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Funeral for Daniel Mordecai Benatar

Memorial Image
Funeral: 10:30 AM Tuesday, May 15th, 2018
Hills of Eternity Memorial Park
1301 El Camino Real
Colma, CA 94014
Memorial: 11:30 PM Thursday, June 14th, 2018
Congregation Sherith Israel
2266 California St
San Francisco, CA 94115

Daniel Benatar

March 31, 1932 - May 12, 2018

On May 12th 2018, Daniel Benatar passed away peacefully in his sleep at the home of his son and daughter-in-law. Always good natured and someone who loved good food, Danny ate a delicious tuna melt with homemade potato chips on Friday night, then said a final cheerful goodnight and marched off to bed. He didn't wake up the next morning but he lived a full and vital life for 86 years.

He will be fondly remembered his by children, Denise and Darrell Benatar, and their spouses John Baruh and Lisa Benatar as well as his grandchildren Trevor and Parker Baruh and Isabel and Maya Benatar. He joins his granddaughter Emily who passed in 2012.

Born in San Francisco to Morris and Tessie Benatar, Daniel grew-up wearing the required "short pants" while attending elementary school in the Marina district. He went to Lowell High School where he was elected President and was a relay sprinter on the track team and played guard on the basketball team. He spent summers working on his grandparents' fruit farm in Los Gatos and the rest of the year working after school at Benatars at 807 Market Street ("the largest independent drug store in California"). At 17, he took a summer trip with his parents to Tahoe Tavern where he fell for the charming Cynthia Schuman, aged 14. Five years later, Herb Caen emceed the 500-person reception at their Fairmont Hotel catered wedding at the estate of Adolph and Lillian Schuman in Hillsborough. Shortly before, they had both stopped attending Stanford University to join Lilli Ann Corporation, a union manufacturer of elegant women's clothing carried by I. Magnin and featured in Vogue magazine. They raised Denise and Darrell in Hillsborough and remained together for 13 years. Danny worked at Lilli Ann for 40 years, a career that gave him the flexibility to spend weekends with his kids skiing at Squaw Valley and taking them on long trips every summer. He was a supportive and kind father and was well liked by his employees and business associates. His work allowed him to travel frequently to Japan and Puerto Rico. Danny loved travel and great food. With his second wife, Jeanne Dinkelspiel, he dined out often and took adventurous trips to China and Europe and pursued his love of photography. On weekends, he spent countless hours gardening and growing a variety of vegetables which he shared with friends and family.

He was an active and beloved grandfather to all of his grandchildren including Jeanne's grandsons. His family has many fond memories of the annual summer trip to Lake Tahoe and outings on the Riva, inner tubing and jumping off boulders into the clear, cold water followed by evening barbeques and s'mores. And in the winter, there were ski trips to Snowbird.

Dan was a 49er Faithful and season ticket holder from the inception of the team and attended all five of their Superbowl victories. They were a frequent source of conversation, celebration and consternation among his family and friends. His last home game was a Christmas Eve Jimmy G. victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars with Darrell and Trevor by his side.

Dan was active in the community serving as president of both the San Francisco Boy's Club and Meals on Wheels. He also served on the boards of Sherith Israel, the Koret Foundation and That Man May See and he loved attending and supporting SF Jazz.

Dan had an easy-going nature and a cheerful, optimistic sparkle. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.

You can honor Dan's memory by making a contribution at