Stephen Roth Blum passed away on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at his home with his family in
Kensington, California. He was a kind and gentle person with a wry sense of humor who touched
the lives of everyone who met him. He lived a life filled with a commitment to social justice
issues and a willingness to take action whenever or wherever it was needed.
Stephen was born in Charlottesville, West Virginia to Bernice (Roth) and Edwin Blum. Early in
his life, his family moved to Pennsylvania where he graduated from Allderdice High School in
Pittsburgh. Stephen later earned his undergraduate degree from Penn State University in
Philosophy, a Masters in Philosophy from Northwestern University, a Masters in Education from
U.C. Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Social Policy Planning from U.C. Berkeley.
Despite personal risk, as a graduate student at Northwestern in 1964, Stephen became part of the
Freedom Summer and served in Biloxi, Mississippi helping register Black people to vote and
teaching in the Freedom Schools. In 1973 while teaching full time at Berkeley, Stephen
volunteered at night for five years with the Berkeley Police Department as part of a special task
force to catch a serial rapist that had been terrorizing women in Berkeley. He later was a
consultant with the police department in Texas teaching law enforcement and ethics to police
officers for several years.
Stephen taught courses in health policy, bioethics and gerontology at U.C. Berkeley, California
State University, East Bay, and the California School of Professional Psychology (Alliant
University). After retiring from teaching, Stephen immediately began giving back to the
community as a volunteer by leading bereavement groups for Kaiser Permanente, answering
calls for Alameda County Mental Health Services, and serving on committees at Ashby Village.
Stephen is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Lorraine Midanik, his two daughters, Beth
Midanik-Blum (Tristan Olson) and Amy Midanik-Blum, and granddaughter Sadie Alma
Goldson. He is also survived by his sister “O Best Beloved” Celia Blum (Larry Kahanofsky); his
nephews and nieces: Brian Blum (Julie Blum), Corey Kahanofsky (Sam Williams), Jesse
Kahanofsky, Brandon Blum, Kyle Blum, Evan Blum (Nicole Blum), and his best friend, Larry
Dickey. He was predeceased by his mother, Bernice Roth Blum (1949); his father, Edwin Blum
(1999); his step-mother, Sadie Brourman Blum (1996); his brother, Robert Blum (2010); his
father-in-law, Harry Midanik (1996); and, his mother-in-law, Sadie Gold Midanik (2008).
Stephen will be missed for his unconditional love, sensitivity, and compassion. May his memory
be a blessing.
Stephen was buried at Sunset View in El Cerrito, California on November 1, 2023. Donations
can be made in his memory to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) [400 Washington
Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104] or the Pathways Home Health and Hospice of Oakland [333
Hegenberger Rd #700, Oakland CA 94621].