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Of Blessed Memory: Rabbi Richard Safran

Rabbi Richard B. Safran of Tucson, Ariz., (formerly of Fort Wayne, Ind.) passed away on December 2, 2022, at the age of 92. Rabbi Safran was the local Jewish Community Chaplain for many years. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he served his Jewish congregations, his communities, his friends and his family with love, devotion and dignity.

He grew up on Long Island, N.Y. where his parents owned a kosher deli and where he attended Far Rockaway High School, where he met his wife, Lois. His religious focus began as an Air Force assistant chaplain during the Korean War. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion in 1960. In addition to his congregational duties in Brooklyn (Canarsie), N.Y., Peabody, Mass., Steubenville, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Ind. He was also a chaplain at prisons, hospitals, and veterans’ hospitals for decades as well, in Indiana, Ohio and Arizona.

Rabbi Safran was also a lifelong hiker, camper and nature enthusiast. This began in his childhood, when he camped often with friends, and continued into adulthood as he visited many of America’s famous national parks with his wife and sons, every summer. This enjoyment continued as he led many annual congregation campouts and hikes, where he introduced many to his enjoyment of the outdoors. He was active well into his mid-80s, hiking multiple miles, multiple times per week, in the mountains surrounding Tucson and volunteering at Sabino Canyon.

During his many years as a Rabbi, chaplain, community activist, volunteer and friend, he touched many hundreds, if not thousands of lives, bringing love, hope, caring, empathy and education to all who knew him.

Rabbi Safran is survived by his son, Daniel; his three grandchildren, Ethan, Hannah and Samantha and sister Geraldine Schwartzstein, along with daughters-in-law Cindy and Dawn. He was preceded in death by his wife Lois (Vogel), his eldest son (Jonathan), mother, Reba (Rothstein), father (David), brother (Jay). He is also survived by nieces, a nephew and cousins, a large community, the many that he served and his many, many friends.

Funeral services will be held at Achduth Vesholom Congregation at 5200 Old Mill Road in Fort Wayne, Ind. A public graveside service will immediately follow at Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne.