krichman and Portia Simon Krichman of La Jolla; sister, Vera Livingston (Harold) Stein; and a tightly knit community of nephews, nieces and friends.
Deepest thanks to her 'A' Team of physicians and nurses during the Scleroderma decade, which began with a diagnosis by legendary Dr. Kenneth Fye and continued with handpicked teams from CPMC, Stanford and UCSF supported by the loving care at San Francisco Towers. Her extraordinary quarterbacks, Drs. Tamiko Katsumoto and Marilyn Kutzscher, among many others helped extend Doris' charmed run until her graceful, mindful death on February 6, 2012.
Services were held Sunday, February 12, 2012, at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco.
Contributions to honor Doris' life may be made in her name to San Francisco Symphony; the Elizabeth S. Fine Museum at Temple Emanu-El; and the UCSF Foundation, P.O. Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339 (please write "Rosalind Russell Arthritis Center - for Scleroderma Research" on memo line).
Published in La Jolla Light on Feb. 23, 2012