May 23, 2013 5:52 AM
Was born December 21, 1923, in Florida where he grew up. After finishing high school, he entered the Citadel in Charleston, SC. His college education was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army. He served in the US Army 66th Black Panther Division during World War II for three years seeing duty in England, France, Germany and Vienna. He returned to the Citadel after the war, graduating with engineering honors and a degree in structural steel engineering. Upon graduation from The Citadel, he briefly worked for US Steel in Birmingham and then moved to Jackson, MS. For fifty years he owned and operated Delta Steel Company, Inc., a structural steel fabricating plant in Jackson. Sydney was an active member of the Jackson Jewish community serving as President of the Manassa Lodge of B'nai B'rith. He was Building Chairperson for the congregation for 50 years and is a Past President of Congregation Beth Israel. As a representative from his District he served many years on the national board of the Union of Reform Judaism on the Social Action Committee. He was active in the civil rights movement in Mississippi and the local community. He retired in 2004 and moved to California in 2008.
He died Monday, May 20th at his home in California surrounded by loved ones. He is survived by his wife, Rachelle Geiger and children, Beverly (Malcolm) Bonnheim, Susan (Kevin) Murray, Steven (Emma) Geiger, Mindy (Clay) Humphrey, Deborah (Ken) Klein] Rebecca Geiger, Judith (Steven) Gaulin, Jeff Geiger, grandchildren; Anna (Asher) Bonnheim- Knight, Julia (Mark) Bridges, Noah Bonnheim, Landon (Emma) Geiger, Shira (Kacie) Johnston-Gevirtz, Sam, Hannah and Nina Humphrey, Shanna Geiger, Joshua Geiger, Eric Murray, Mike Murray, great grandchildren; Micah Bonnheim-Knight and Rowyn Geiger and brother William Geiger.
The family is grateful for family member Rabbi Elihu Gevirtz, longtime companion Veronica Medina, and his wife who were with him in his final moments.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory be made to Congregation B'nai B'rith in Santa Barbara, CA, Beth Israel Congregation in Jackson, MS, or the Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, MS.
A service will be held Sunday, May 26th at 1:00 p.m. at Congregation B'nai B'rith, 1000 San Antonio Creek Road in Santa Barbara, CA.
Arrangements entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary