Hundreds in Georgia mourn Jewish soldier killed in Afghanistan
Hundreds of mourners filled a Savannah, Ga., synagogue to remember a Jewish soldier killed in action in Afghanistan on July 12.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, an Army Ranger and native of Summerville, Ga., was wounded by enemy small-arms fire while helping to support a medical evacuation landing zone during a counterterrorism operation, Army officials said. He died at a medical treatment facility.
His funeral took place July 18 at Congregation Mickve Israel in historic Savannah, the Post and Courier reported. Flags were lowered at half-staff throughout the state in his honor.
Friends from Summerville High School and The Citadel remembered him as “smart, caring and upbeat,” the paper reported.
“I’ve never seen a man love his wife and his child as much as he loved them,” a friend said. Celiz and his wife, Katie, began dating in high school.
The Savannah Jewish Educational Alliance and Savannah Jewish Federation mourned Celiz in a statement on Facebook.
“A husband, father, and leader, Chris was known as a man who ‘led from the front’; He was the first one in, worried about the welfare of his troops,” they wrote. “He died as he lived … as a hero.”
Celiz deployed from 2008 to 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and from 2011 to 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, according to the U.S. Defense Department. He was on his fifth deployment when he was killed.
Celiz was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. n
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Diana “Dee” Aronson, of Silver Spring, died July 16. She was the beloved wife of Joel Aronson; devoted mother of Chuck Sussman, Jeffrey (Eunice) Aronson, Andrea (Mark) Lozouski and Stephanie (Carlos) Loayza; loving sister of Alexandra (Christian Thompson) Aronson. Also survived by her grandchildren Alex, Samantha, Wyatt, Sebastian, Santana and Cassie. Contributions may be made to petconnect.com. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Sidney Arthur of Bethesda and Aurora, Ohio, died July 12. He was 90. Arthur was an Eagle Scout and a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ann Arthur; children, Amy (Eric) Fingerhut and Julie (Jon) Garcia; grandchildren, Isabella, Paloma, Sam and Charlie; and nieces, Laurie Butler and Janet
Levinson. Contributions can be made to the Jewish War Veterans at jwv.org. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Leesa Rose Fine
Leesa Fine, of Bethesda, died July 18. She was the beloved wife of Milan Kubic; loving mother of Benjamin Kubic (Elizabeth Hoffman); dear sister of David (Roseann) Fine and the late Avrom Fine; and cherished daughter of the late Isadore and Judith Fine. Leesa was a devoted biblical Hebrew teacher whose legacy will live on with her many students, family and friends. Contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders or National Public Radio. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Sydell Beverly Kopf
Sydell Beverly Kopf, of Rockville, died July 16. She was the beloved wife of the late Solomon Wolfe Kopf; devoted mother of Randi Kopf Rothenberg and Lisa Krizman; proud grandmother of Mitchell Rothenberg and Jeffrey Krizman; and thrilled great-grandmother of Holden Wolfe Rothenberg. Contributions may be made to a charity of choice. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Sheldon Irwin Matzkin
Sheldon Irwin Matzkin, of Bethesda, died July 17. He was the beloved husband of Eleanor R. Matzkin; devoted father of the late Thomas Matzkin, Richard Matzkin and Jonathan (Karen) Matzkin. Also survived by his grandchildren VitaMarie Matzkin and Paulina Matzkin, and step-grandchildren Matt Falconer and Alec Falconer. Contributions may be made to a charity of choice. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.