In Memory

Noah Hirsch

Noah Hirsch


Passed away suddenly on February 10, 2017, at his home in Palo Alto, California. Noah was deeply devoted to his wife of 33 years, Shelley Ackerman; and their three children, Elana, Micah and Talia. His passing has left an irreparable hole in the hearts of everyone who knew him and were blessed to have experienced his gentle soul. kind words, effervescent wit, and brilliant mind. Noah loved his family and friends and colleagues, and took great joy in their achievements and successes, supporting them and encourage them every step of the way.

Noah was born in Washington, DC on August 12, 1951, to Rosalyn and Robert Hirsch. He grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1969. He received his B.A. from George Washington University and his Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University. He was an attorney for Intuit, where he so admired his colleagues and friends and loved every minute of his work. Noah knew everything there was to know about baseball, was a voracious reader, and a loyal Warriors fan. Noah was always there for this family, and he took great pride in being able to provide for them any way he could, whether he was offering much-needed advice or going on his weekly trip to the farmer's market to buy Sunday dinner. Missing him forever are his wife, Shelley Ackerman; and his children, Elana, Micah and Talia Ackerman Hirsch; his siblings, Alene Sternlieb (Steve), Andrea Hirsch (Darrell Delamaide), Carolyn Walsh and Henry Hirsch (Laura Marvel).

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 14, at 1 p.m. at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center at to honor Noah's good name, his memory and to fulfill his passionate belief in the urgency of their work.

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02/23/17 02:43 PM #14    

Claudine Pfeiffer (Cremer)

Thanks for Noah for asking remembrances be sent to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which does tremendous work and is needed now more than ever given the current political climate.

02/24/17 10:12 AM #15    

Lisa Johnston (Howorth (Class President))

Just wondering--so tech-challenged--is Noah's family able to see these nice remeberances? I hope so.

02/25/17 11:17 AM #16    

Margo Rich (Ogus)

I was also saddened to learn the news of Noah's passing.  I remember him as very kind, smart and friendly.  I'm sorry to realize too late that he was living here in Palo Alto.  I believe his family's address is 446 Spruce Lane, Palo Alto, CA  94306.



02/25/17 11:52 AM #17    

Charlotte Morris (Costa)

I have been hard pressed to come up with something to say.  For the past five years I have gotten to know Noah through facebook.  I saw how much he loved his family and cared for his community and the world at large.  We wrote to each other and shared stories.  My heart goes out to all who loved him.  Deep sigh, he will always be known to me as a good man. 🕊🕊🕊❤️❤️

02/25/17 05:58 PM #18    

Bill Rollins

Back in high school, like so many other fellow ‘69ers, I only knew Noah as a name associated with a face. During those 3 years, we never shared any class or activities together and were presumably polar opposites – socially, culturally, religiously, and academically. So, no surprise then, that upon graduation, the totality of our conversational exchanges had been exactly zero – and, of course, would remain as such, forever.

Fast forward now to Aug 2010. I found myself in Phoenix driving to a micro-reunion dinner for four ‘69ers, which included Noah. It was with some trepidation as I wondered how, given our backgrounds, he & I would hit it off – made more uncertain that his non-‘69er wife would also be in attendance.

Upon our meeting, Noah presented me with a huge smile and warm handshake – as if we’d been good buddies for all these years. Also, immediately obvious through their interplay, was his adoration of his wife, Shelley. He was totally genuine & sincere.

Thus, we immediately established a rapport, quickly peeling away the superfluous topics and got down to the essence of this life. We both quickly realized that the two of us shared the most-wonderful of life’s experiences. In about the hour’s worth of one-on-one we had together, he shared with me his story, which so-parallels mine.

After WWHS, Noah wandered – attending four different colleges in four years. Nothing clicked. Drifting on, he went to work at a casino as a dealer – and then onto others. “The money was terrific”, he told me. But just beneath this outward spectacle of bright lights, glitz, and tuxedos was the seamy underbelly of organized crime, corruption, prostitution, and lives destroyed by alcohol and gambling addiction. As the facilitator/enabler, Noah had a front-row seat to this every night – It took a toll upon his soul.

There comes a day of reckoning in some young men’s lives when you look into the mirror one day and know that the life you’re living is no good. That if you don’t act now, you’ll soon disappear into the potters’ ground.

So, off he went to rekindle a wholesome life of academic pursuits wherein he experienced the miracle of encountering his angel, Shelley. As is the nature and wont of most angels, they are long-gone before you even realize that you’ve been touched. Only the exceptional, few souls are fortunate enough to keep their angels. So, in Noah’s case, with cleansed soul, he was honored with the gift of sharing three children and total joy with Shelley for 33 years.

So, study this photo and the manner in which she’s watching over him. If you must shed a tear for Noah, let it be a tear of joy. Don’t think of his as a shortened life, but as a very-full life. He would have it considered in no other way.


02/26/17 01:22 AM #19    

Cheri Anderson (Loveless)

I remember Noah as a quiet friend at Whitman, always kind and fun to talk to.  About a year after graduation, I ran into him at the beach, Ocean City I think.  He looked completely different - long curls and wire-rimmed glasses.  I couldn't have imagined a more unexpected change!  It was off-season and it was fun to have someone to hang out with for an afternoon.  Surprisingly, I've always remembered that pleasantly lazy day.  Like others Whitmanites, I noticed he was active on FB.  In fact, I noticed he hadn't been making comments for a little while and thought nothing of it.  I do hope his family finds this tribute to one of our own, truly a good man.

Cheri Anderson Loveless

02/26/17 10:41 AM #20    

James Monday

Noah & I shared several classes together and i considered him a good friend in my perfect trifecta of social groups at WWHS (Jocks, Hippies & Egg-Heads. I remember him as intelligent, thoughtful & funny, always willing to engage in conversation. We lost track of each other until a few years ago when he moved to Palo Alto and re-connected on FB. Noah came to one of my photography exhibitions in Berkeley a couple of years ago and so i feel lucky that we actually got to see each other again. We both loved baseball and agreed to get together for a Giants game in SF; but it didn't happen. Now he has been called out on strikes.

As i read through other comments posted here, i am particularly moved by Bill Rollins' narrative; Barbara Sweetser's memory of a dinner in her home; and strongly support Lisa's comment about Noah's commitment to the Southern Poverty Law Center. We should all contribute to that fine & righteous organization, regardless of our varied political constitutions.


02/26/17 03:22 PM #21    

James M. Orsinger

Just sent $100 via PayPal  to SPLC in Noah's name. Been meaning to donate to them since November. They do great work and need all the support we can give them. I encourage all of you reading this to send them a donation NOW, please don't wait to stop Hate.

As a kid who transferred to Whitman in 11th grade, Noah was very welcoming and a real Mensch!

Here's the link to donate, credit card or paypal works:

Hope Shelley and his family can read these comments.

02/26/17 11:46 PM #22    

Leland Gamson

I remember working with Noah during the Gene McCarthy campaign of 1968. He was soft spoken, unassuming yet charasmatic in a quiet and caring way. It is comforting to learn that his soujourn in this world was such a blessing to so many. 

04/26/17 06:19 PM #23    

Judy Samuelson (Brandman)

So sad to hear of Noah's passing! He was such a nice, kind person who was always willing to help others. RIP, Noah, and thoughts and prayers are sent to your family! 

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