Obituaries are updated regularly and archived on JN Online:
ax Sheldon, a real-estate guru with an
uncanny talent for predicting the resi-
dence patterns of metro Detroiters,
died Aug. 10, 2003, in Danville,
Calif, at age 86.
A native of Germany, he did volunteer work on
behalf of the international Jewish sports movement,
which won him a lifetime achievement award —
and also saved him from the Nazis.
In 1936, he was a 19-year-old member of Leipzig's
Bar Kochba sports club. When the club, a branch of
the international Maccabi youth organization, trav-
eled to Palestine to compete, the young man
received a letter from his widowed mother.
"We still have the letter," said Dr. Murray
Sheldon, one of Mr. Sheldon's two sons. "It basically
says, 'Things are worse here — don't come back.'"
Mr. Sheldon took the advice. After staying in
Palestine for about two years, he spent time in
Casablanca, Morocco, where, in 1940, he was able
to obtain a U.S. visa.
He never saw his mother again and later learned
she had died in the Lodz ghetto. His sister and three
brothers also escaped to America.
A Detroiter from 1953 to 1998, Mr. Sheldon
played a crucial role in the development of the city's
suburbs. "Once he got his broker's license, he began
identifying farmland and vacant property," his son
said. "He could see the migration patterns of people
in advance of when it actually happened."
Mr. Sheldon's uncanny ability paid off generously
for the investors who backed his various projects,
which included Northland and Tel-12 shopping
malls in Southfield as well as the Detroit Tennis &
Squash Club in Farmington Hills and the surround-
ing residential development at 14 Mile and Drake
Mr. Sheldon volunteered for U.S. Army service,
his son said, in part to get back at the Nazis and in
part to search for his mother. Because he spoke flu-
ent German, he volunteered to interrogate German
prisoners of war.
"He's experienced so many things that his person-
ality at home with his family was very strong," his
son said. "We used to call him 'the General.' When
my brother and I went out on dates, he didn't ask us
what we'd been doing; he interrogated us."
However, Dr. Sheldon said, his father was
extremely mild-mannered and accommodating at
"Whenever he assisted someone in selling property
or any time he helped someone make money, he
would donate a certain amount to charity; and he
would insist that they did, too," his son said. "It was
right in the contract."
Mr. Sheldon supported many charities in Israel,
including a library and a tennis center in Ramat
"Jewish causes defined his life because Jewish
events shaped his life," his son said.
In 1997, Mr. Sheldon, an avid tennis player,
received the Yakir lifetime achievement award from
the Maccabi organization.
Mr. Sheldon is survived by his wife, Bertha
Sheldon; sons and daughters-in-law, Michael and
Kathleen Sheldon of Colorado and Dr. Murray and
Christine Sheldon of California; grandchildren
Jennifer, David, Meredith, Derek and Kendra
Donations in his memory may be made to
Maccabi USA Sports for Israel, 1926 Arch,
Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Arrangements by Sinai Memorial Chapel,
Lafayette, Calif, with interment in California.
YETTA BEZ, 90, of Farmington
Hills, died Aug. 5, 2003. She was a
member of Eastern Star, past president
of Aesculapians, a member of B'nai
B'rith Women and
Mrs. Bez is survived
by her sons and
Bert and Carol Bez of
Okemos, Dr. Herbert
and Linda Bez of
Douglas and Maureen Bez, Joel and
Leslie Bez, Steven and Ilene Bez, Lisa
and David Anderson, Julie and Scott
Singer; great-grandchildren, Hannah,
David and Brooke Bez, Alex and
Bradley Bez, Melanie and Shayna Bez,
Zachary and Jordan Anderson,
Braydon Singer. For 41 years, she was
the beloved wife of the late David Bez.
Interment at Clover Hill Park
Cemetery. Contributions may be made
to a charity of one's choice.
Arrangements by Ira Kaufman Chapel.
ALVIN I. BLECHMAN, 75, of
Northbrook, Ill., formerly of
Southfield, died July 24, 2003.
Mr. Blechman is survived by his lov-
ing wife, Fran; daughters and sons in
law Nancy and Eric Clark of
Bloomfield Hills, Gail and Jerry
Friedman of Scottsdale, Ariz.; adoring
grandchildren, Emily and Jake Clark,
Sarah and Jason Friedman; brothers
and sisters-in-law, Harold and Ethel
Blechman of Skokie, Ill., Marvin and
Marlene Blechman of Northbrook.
Services were held at Beth Tikvah
Congregation in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Interment was at Shalom Memorial
Cemetery in Palatine, Ill.
Contributions may be made to
Variety, the Children's Charity, Ann
and Jack Sparberg Amputee Center, 1
IBM Plaza #2800 Chicago, IL 60611
or a charity of one's choice.
HERBERT PAUL BOGORAD, 62, of
West Bloomfield, died Aug. 9, 2003.
He is survived by his daughter,
Courtney Bogorad of
Bogorad of West
Bloomfield; sister and
and Philip Gersten of
Walled Lake; dear
friend and former
Drapkin Bogorad. He
was the dear son of the late Jack and
Elsie Bogorad; brother of the late
Interment at Hebrew Memorial
Park Cemetery. Contributions may be
made to the Karmanos Cancer
Institute, 24601 Northwestern
Highway, Southfield, MI 48075 or to
the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,
1421 E. 12 Mile Road, Madison Hts.,
MI 48071. Arrangements by Dorfman
ROCHELLE CHINSKY, 69, of Lake
Worth, Fla., died Aug. 6, 2003. She
was an industrial automotive secretary
and a member of Hadassah.
Mrs. Chinsky is survived by her
husband of 50 years, Eddie Chinsky;
son and daughter-in-law, David J. and
Eva Chinsky of Farmington Hills;
daughter and son-in-law, Debi
Chinsky Harris and Hartley Harris of
West Bloomfield; grandchildren, Joel
and Clara Chinsky, Mychal and Erin
Harris; sister, Rita Hoff of California.
Interment at Oakview Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to the
Israeli Defense Forces. Arrangements
by Ira Kaufman Chapel.
IRENE COE, 93, of Boca Raton,
Fla., died Aug. 5, 2003.
She is survived by her sons and
daughters-in-law, Dr. Sheldon and
Sandra Coe of Florida, Laurence and
Judith Coe of West Bloomfield; grand-
children, Caryn and Greg Gordon,
Tammy and Merritt Fine, Brian and
Lori Coe, Michael and Kris Coe,
Steven and Anna Coe, Matthew Coe;
six great-grandchildren. She was the
beloved wife of the late Morris Coe.
Interment in Cleveland.
Contributions may be made to the
Karmanos Cancer Institute or Temple
Beth El. This announcement was
placed at the request of the family by
Ira Kaufman Chapel.
MAC R. FISHER, 92, of Boca Raton,
Fla., died Aug. 10, 2003: For over 50
years, he was the co-founder and owner
of Fisher Women's Apparel in Lincoln
Park. He was also member and on the
board of directors at Knollwood
Country Club, a member of the Lincoln
Park Downriver Chamber of
Commerce, a member of the Andrews
Country Club in Boca Raton, a mem-
ber of Temple Shir Shalom and a former
member of Adat Shalom Synagogue.
Mr. Fisher is survived by his wife,
Catherine "Cathy" Fisher; daughter
and son-in-law, Francy and David
Colton of Farmington Hills; son-in-law
and his wife, Stuart and Iris Goldstein;
stepdaughter, Deborah Fisher; grand-
children, Darren and Regina Colton,
Evan Colton, Kimberly Colton,
Kenneth and Leslie Goldstein, Wendy
and Andy Siegel, Craig and Elissa
Goldsmith, Christopher Holder Fisher,
Nichole Holder Fisher; great-grandchil-
dren, Ariana Goldstein, Joey, Madison
and Dylan Siegel, Lauren and Lucy
Goldsmith. He was the beloved hus-
OBITUARIES on page 102