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Recent Obituaries

Taras Eugene Bileski was born on Jan. 29, 1939, and passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, after a long bout with pancreatic cancer.

Funeral services took place on Friday, April 11, at Louis Memorial Chapel, with burial at Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Gene grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as one of three children of Kasimir and Eugenie Bileski. He worked briefly for his philatelist father and spent one year of college toward an engineering degree.

He learned to ride motorcycles on a 1949 HD FL Hydroglide at age 16. It was his first bike and he never lost his love of cycling and bikes. He acquired later models of HDs and although inherently unstable they satisfied his lust for adventure. He rode thousands of miles across Canada and the United States, always armed with a pack of replacement parts and tools. Many times his ride did not get him home so he looked forward to a day of better touring bikes. In 1964 he went into the motorcycle trade to follow his passion and never retired. He became an importing dealer of Norton and Ducati by 1965 when he established his dealership Chariot Cycle in Winnipeg. Much of Gene’s business relied on mail order and due to numerous postal strikes he moved to the United States in 1985.

He made his home in Minneapolis for 16 years. By this time, the Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, introduced in 1975, opened up uncharted territory in touring. He devoted the rest of his career to procurement of parts and accessories for the Gold Wing under the name Saber Cycle and spent the last years of his life developing the reproduction of obsolete OEM parts.

After discovering his wife, Diane, and lower real estate values in the Kansas City area, he decided to move south to Raytown, Mo., in 2000 where he resided ever since. No matter the disappointments and hardships in his life, he always maintained a philosophy of moving forward, surrounding himself with beauty and embracing his passions.

He cultivated a love of music early in life, listening to great voices such as Italian tenor Enrico Caruso on his 45s. He developed a broad spectrum appreciation of classical and operatic music. He also loved jazz and became enchanted with the blues after picking up a Winnipeg radio station playing Delta blues in Biloxi and began collecting music by Benny Moten, Fats Waller and more.

Gene was a great supporter of the Kansas City Symphony, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Friends of Chamber Music. He was highly self-educated, could talk on any subject and his friends and acquaintances were amazed at his ability to recall volumes of facts and historical detail. His love of food transcended from the Ukrainian culture he grew up in where he relished his mother’s pyrohy and cabbage rolls.

He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Diane Krizek; sister, Jeanette (Alex) Warga; brother, Felix; children, Randy Bileski, Billy Adelman, Elin, Kasimir and Gil Bileski, Brian Lee and Rochelle Owings; and grandchildren Matthew and Jennifer Bileski, Audrey Pendergraft and Liam Owings.

He was predeceased by his parents, Kasimir and Eugenie (Negrych) Bileski, and son, Yaron Bileski.

The family wishes to extend its deep appreciation and affection for the staff at St. Luke’s East who cared for his many medical needs, providing him comfort in a warm, loving atmosphere.

Online condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Gerald Bernard Baru, 88, of Olathe, passed away Monday, April 14, 2014, at his home.

Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. today, Thursday, April 17, at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Gerald was born March 19, 1926, in Kansas City, Mo., the son of Louis and Minnie (Bobrov) Baru, and was a lifelong area resident. 

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, in India and Burma.

He was a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural engineering.

In the 1960s, Gerald designed many schools and education buildings in the Kansas City metropolitan area, including the UMKC Library and Center High School.

In the 1970s, he designed many major shopping centers across the country, including Oak Park Mall.

In the 1980s, he designed the remodeling of Central High School.

He was a longtime former member of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah and was also a member of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say.

Gerald enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and on cruises.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Sol Baru.

Gerald is survived by his wife of 63 years, Evelyn Baru, of the home; sons and daughter-in-law, Steve Baru and Carolyn Hall, Overland Park; Dan Baru, San Diego; daughter, Cheri Deverey and her companion, Mark Pfefer, Overland Park; and grandchildren, Jon Baru and Brian Deverey.

The family suggests contributions to Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104 (www.splcenter.org).

Online condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel 816-361-5211.


Sandra Bates, 73, of Leawood, passed away Thursday, April 3, 2014, at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital.

Funeral services were held Monday, April 7, at The Louis Memorial Chapel, followed by entombment at Rose Hill Cemetery Mausoleum. The family suggests contributions to Great Plains SPCA, 5428 Antioch Dr., Merriam, KS 66202, www.greatplainsspca.org.

Sandy was born June 30, 1940, in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Hanan and Helen (Feinberg) Eisen.

She attended Southwest High School and the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her career included General Motors, Telecable and Ambassador Cards.

Sandra was member of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah.

She is survived by her loving husband of 36 years, Patrick Bates of the home; daughter and son-in-law, Margo and Aaron Herwig, Leawood; her pride and joy, her grandson, Jordan Herwig; brother, Burton Eisen, of Kansas City, Mo.; and her chocolate Labrador, Albi.

Her best days were spent traveling to far lands, exotic locations, and laughing with her family and friends. We have lost Sandy far too soon and will deeply miss her loyalty, love, wit, and smile.

Condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Sherman Titens, 81, of Leawood, passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at St. Luke’s Hospital-Plaza.

Funeral services were held Friday, March 28, at The Louis Memorial Chapel, with burial at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family suggests contributions to Jewish Vocational Services, 1608 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO 64108; the Stacey Titens Wizig Cancer Research Program at ICAN, 27 W. Morten Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021-7246 (askican.org); or the Coda Jazz Fund, P.O. Box 412116, Kansas City, MO 64141-2116.

Sherman was born on July 27, 1932, in Cleveland, the son of Louis and Celia (Shafran) Titens.

He attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and history and his LLB and JD law degrees. After graduation he worked at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., and then formed his own law firm in Cleveland. He later pursued business management and consulting in the Kansas City area. He also taught graduate level classes in marketing and business management at Webster University and authored several articles and business publications focused on family-owned business.

Sherman was a long-standing member of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah and Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles. He served for many years on B’nai Jehudah’s board of trustees and also served on several other community boards.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Stacey Titens Wizig, in 2010.

Sherman is survived by his wife of 55 years, Peggy Titens, of the home; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Stacey Titens, Dallas; daughter, Joan Titens, New York City; son-in-law, Howard Wizig, Leawood; and three grandchildren, Marissa Wizig, Hayley Wizig and Josh Titens.

His greatest joy was his family, who will miss him dearly.

Online condolences may be left at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 


Jack Wolf, 79, of Houston, passed away Thursday, March 20, 2014. 

He was married for 44 years to the late Marlene Wolf.

Jack is survived by a brother, Joe Wolf and his wife Fran of Kansas City, Mo., and their family. He is also survived by his stepchildren, Steven and Karen Moore and David Moore; and five step-grandchildren.

At the University of Missouri, Jack was a member of Phi Sigma Delta fraternity. As a successful insurance agent, Jack was a Charter Life Underwriter and a member of The Million Dollar Round Table for many years consecutively. During his leisure time, he was an avid bridge player and attained the level of Life Master.

In retirement, he enjoyed travel and collecting art. He was a founding member of Temple Beth El, in Missouri City, Texas, and member of Chai Learning Center in Houston. The family suggests contributions to these two congregations.


Esther Abend, age 101, died on April 13, 2014, after a life well lived.

Funeral services were held at Louis Memorial Chapel on Monday, April 14, with burial at Sheffield Cemetery. The family suggests contributions to the Allen Abend Scholarship Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation, Hadassah or Congregation Beth Torah.

Born in Dubienka, Poland, on April 23, 1912, to Yehoshua and Nahama Greenfeld, she was educated in Lublin, Poland. She married her childhood sweetheart, Joseph Abend, in Dubienka in 1936 upon his return from Israel and just days before he left for the United States. She immigrated to join him two years later in 1938. They enjoyed a loving marriage of 41 years until Joseph’s death in 1977.

Esther was devoted to creating a good life for her family. She observed Jewish rituals and kept a kosher home. She took special pleasure in the accomplishments of her family. Esther worked in several family businesses and received recognition for her many years of volunteer service at Menorah Hospital gift shop. She was a volunteer for Hadassah and Women’s American ORT, and she supported organizations in Israel.

Esther was blessed with two sons, Stephen and the late William Abend, and their wives Barbara and Phyllis Abend; grandchildren, Nicholas Abend and his wife Gayle Chesley, Katherine Abend and her husband Kevin Wallace, Sarah Abend, Lynda Freshman and her husband Benjamin Freshman; and great-grandchildren, Jack and Alexander Abend and Anna Wallace. She is also survived by two nephews and their wives in Israel, Moshe and Mira Greenfeld and Noham and Rinat Greenfeld, as well as many relatives in Kansas City and throughout the United States.

May her memory forever be a blessing.

Condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel. 

Arr. The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


We lost on Thursday, April 3, 2014, a giant of a man to whom nature was so important that he chose to reside in rural areas of South Kansas City, St. Joseph, Centerview, and Warrensburg, not only for the peace and quiet, but to raise fruits and vegetables, especially raspberries.

Warren cherished his dogs, Heidi and Max, to whom he gave and received much love and devotion.

He attended Kemper Military School, Southwest High School, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in business and finance from Ripon College.

After a stint in the Marines, and working in the family fruit and produce business (L. Yukon & Sons), he followed his interest in finance by training in N.Y. That was the beginning of his career as a technical stock analyst. Eventually his own stock charting and consulting business was started from his home in St. Joseph. A great honor were the articles written in the Wall Street Journal — Heard on the Street column — about his theories.

Warren’s musical ability of improvising jazz and boogie woogie were generally not known. His expertise in martial arts included Judo, Karate (black belt) and wielding numchucks.

A private committal was held at Mount Carmel Cemetery on April 8.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Benne and Melba Donovitz Yukon.

Survivors include a sister, Sandra Walton (husband Walter); a niece, Laura Marks (husband Joe Meyer); and a grand nephew, Dakota Meyer.

Memorials may be sent to Wayside Waifs, 3901 Martha Truman Rd., Kansas City, MO 64137 or the University of Kansas Hospital.

Online condolences may be left at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel 816-361-5211.


Phil Alpert of Kansas City, Mo., passed away on Thursday, March 27, at the Holmesdale Nursing Home where he had been recovering from heart complications.

Graveside services were held on April 1 at Mount Carmel Cemetery. Contributions can be made directly to Congregation Beth Shalom in Phil’s honor.

Phil was born on Feb. 18, 1950, in Leeds, England, son of Chaim and Sheila Alpert. His parents were educators in the Jewish community here from 1968 until 1982 when they retired to Netanya, Israel. Phil attended UMKC where he received his economics degree in 1972, and then spent his career in the insurance industry.

Survivors include his daughter, Davina Alpert, of New Orleans, and his loving sister and brother-in-law, Angela Alpert Hiller and Charles Hiller of Overland Park.

Prior to his recent illnesses, Phil was an active leader at Beth Shalom’s Shabbat Library Service where he often read the Torah and gave his dissertation of the passages in English.

Phil will be deeply missed by his family and all the friends he made in his many years living in the area. He was an avid reader and bibliophile. His love of all aspects of Jewish life were unparalleled.

Online condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Sylvia Spector, 86, of Austin, Texas, peacefully passed away Friday, March 28, 2014, at Heartland Nursing Center in the presence of her loving children and friends.

Services were to be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at The Louis Memorial Chapel, with burial at Rose Hill Cemetery. Contributions are suggested to elayna’This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or a charity of your choice..

Sylvia was born July 15, 1927, in St. Louis, Mo., the youngest of three children of Max and Moly Palder.

Sylvia and her late husband Jack are survived by children Sharon and Allen Spector, many loving relatives and countless friends. She will be missed.

Online condolences may be left at www.louismemorialchapel.com. 

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Michael Barry Mendelsohn, 68, of Kansas City, Mo., passed away Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at Village Shalom.

Graveside services were held Friday, March 21, at Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge Cemetery. The family suggests contributions to Village Shalom, 5500 W. 123rd St., Overland Park, KS 66209; Jewish Family Services, 5801 W. 115th St., #103, Overland Park, KS 66211; or Cancer Action, 10520 Barkley, Ste. 100, Overland Park, KS 66212.

Michael was born Aug. 23, 1945, in Portsmouth, Va., the son of Elic and Helen Felice (Wolf) Mendelsohn, who preceded him in death, and came to the Kansas City area shortly thereafter.

He started his career as an artist, creating posters all over the city. He then went into interior design, both residential and commercial. His passion for food led him into a career of cooking. He was known as “Pasta Mike” throughout the industry. His creativity can be seen everywhere. When you enjoy a wonderful meal, please think of Mike.

Michael is survived by his son, Kevin Paul Mendelsohn, Yakima, Wash.; daughters, Rhonda Mendelsohn Wolfe, California, Michelle and Israel Martinez, Florida, and Laura and Jim Marquez, Rialto, Calif.; brother, Bob Mendelsohn, Sydney, Australia; sister, Judy Lanes, Overland Park; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Online condolences may be shared at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.


Morris Levitch, age 94, Munster, Ind., formerly of Overland Park, passed away on Thursday March 6, 2014, from natural causes.

Morris was the beloved and devoted husband to Frances (nee Waisblum), cherished father to Robin (Don) Eldert of Munster, and loving and fond grandfather to Olivia, Sarah, Rachel, Elise and Jason Eldert. He also leaves behind a brother, Harold Waisblum of Overland Park.

He was preceded in death by his father Sam Levitch, his mother Jennie Levitch Cohen, and sister, Marion Estes.

Morris, a decorated Army Veteran of World War II, was deployed to the Pacific campaign of Douglas McArthur and stationed in the Philippines where he spent many long nights hunkered down in foxholes combating the advances of enemy troops. While stationed there, Morris contracted a severe case of malaria and eventually returned home to Kansas City where he met his loving wife Frances on a blind date. The two were soon married and recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary surrounded by adoring family members and friends.

Passing up medical school and dreams of being a surgeon in order to support his family, Morris found another way to put his nimble hands and sharp mind to work, beginning a long and successful career in the rapidly growing and physically demanding garment industry of Kansas City. In charge of the cutting room for Fashionbilt, Morris helped build the company into one of the most successful ladies clothing manufacturers of its time. He retired from Fashionbilt in the mid-1980s, but his love of fine clothing and his gift of easily relating to people from all walks of life led him to a fulfilling second career selling fine men’s suits and clothing for several higher end merchandisers in Kansas City, including Hall’s Crown Center. There he quickly established a loyal cliental, including several well-known Kansas City sports celebrities.

Morris was also an incredible dancer, tall and lean with beautiful white hair befitting a refined gentleman of stature, who together with his wife, taught ballroom dancing to many Kansas City residents. A man’s man and a devoted sports fan, Morris was an incredible athlete and enjoyed playing basketball, golf and cycling. In his later years, he held season tickets for both his beloved Kansas City Chiefs and Royals — never missing a game and never losing hope of a national title.

Forever with us in our hearts, his spirit has touched us all. We know he will be dancing, golfing, and cheering for his favorite teams, eternally, while keeping a watchful eye on all of his beloved family and friends.

A memorial service for immediate family and close friends is being planned for late spring/early summer. In lieu of cards and flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation at www.macular.org in honor of Morris.

Arr: Anthony & Dziadowicz Funeral Home, 219-836-8250.


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