Obituaries for February 2, 2017


Fred Buff, 95, was passenger on SS St. Louis

Fred Buff, 95, of Rockville, died Jan. 9 of complications from pneumonia. He was born in 1921 in Krumbach, Germany. He and his wife of 72 years, Lotte, lived in Paramus, N.J., from 1950 until moving to Maryland in 2014 to be closer to family.

He was an avid and award-winning gardener, tennis player and lover of classical music. The couple traveled the world and filled many albums with Buff’s photos.

Buff boarded the SS St. Louis in 1939 and was on the ill-fated voyage from Germany to Cuba. Upon revocation of the passengers’ visas, the ship, with more than 900 Jewish emigres, was turned away from Cuba and the United States and returned to Europe. Four European countries took in the passengers and Buff disembarked in Brussels. In 1940, he emigrated to New York. In his 80s, Buff spent countless hours speaking to middle and high school students bearing witness to the Holocaust. He translated and published his diary “Riding the Storm Waves.”

A veteran of the Navy (1944-46), Buff served in the Pacific Fleet. He married Lotte Neuburger in 1945 before Buff was sent overseas.

He became an executive at the General Foam Corp. which was eventually sold to Tenneco. In 1969, he was appointed president and general manager of Tenneco’s Foam and Plastics Division. Retiring in 1977, Buff began an entrepreneurial second career as founder of Tek-Pac, which later merged into Mercury Foam. He continued as general manager of Tek-Pac into his late 70s.

Buff was a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program (1969).

The couple were charter members of the Jewish Community Center of Paramus, where he served as president from 1974 to 1976 and founder of the board of governors. In addition, he was a member of the Jewish War Veterans, a supporter of the Jewish federation and a fervent supporter of the State of Israel.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by children Gary (Leni), Janice Balin (Robert) and Alan (Pat); grandchildren Jason, David, Daniel, Michael, Andrew, Joel and Noah; and six great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his sister, Anne Krantz.

Bernice “Bun” Erdrich

Bernice “Bun” Erdrich died on Jan. 25, surrounded by many saddened friends.

She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Howard; her loving sister, Myrna Rogoff; beloved son, Stewart; beautiful and caring daughter-in-law, Ilene; special grandchildren Brandon, Molly, Gillian, Max, Alli and Jillian and many nieces and nephews who all looked at her for loving guidance and encouragement. She was predeceased by her daughter, Gayle Tucker, of loving memory.

She lived an active and meaningful life. She could never sit still. First as a Sunday school teacher involved with Head Start, 30 years as a lecturer for Weight Watchers and was assistant to the director of CALCIO postal workers’ union health plan.

She never neglected her family, being there for their needs, advice and care. Her least enjoyable activity was cooking. She will be sorely missed by Howard, family members and friends. Contributions may be made to Congregation B’nai Tzedek, 10621 South Glen Road, Potomac, MD 20854. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

Charlotte Sorkine Noshpitz

Charlotte Sorkine Noshpitz, 91, of Washington, died Jan. 12.

She was born in Paris on Feb. 15, 1925. Her mother was born in Braila, Romania, and her father in Rogachev (now Belarus).

She served in the French Resistance during World War II, saved the lives of hundreds of children by taking them to the Swiss border where they were taken to safety. She also saved the lives of adult men who escaped via the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain. She also took part in the liberation of Paris.

Noshpitz was eventually offered the opportunity to come to the United States to study mental health treatment centers and new therapeutic disciplines, and to aid a group of French doctors planning to build a treatment center outside Paris, modeled on the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan. She boarded the Ile de France and headed toward New York.

She is survived by her son, Claude Noshpitz, and grandchildren Jonathan Cummings and Samuel Joseph Dowd. She is predeceased by her husband, Joseph Noshpitz.

David Schwartz

David Schwartz, of Albany, N.Y., died at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center on Jan. 23. He was 92.

He was a native and lifelong resident of Washington and moved to the Albany area more than 15 years ago.

Schwartz joined the Marine Corps during World War II, rising to the rank of staff sergeant while serving in the Pacific Theater. After returning home from the war, he became a small business owner and prided himself on his fairness to his customers and employees.

Schwartz was the devoted husband of his wife of 64 years, Florence, who died in 2014.

He is survived by his sister, Pauline Toporek, and brother, Stanley Schwartz. He was the proud father of Stephen Schwartz of Wheaton; Eric (Ellen) Schwartz of Albany, and Gayle Ann (Michael) Pocalyko of Virginia Beach, Va. His beloved grandchildren are Joshua and Aaron Schwartz and Carlyn and Graig Pocalyko.

An avid fan of jazz music, Schwartz was known for his stories about the musicians, recreating concerts from various recordings, and his vast collection of jazz albums. He also was a passionate sports fan and was especially loyal to Washington teams. Schwartz was a voracious reader of detective novels and newspapers. He loved to tell jokes and funny stories, and he was known for his infectious smile and southern gentleman’s demeanor.

Donations can be made to the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, 113 Holland Ave., Albany, NY 12208, Attention: Voluntary Services.

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