February 19, 1939 - October 18, 2020
Resident of Berkeley, CA
Sam Ginsburg died peacefully at Summit Hospital on October 18th, 2020.
Sam was born February 19, 1939, in Stockton, to Rose and David Ginsburg, Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia. The family moved to Tujunga in the San Fernando Valley, where Sam attended Verdugo Hills High School. Sam became the president of the school's chemistry club and won a national prize in chemistry.
Sam enrolled in the California Institute of Technology, where he considered majoring in chemical engineering, but decided that since he was a klutz, electrical engineering was the safer choice. He was an active participant in the school's culture of pranks. After earning his bachelor's degree, Sam continued at CalTech for his master's degree.
He moved to the Bay Area, and worked for PhilCo before pursuing a Ph.D. in management from UC Berkeley. In 1966, he married Rose Marie Wankum, and in 1967 his son Tom was born, followed by daughter Eva in 1970. He was an independent consultant for most of his career, working in the areas of management, market research, and investing. When asked what he did for a living, he would sometimes say "I poke around."
Sam was an active member of the Berkeley Jewish community for nearly fifty years, serving on the boards of Hillel Academy and Congregation Beth Israel. In his later years, he was instrumental in planning, building, and maintaining Berkeley's eruv, establishing an organization, an infrastructure, and a body of knowledge that will help sustain the community for many years to come.
Always intellectually curious, Sam read widely on a number of obscure topics. His interest in stamp collecting led him to research stamps from the Polish town of Przédborz. He became the world's leading authority on identifying forged Przédborz stamps, and his website continues to serve as a source of information for other collectors.
Sam loved camping and road trips. He traveled at a leisurely pace, exploring parks, towns, and museums, and always advised other travelers to get off the interstate and check out the side roads. In both his travels and life, the journey was just as important as the destination.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Joe Ginsburg. He is survived by his wife, Rose Marie Ginsburg; his children, Tom Ginsburg (Amber) and Eva Ginsburg (Steve Scher); his grandchildren Zoë Ginsburg, Kayla Ginsburg (Kaitlyn Webster), Tali Ginsburg, Fred Scher, Malkah Scher, and Lani Scher; and his sister-in-law Claire Gonder.
Donations in Sam's memory may be sent to the East Bayshore Eruv Corporation, www.berkeleyeruv.org
, or the American Cancer Society
. View the online memorial for Samuel Ginsburg
Published by East Bay Times on Oct. 24, 2020.