Family News
News, Events, Transitions, Postings. This page is like a multi-media bulletin board, or forum, where items of importance are posted for other family members to see. They can range from deaths to births, from announcements of family parties to family members trying to meet, from photos and films to journal entries or blogs meant to be shared. We will begin with the sad passing of a wonderful cousin, and also the rite of passage of one of our web developers into manhood. We'd welcome your additions.

Ruth Crohn Dickler Ruth Crohn Dickler

(b. September 14, 1913 – d. December 31, 2015) AGE: 102

This website only exists because of Ruth Dickler's inspiration and continual passion for the rich legacy of the intertwined Baum, Crohn, Webster clans. In 1964 Marcella Rubel and Lawrence Crohn put out a mimeographed book entitled We Remember: The Saga of an American Jewish family. In 1979 Ruth revisited the original and spent hundreds of hours editing and updating it and then all over again in 2000, this time with the help of her daughter, Jane Dickler Lebow. The third edition of this seminal book came out in 2007, this time led by the efforts of Eddie (Eliezer) Kroll, again with help from Ruth and also Frank T. Crohn and his wife Helene. (The final version of We Remember .... can be found on the history section of this website).

And now Ruth is gone, moving on to whatever comes next on the last day of 2015. But she leaves behind not only the inspiration (and support) for this website but memories in the hearts and minds of all who knew and loved her. Many tributes have been offered since her passing: here is just one, from the obituary in the New York Times, written by the staff of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center:

"...daughter of a founding giant of our profession, Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, the miracle of Ruth's life is not simply that she remained active and healthy for 102 years, but that she used those years to raise such a distinguished and devoted family, to support such a wide range of worthy causes, and to promulgate the timeless legacy of her father at Mt Sinai by underwriting many of the ground`breaking research and educational initiatives of our Division." to

Finally, as our own small tribute, here is a short excerpt from a video interview with her done as part of a project to document each of the surviving cousins of Ruth's generation When we began this project six years ago there were nine; now, with Ruth's passing, there are just three who survive.

Ruth Dickler
Burrill B. Crohn and Stephen Lyon Crohn Tribute to both Burrill B. Crohn and Stephen Lyon Crohn

The September 2014 issue of The Pharmacologist features an insightful, sensitive portrayal of the unique contributions to medicine made by both Burrill B. Crohn, the world famous physician, and Stephen Lyon Crohn, also known as "the man who couldn't catch AIDS". You can see the article here:

Frank Crohn Turns 90
The Crohn clan has been gifted with many blessings, not least among them longevity. Enjoying life into one's 80's, 90's and even even beyond seems to be a Crohn family birthright. Case in point, Frank T. Crohn, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday at his beautiful home overlooking the Hudson River in Rhinecliff, NY.

Still pursuing his many interests, Frank is a picture of intelligence, activity and vitality as the accompanying video, shot by local filmmaker, Mike Nelson, shows But be sure to watch (about five minutes in) when Ruth Dickler, approaching her 101st birthday, appears and momentarily steals the show with her radiant age-defying beauty (her father, the legendary physician, Burrill B. Crohn, left this world when he was "only" 99). Beyond birthdays, though, this video also makes clear how much Frank Crohn is respected and admired by both friends and family, young and less young. And what fun it must have been to be at this party.Vimeo Link to Video

(posted 7.2.2014) Andrea Crohn Francis
Steve Crohn Stephen Lyon Crohn

(b. September 5, 1946 d. Aug. 24, 2013) AGE: 66 • NYC

Son of Richard Crohn and Janet Goren Zuckerman, Steve died unexpectedly in New York City on August 24, 2013. He was a painter with a large body of beautiful and mostly abstract work, as well as a writer, editor and social worker. Steve grew up in Dumont, NJ and then attended University of Wisconsin and Cooper Union Art Students League in NYC. He received his master's degree at NYU in Social Work.

In addition to being a prolific painter and sculptor, he was an editor for Fodor's, and a social worker in NYC where he lived most of his life. Steve was most well-known as "the man who couldn't get AIDS," the subject of worldwide articles, television appearances and documentaries because of a unique gene mutation that prevented him from ever contracting the HIV virus. The studies of his blood resulted in medications used today that help alleviate symptoms and prolong the lives of those infected with HIV as well as, in one documented case, a cure via a bone marrow transplant using cells with the same uniquely-inherited traits. Characteristically, it was Steve's own persistence that his continued survival, where so many others were perishing, was more than a statistical anomaly but instead a condition worth studying. After pounding on many doors, his actions finally led scientific researchers to study his blood and gene markers for clues to eradicate HIV.

After living in what was formerly known as the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan for over 40 years, Steve moved to Malden-on-Hudson, New York where he was known for his enthusiastic support of the arts and his many hours of volunteer work at the nearby Saugerties Public Library. To honor Steve, a member of the Library's Board of Trustees, the Library opened the STEPHEN L. CROHN GALLERY on April 27, 2014 and held a dedication ceremony. The event was attended by more than 100 friends and neighbors along with members of his family including his sisters Amy Crohn Santagata and Carla Crohn Friedman. A video of the event was done by Burrill L. Crohn and can be seen here:

Steve was a loving brother, uncle, cousin, and friend.

• A fine article in New York magazine on Steve's life — and death — can be found at: New York Magazine

• The New York Times obituary is here: NY Times

• A link to a NOVA special on HIV in which Steve is featured: Nova Special

Donations in his memory can be made to the Burrill B. Crohn Foundation, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, NY 10029.

Martin Leonard Roth
b. March 14, 1921 d. December 2, 2012

Martin Roth died at home on December 2nd, 2012 in Corte Madera. He was born to Moses and Gurtha Roth on March 14th, 1921 in New York City. He was a veteran of WWII where he worked in the Signal Corps. In his youth, he attended the National Farm School outside Philadelphia for two years of high school, followed by earning his BS in Biological Science and a Civil Engineering degree at the University of Chicago. He spent many years in Park Forest, Illinois where he worked for the City of Chicago, before moving with his family to Fairfax in 1964. Martin was a born adventurer.

When he was 15, he bicycled solo from New York City through the Catskill Mountains to the Canadian border on a single-gear bicycle. He traveled the world, owning property for a time in Costa Rica, exploring portions of Europe, South America and Asia on foot and train, including hiking through the Himalayas. He was the type of traveler who would consider a misadventure a great experience and often made friends with locals and was welcomed into their homes for meals.

As a sanitary engineer he was very proud to have designed the sewage treatment plants for the cities of Aurora, Colorado and Guatemala City, Guatemala. His engineering and design reach was far and wide across the country, generally focused on municipal projects. His move to Marin County began a lifelong love of Pt. Reyes and environmental preservation. He was a member of the Sierra Club and often led hikes, in fact he was proud to still be hiking into his 90's.

Martin was a founding member of Ecumenical Housing, a participant in Open End, Care Ring, and Grey Panthers. He also worked tirelessly for water conservation with the Marin Municipal Water District. Martin was preceded in death by his partner, June Swan, son, Joshua, his son-in-law Michael L'Heureux, and his grandson Zachary Chambers. He is survived by his three daughters, Merrill Johnson, of Chimacum, WA, Margot L'Heureux of Corvallis, OR, and Laurie Roth Bastacky. Martin was blessed with eight surviving grandchildren, Brady, Sarah, Jennifer, Joshua, Rebecca, Annika and Leah, as well as five great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Larkspur Library or MALT. Memorial service pending. Published in Marin Independent Journal on February 3, 2012
Selma "Sallie" Hammerschlag

Born February 22nd, 1911 and died August 23rd, 2012.

Sallie holds a special place for me. The whole idea for this website began when I went to Ruth Dickler's 95th birthday party and heard her and Sallie, like two brilliant standup comedians/family historians, tell stories about growing up among the Crohns close to 100 years ago, anecdotes that were rich with wit, wisdom and revelations.

A few years later I went to Baltimore to film Sallie for the website and was shown around a room in her apartment that was devoted, like a wing in a museum, to the art and artifacts that she and her late husband, David, collected on their travels throughout the world. Click here for a video of Sallie. But perhaps what impressed me most was when she recounted that when she (or was it David?) received a $10,000 bonus David said they could use it to either buy a house or risk it all and just travel. And travel is what she chose. My type of woman!

– Burrill Crohn
George Crohn, Jr. 1927-2012 The formal obituary in the New York Times read as follows: "George Crohn, lifelong jewelry industry veteran, dedicated father of two sons, son of George Crohn Sr. and Eleanor of New York City, died June 12th, of a heart attack. His passions in life included boating, swimming, golf, the Boy Scouts of America and the National Foundation for Jewish Genetic Diseases which he founded in 1975. His younger son, Michael, was born with Dysautonomia, a Jewish genetic disease. Much of George's life was defined by his devotion to Michael and his tireless fund-raising efforts for all Jewish genetic diseases. A member of Sigma Alpha Mu, he graduated from Syracuse University in 1949 and prior to that attended the Horace Mann School in Riverdale. He is survived by his older brother Frank, his older son Jeffrey, two grandchildren, Nolan and Leah, and his loving companion of 20 years Angie Koo". Those were the bare facts, but at the jam-packed memorial in Dobbs Ferry, NY on June 13th, an even richer, more nuanced portrait of a remarkable man emerged, as reflected by those who rose to pay homage with testimonies and memories filled with love, respect, humor, joy and no shortage of tears.
Rose and Mike Emily ("Willie") Rose Dickler Hoppe
Married , daughter of Susan Dickler and grand-daughter of Ruth Crohn Dickler, married Mike Levin of Baltimore, MD, on May 17, 2012 at Susan's apartment in New York City. Mike and Willie met as undergraduates at Johns Hopkins University. Willie graduated in May, 2012, from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She will be working with developmentally disabled children. Mike worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 and subsequently for the Governor of Maryland in his campaign and his administration. He will attend University of Maryland Law School in the fall. He is a jazz aficionado and plays jazz guitar.

(posted 6.18.2012 Photo by Jennifer Bishop)
Andrea Crohn Francis Andrea Crohn Francis, 1955–2010
Andrea Crohn Francis, daughter of Edward B. "Woodie" Crohn (brother of Ruth Crohn Dickler) and the late Frances H. "Frankie" Crohn, died on September 2, 2010, having courageously battled cancer for several years. Her husband, Tim Francis, said of her, "Andrea's zest for life illuminated everything she did." Our sympathies go out to Woodie, Tim, her entire family – including most particularly, Andrea's children, Bart and Justine Nahdherny – and her many friends.

(posted 9.10.2010)
Bar Mitzvah of Joshua Bastacky, San Geronimo, California, July 24, 2010 Josh's parents are Jacob Bastacky and Laurie Roth Bastacky. (Laurie is the daughter of Martin Roth.) Josh, wise and accomplished beyond his years, is one of the key developers (along with Burrill L. Crohn and Dick Detzner) for the family website. Here is a brief clip of Josh, with his parents, during the bar mitzvah (videotaped by Burrill Crohn).
Burrill's ACE Award In 1987 Burrill L. Crohn won a Cable ACE award (the equivalent of a broadcast television EMMY) as a writer of a music documentary series (which he also produced and directed). While not a recent transition (though finding the video of it was), it has been included because the meaning was deeper than the award itself. Burrill has dealt with depression much of his life, which was certainly true when beginning this History of Jazz series in 1984. So receiving the award was less about outer accomplishment and more about the inner journey to get there.