Carl Andrew Halpern
Carl Halpern, longtime resident of Alameda, died peacefully at home on June 15 after many years of declining health. Carl was born to Salem and Edith Halpern in the Bronx in New York City. Both sets of grandparents were Eastern European Jews who had emigrated to the United States at the turn of the 20th century.
Educated in the public schools of New York City, he graduated from the City College of New York in 1964 with a degree in mathematics and earned an Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Upon graduation he joined the Peace Corps and taught mathematics at a cooperative college in Tanzania for three years. Returning to the United States he served in Vista in Portland, Ore., working on community newspapers. In 1970 Carl moved to the Bay Area and began work for Ramparts magazine, a leading anti-war publication of the time.
In 1972 he took a position in the Alameda County Health Dept and served as a union steward and rank-and-file leader in SEIU Local 616. He met his wife Bonnie, who also worked at County Health, over the lunch time Hearts game. They were married 40 years. After leaving the County, Carl continued working in healthcare finance. He concluded his career as a contract negotiator in the National Transplant Department at Kaiser Permanente.
Carl’s heart and soul always lay in politics. From attending Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” rally in Washington, D.C. in 1968 to leading the picket lines in the 1976 Alameda County strike to organizing to bring a new main library with the Library 2000 group in the City of Alameda, Carl was always in the thick of it.
Carl was an avid athlete. He ran in the Bay to Breakers, cycled to work in downtown Oakland and played racquetball for many years. A loyal Warriors and A’s fan, he sometimes brought his beloved trumpet to the baseball games to help motivate others to cheer the team on. He loved to travel and learn new languages along the way, becoming fluent in Swahili, proficient in Spanish and learning some French, Russian, Italian and Tagalong as well.
He also loved family camping, traveling one year with his wife and daughter Ericka from Oakland to New York City and tent camping even in the fiercest Midwestern storms! He also loved attending the Cal family camp — the Lair of the Bear — every year for 10 straight years and made many friends while there. He played his trumpet every year in the camper talent show to much applause.
Carl was at his core a people person. He could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere and learn their life story in short order. He will be deeply missed by his many friends and family members including his daughters Ericka and Alicia, his grandson Adrien, his sister Elinor and his many cousins. The family is so thankful for his longtime, loving caregiver Lucy Faraon.
Family and friends are invited to a “Remembrance and Farewell” to Carl today, Thursday, June 28, at Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave. The program and reception will be held from noon to 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the ACLU or to Planned Parenthood.