Born in Michigan in 1965, her family moved to Palo Alto when her father, Dr. Albert Cohen, joined Stanford University's music department faculty in 1973. She attended Stanford's Lucille M. Nixon Elementary School, Terman and Wilbur junior high schools and Henry M. Gunn High School.
At the University of Oregon she studied fine and applied art and at Parsons School of Design in New York City she studied design. She earned a master of fine arts in visual communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She then returned to the Bay Area, living in Oakland and Berkeley and working as a graphic designer. In 2003, she joined the faculty at Diablo Valley College to teach design and typography.
She met her husband, Steve Holtzman, in 2002. Their son, Theo, was born in 2006. She was also close with her stepchildren, Marika and Alex, her friends said.
When she wasn't teaching, raising Theo, volunteering at schools and doing other activities, she preferred to be outdoors. She hiked, biked and swam. She was a relentless mover — a yogi and a triathlete. Most recently, she was a member of the Claremont Streamliners swim team.
Her father also died on Dec. 31, in the same hour.
She is survived by her husband, Steve Holtzman of Berkeley; son, Theo Holtzman of Berkeley; stepchildren, Marika Holtzman Hodge of Knoxville and Alex Holtzman of Oakland; mother, Betty Cohen of Stanford; brother and sister-in-law, Stefan Cohen and Debbie Gilman of Berkeley; and many relatives and friends.
Amy Chern Chih-Shang Hsi
Palo Alto resident Amy Chern Chih-Shang Hsi died of a heart attack on Jan. 5. She was 84.
Born on Nov. 24, 1935, in Taipei, Taiwan, she attended the National Taipei Institute of Technology as one of the first cohorts of women to enter the school and majored in mining and metallurgical engineering. She then worked briefly in the mining industry before immigrating to the United States in 1961 to be with her husband, Huey Rong Hsi, a materials and metallurgical engineer for the rocket industry in Eastlake, Ohio.
After her husband's untimely death from a car accident in 1965, she moved to the Bay Area, living in San Francisco and Berkeley before settling in Palo Alto in 1967 for 47 years.
During that time, she took on various jobs to support her family. She worked at the Stanford Shopping Center and Gunn High School and worked as an accounting assistant and lab technician.
Outside of work, she enjoyed going to classical music concerts, listening to opera and dedicating her time to her two daughters, Sherry Hsi and Bobbie Hsai Pao Hsi, who died in 2004 from complications with scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder.
She is survived by Sherry Hsi of Berkeley and five grandchildren.
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