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Memorial for Steven David Tessler

Memorial Image
Memorial: 3:00 PM Sunday, July 28th, 2019
San Francisco Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church
2880 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

Steven “David” Tessler passed away on July 9, 2019, in San Francisco, California. Born on December 26, 1943, in the Bronx, New York City, he was the third child of Leo Joseph Tessler and Doralee Simon Tessler. The most cherished and memorable times of his childhood were summers spent on City Island enjoying enormous freedom, being mischievous and playing from dawn till dusk with his sister, Naomi, and excursions with his sister, Toby, to art and history museums in New York City. He was an accomplished flute player and briefly attended the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts prior to his family moving to Miami, Florida, where he finished high school and attended two years of college.

After serving two years in the Navy, he moved to San Francisco in the late 1960s. He fell in love with the city that ignited his creative spirit and energy and decided to call it “home.” He became a patron to numerous art museums and enjoyed attending the Opera and the Symphony.

David had a strong entrepreneurial spirit and engaged in a number of successful professional endeavors, all of which expressed his aptitude for art and design. He owned a trendy boutique clothing store on Castro Street, City Island Dry Goods, and was quoted in a book about Giorgio Armani on fashion and expressing one’s individual style through clothing. He used his discerning eye to launch a successful antique rug and furniture business. It was, however, in renovating Victorian and Edwardian buildings that he found his true passion and joy as it combined his love for real estate, historic architecture, preservation, and art.

David loved people and surrounded himself with an exceptionally diverse circle of individuals. Always a curious learner, he enjoyed conversing with people he met on his daily walks and learning their personal story. A true testament to his lifelong focus on friendship and community, he cultivated and maintained numerous relationships from high school onward. He always had time to share his firmly held opinion on “the right way to do something” and did not shy away from expressing his views.

He will be remembered most for his generosity that knew no bounds. David’s gift was consistently helping others; whether offering financial advice, providing shelter, or offering an employment opportunity. His generous spirit led him to provide end of life care to his partner of twenty years, Tom Mullan, his beloved Aunt Fay Simon, and his sister, Toby Tessler.

David leaves behind his sister, Naomi Fine Sloan, nieces Betsi Steinberg (David Steinberg), Ivy Fine (Rebecca Westerfield), Nevada Smith (Stephen Smith); grandnieces Elie Steinberg, Charlotte Smith, Averill Smith, and Blaine Smith; grandnephews Ari Steinberg and Joshua Fine. His parents and sister, Toby, predeceased him. David is also survived by many loving friends and extended family in California, Florida and New York. He will be remembered and cherished by everyone who knew him.

A service will be held on Sunday, July 28, 2019, at 3pm at the San Francisco Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2880 California Street, in San Francisco, where he was an active member of the congregation for many years. A private family interment will be held at a later date in Miami, Florida.