David Keller, a Palo Alto resident since 1996, died May 1, a few days after his 66th wedding anniversary. He was 89.
He was born in Turka, Poland, and attended Yeshiva in Oswiecim, Poland. He left when the Jews were chased out for the construction of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He was captured and sent to various concentration camps while he worked on building Reich's Autobahn, the roadways. He is the only member of his extended family to survive the Holocaust.
He met his wife, Luba, also the only Holocaust survivor from her family, at the displaced persons camp in Feldafing, Germany, and they immigrated to the United States in 1947, settling in New York. He worked at Ratner's Dairy Restaurant on the Lower East Side, where he worked himself up from busboy and counterman to waiter, night manager and shop steward. In 1969 he was elected as a labor chief of Local One of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Bartenders International Union (now part of UNITE-HERE).
He retired in 1985 as a business agent and his territory included Windows on the World restaurant in the World Trade Center. He also served in various leadership roles at Seaview Jewish Center in Canarsie, Brooklyn, and received a certificate in labor relations management from Cornell University.
After moving to Palo Alto to be near family, he worked at Bob and Bob's Jewish Books and Gifts store in Palo Alto. He also volunteered serving meals at Avenidas La Comida lunch program. He was a weekly fixture at the Shabbat morning service at Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, where he cut the challah at the end of services. His participation at Kol Emeth diminished as health declined.
He is survived by his wife, Luba; sons, Marty (Barbara), Allyn (Jovanna) and Arthur; and grandchildren, Paul, (Sasha), Will (Yael), Sophie, Reta, Jordan and Dania.
Marilyn Elizabeth Burnes
Marilyn Burnes, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died April 25 due to complications from pneumonia. She was 90.
She was born Feb. 2, 1922, to Otis H. and Alice J. (Flinn) Godfrey of St. Paul, Minn. A graduate of Central High School in St. Paul, she attended Macalester College and graduated in 1943 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in art.
She met Robert "Bob" C. Burnes in 1940 at a mixer at Macalester. They dated a few times and then drifted apart. After college, she worked for a year at Northwest Airlines as a draftsman and then continued her education in occupational therapy at Columbia University in New York.
While she was in New York, she rekindled her relationship with Bob and they corresponded regularly while he was stationed at an Air Force base on the island of Tinian during World War II. After the war, they found themselves back in the Twin Cities and they were married in the House of Hope Church in St. Paul on March 23, 1946.
They moved to Palo Alto shortly after their marriage and raised three daughters, Elisabeth (Betsy), Susan and Barbara. She spent 20 years working for the Stanford Graduate Foreign Student Admissions Office and was a devoted mother and volunteer.
She received her greatest joy from helping her community. She gave hundreds of hours to Friends Outside, a group dedicated to helping families of individuals who were incarcerated. She was an adult-literacy tutor, a Girl Scout leader and built homes with Habitat for Humanity. A dedicated church member, she was very active in Women's Fellowship, the Peace and Justice Committee, the church newsletter and taught Sunday school. She was a longtime supporter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an organization working for peace, justice and non-violence.
She sang songs to her nearby grandchildren and made tapes for those far away. She loved the beach, the San Francisco Giants, the San Francisco 49ers, Stanford sports and politics. Her sense of adventure took her from Europe to China.
She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Robert; sister, Alice (William) Wimer; children, Betsy (Marc) Knoche, Susan (Jeff) Krow and Barbara Burnes; granddaughters, Alison Knoche (Nathan) Prosser and Lauren Knoche; grandsons, Daniel Krow, Ethan Krow, Ojay Eribo and Owen Eribo; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her bothers, Otis Jr. and Allan.