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Rina Irene Shapira
December 6, 2019


Memorial for George Tabak

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On Saturday, January 26th we lost a legend, a bon vivant, a true one of a kind soul who will be deeply missed by all who knew him, especially his family and friends spanning many continents. He was more than courageous in his 11 month battle with inoperable Melanoma.

George Tabak, 83, was born in Budapest, Hungary, a few minutes after his twin sister. His brother was born a few years later. In 1944 George, his siblings, their mother and other extended family marched from their home to the Ghetto in Budapest during WWII while his father served in a Hungarian labor camp.

After the war, George and his family returned to their Pest apartment but not for long. In 1956, he and much of his family made a run for the border during the Hungarian Revolution and once safely in Vienna got on a list bound for immigration to the United States, Their stories of surviving the Holocaust and their voyage to America is the stuff that movies are made of.

The family settled in Oakland and soon they were able to bring out their mother and youngest sister to join them.

George moved to San Francisco’s Sunset District upon meeting his wife Edith, who predeceased him, at a dance at the JCC on California Street in 1967. They had two children, both of whom he adored and cherished at every stage of their lives.

In the early 1970s he started his second hand business - The Attic on the corner of 35thand Taraval Street with prominent signage “Aniques, Junktiques and Funktiques – If it ain’t here, its not worth having”. George was devoted to his customers and his merchandise. He worked long hours in his store as well as doing antique shows and flea markets. He was respected and well known in the Bay Area circle of antique dealers. He had a special way with people from his closest family to the bank teller. Everyone loved him, his goofy hats, ties as well as his captivating stories.

George loved to travel. He especially enjoyed Las Vegas, New York and Europe mostly for sumptuous buffets, exquisite pastries, lavish theater and revue shows. He loved to write expressive postcards from his destinations to his wide cache of friends and family. It was his version of Facebook.

In 2010 his grandson was born and became the apple of his eye.

In 2013 a very special woman came into his life while he was on a bus returning from Reno. They became extremely close, sharing a loving friendship and bond.

Up to the end of his colorful life George he remained true to who he was: A kind, thoughtful, appreciative, dignified gentleman. His interactions with medical professionals, caregivers, friends and family were always sincere and punctuated with his trademark humor.

He will be missed for too many things to name but most of all for the way he made you feel whenever you were around him.

He is survived by his sisters Eva (George) Fulop and Judy Weiss of Danville, brother Thomas Tabak (Genie) of Greenbrae, special friend Maria Der of Concord, daughter Lisa Gigi (Jeff Lipsett), son Steven Marc Tabak, grandson Ari Oliver Lipsett, as well as many nieces, nephews and their children. May his memory be a blessing to all who who knew him.