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obituary
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Sidney Schonfeld spacee Sidney Schonfeld

Sidney Schonfeld, a longtime former Belvedere and Tiburon resident who developed real estate projects, including several in Tiburon, died peacefully in his sleep of pneumonia on April 5. He was 94.

Mr. Schonfeld was born in New York, and moved at an early age to San Francisco with his parents, where he grew up in the Fillmore district during the Great Depression. Mr. Schonfeld was an equestrian. As young men, he and his brother, Charles, rode with the San Francisco Mounted Patrol Club.

Mr. Schonfeld graduated from Commerce High School and joined the U.S. Army, where he fought against the Japanese on the island of Saipan. He was shot in battle. The bullet lodged near his heart and he was sent first to Hawaii and then to California to recuperate. He was later discharged and was awarded a Purple Heart.

After the war, Mr. Schonfeld teamed up with Charles in a career in real estate investment. They bought apartment buildings, refurbished them and then either ran them or sold them to reinvest in bigger and better properties.

During this period, they built the Continental Lodge near the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Street, which at the time was the largest and most modern motor hotel-restaurant-cocktail lounge in San Francisco.

Eventually, Schonfeld started his own company and moved his attention out of San Francisco. He designed, built and operated the Belvedere-Riviera Apartments off Lyford Drive in Tiburon.

In the 1970s, Mr. Schonfeld purchased a 16-acre property above the Tiburon Peninsula Club from the McNaught estate and, in the 1980s, applied for permission to build a 47-unit apartment complex. But after the town imposed a 1985-1987 building moratorium, Mr. Schonfeld sold the parcel to Leonard Jay in 1988, who eventually sold it and his own adjacent property to the Last Chance to Save Old St. Hilary's Open Space Committee, which preserved it as open space. The land was deeded to the Marin County Open Space District; the Last Chance committee, now known as the Tiburon Open Space Committee, is still working to preserve land on and near the Tiburon Ridge.

Mr. Schonfeld expanded his business by purchasing and operating apartment complexes in Palo Alto and Redwood City, as well as similar operations in Texas and Illinois.

He built one of the first houses on the Belvedere Lagoon, where he lived with his young family for several years, then lived in several homes in Tiburon and Belvedere. The Schonfelds spent many winters at their Southern California home, first in Palm Springs and later in Rancho Mirage.

After the death of his wife, Marie, in 1997, after 48 years of marriage, Mr. Schonfeld moved from Belvedere to San Mateo. He moved back to Marin to AlmaVia of San Rafael, an assisted-living facility in Terra Linda, but missed his San Mateo condominium, so in 2013 he moved a final time to spend his days sunning on his deck, cracking jokes and pursuing projects to improve his property, his family said.

Mr. Schonfeld is survived by his son, Robert Schonfeld of Hillsborough; and daughter, Nancy Schonfeld McGoon of Belvedere. His brother, Charles, and his sister, Elsie, predeceased him.

Services will be private. Donations in his memory may be made to to Hospice by the Bay, 17 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Larkspur, CA 94939.

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