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Mikhail Fridman
April 19, 2019


Funeral for Harry H. Kiefer

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Funeral: 12:00 PM Friday, April 20th, 2018
Temple Beth Hillel
801 Park Central St
Richmond, CA 94803

Born in Krefeld Germany in 1924, Harry Kiefer immigrated in 1938 to the United States with his parents Leo and Annie and sister Irma. His mother had 2 brothers in the Oakland area who sponsored the Kiefer family, enabling entry into the United States. Leo started a business almost immediately after settling in the El Cerrito/Richmond Annex area, renting a garage at Fairmount and San Pablo from El Cerrito pioneer William Rust and Kiefer's was born.

Harry attended Oakland High School and helping the family out, sold newspapers on a street corner. He graduated Oakland High at age 16, then attended San Francisco City College and worked for Sherman Clay repairing radios. He then served in the U.S.Army 3rd Service Command ASTP unit stationed at Penn State University. Following discharge, he enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley receiving a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

He met Edith Hotzner in San Francisco, where she lived with her family. Edith's family knew of Harry's family as both had immigrated to the Bay Area under identical circumstances. Finding a match, they married in 1950 and were together for 58 years. Harry joined his father in business and eventually opened a 2nd store. The business grew from a 'dry goods' retailer to home furniture and appliances, and was later joined by son David, the third generation.

As the business grew Harry expanded by purchasing vacant property along San Pablo Avenue. He worked 6 days a week and some nights, but always had time for his family, especially his children. Sundays were frequently spent visiting the Gruenebaum and Hotzner uncles who sponsored Harry and Edith's family entry to the U.S. He was forever grateful for their courage to save the families.

Harry enjoyed being part of the El Cerrito business community and became active in the Chamber of Commerce. Like his father, he joined the El Cerrito Lion's Club in the 1970's, staying active for over 30 years, serving as president several times and forming many friendships. He was also early and active member of Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond and the local chapter of B'nai B’rith. Along with friends, he invested in the first public Israeli corporations in order to support Israel.

Harry's final years were spent in Walnut Creek where he found interesting people at Byron Park and Waterford. Proceeded in death by his wife Edith in 2008, Harry is survived by his sister Irma Glazer and children the "3 D's" - David, Dennis (Ilene) and Debbie (Robert) and 5 grandchildren Dr. Alana Mendelsohn, Alan Mendelsohn, Felicia Kiefer, Michelle Kiefer and Danielle Kiefer.

A funeral will be held on Thursday April 19, 2018 at 11:30 Temple Beth Hillel801 Park Central, Richmond, followed by interment at Rolling Hills Cemetery 4100 Hilltop Drive Richmond.

In keeping with tradition, the family requests donations in lieu of flowers, to Temple Beth Hillel, The Lions Eye Foundation or The Jewish Federation Of The Greater East Bay