David Louis Roth
September 12, 1953 - March 26, 2019
David passed away unexpectedly on March 26, 2019 in his home in Oakland. The sudden passing of this lively and engaged man is a great shock to all who knew and loved him especially his wife Mary, his family, and many friends. A lifelong Bay Area resident, David was in born in Redwood City on September 12, 1953, the eldest son of Irvin and Maureen Roth. He grew up in Sunnyvale and attended Homestead High School in Cupertino, before journeying south to Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he received a B.A. in Soviet Studies in 1975. He returned to the Bay Area and graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.
After earning his law degree in 1978, he established a practice in Oakland with his friend Ron Ishida, the beginning of a long and successful legal career, which included serving on the Board of Governors of the State Bar Association. Over the past 40 years, he continued to work in various partnerships or solo, eventually specializing in real estate law. He was a recognized expert in boundaries and easements law, speaking and writing frequently on the subject and contributing a chapter to the legal text California Easements and Boundaries: Law and Litigation. He was an extremely hard-working and conscientious attorney who worked zealously for his clients.
David was a man of great principal. He was a proud Liberal, a committed and engaged progressive, cutting his teeth on anti-Vietnam War marches and canvassing for George McGovern. He was a lifelong Democrat and a longtime member of Democratic Socialists of America, and worked with and contributed to organizations for racial justice, economic equality, and immigrant and refugee rights, as well as local electoral campaigns. David did a great deal of pro bono legal work and was a fixture at Lawyers in the Library, providing free legal advice to patrons. While not affiliated with a Jewish congregation, he was very engaged culturally with egalitarian Judaism, and held a deep commitment to Tzedakah (Justice) and Tikkun Olam (Healing the World).
He and Mary traveled the world. He was a fan of both the Oakland A's and the San Francisco Giants, of Al Green and the Grateful Dead. A line from the song Cassidy was especially meaningful to him: "let the words be yours, I'm done with mine." He was a voracious and eclectic reader and especially enjoyed reading about the history of California, of Judaism and of the law. He loved his large extended family and many close friends. He will be greatly missed by all of them.
David is survived by his wife Mary Roth, his stepson Chris Craighead and wife Tasha and their children Phineas, Phoebe, and Theo; his mother Maureen, his brothers Jonathan and Andrew and their wives Susan Heidenreich and Anni Klose, nieces Ella Roth and Tessa Roth; and members of the Rosenthal and Abrams families.
A memorial service will be held 11:00 am, April 5, 2019, at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park in Colma.