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Adam Burstein


1976 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Adam Burstein Obituary
Adam Lee Burstein

April 13, 1976 - September 27, 2015

Adam Lee Burstein passed away on September 27, 2015 after having fought non-Hodgkin's lymphoma since the beginning of the year. He was 39 years old. Adam was universally loved, and he was an extraordinarily gentle, warm, and kind person. His friends, family, and colleagues cherished him for his loving personality, intelligence, wit, and drive. Adam was a lover of music and the outdoors.

Born in Los Angeles, CA, Adam grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He attended Valley Beth Shalom Day School, Walter Reed Junior High, and Taft High School. In 1994, he moved to Berkeley, CA so that he could attend UC Berkeley. He fell in love with the East Bay, ultimately settling down there. Later, he met Leah Sokolofski, whom he married in 2009 during an outdoor ceremony overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Their son, Sam, was born in 2012 and has been the source of their joy ever since.

From an early age, Adam was a gifted musician who learned the piano, guitar, and trombone with ease; later, he also picked up the clarinet, banjo, and drums (the last a particular favorite). He played music throughout his life, performing in his high school marching band, jazz duos, rock bands, and jam sessions with friends. Between 2009-11, Adam was the drummer in the Bay Area band The Shants.

Adam enjoyed a fulfilling career in solar energy. He specialized in solar maintenance and operations, learning the trade as a technician and electrical contractor before moving into management at Powerlight and SunPower. In the fall of 2009, Adam became a successful solar energy entrepreneur by launching Next Phase Solar. He remained owner and CEO until 2014, when he sold the company to Enphase Energy, where he continued to work. He also had begun exploring his next projects.

Beyond music, Adam had a love of the outdoors, with a particular fondness for camping and hiking. He had worked at many camps that emphasized the outdoors, and it was one of the particular sore points of his illness that he remained confined indoors for so long.

Adam leaves behind parents Richard and Irene Burstein, brother Matthew (Athena Gavaris), wife Leah, son Sam, grandmother Pearl Barocas, uncle Lee Barocas (Sylvia), aunt Lisa Bruehl (Mike), parents-in-law Ed and Diane Sokolofski, sister-in-law Rachel Sokolofski (Geoff), a large extended family, and a host of friends from his childhood, college years, and adult life. May his name be for a blessing.

Adam's funeral service will be Thursday, October 1, at 10 a.m. at Eden Memorial Park, 11500 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills, CA 91345. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Adam's memory to: (1) Cancer Research Institute, http://www.cancerresearch.org/; (2) Little Kids Rock, http://www.littlekidsrock.org/ and (3) Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91436.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2015
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