Herbert Leonard Mager Jr.
June 9, 1942 October 16, 2018
Herbert Leonard Mager Jr, died on October 16, 2018, at his home in Oakland. He was 76 years old.
Herb leaves behind his mom, Daisy; his sister, Debbie; his son, Evan; his daughter-in-law, Liz; his twin granddaughters, Isabelle and Victoria; and his girlfriend, Janet. Herb also leaves behind countless friends and many extended family members. Herb was married for 43 years to his wife, Bonnie, who died in 2015.
Herb had a social and intellectual life that brought him great joy. He audited classes at UC Berkeley and was becoming an expert in European history. He helped found a men’s book group in 2000 that still meets every month. He joined and, at times, helped lead the Claremont Club in Berkeley. He supported many local theater companies in the Bay Area. He participated in a group that gathered every month to read Shakespeare plays. He traveled California and the world with Janet. He spent lots of time with his granddaughters, sharing with them all the things he loved.
In addition, Herb was a ravenous reader, a great writer of limericks, a sincere Anglophile, a master of word games, a proud Oakland resident, and a loving father, grandfather, and husband. He had visited 48 American states and more than 20 countries.
Herb was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 9, 1942, to Herb (Senior) and Daisy Mager. He was proud of his Cleveland roots, a pride he shared with the close-knit extended Mager family who all lived nearby on the West Side. He attended Western Reserve Academy for high school. Herb then went to Harvard, from which he graduated in 1964 with his undergraduate degree in math.
After serving in the Army for two years, Herb attended business school at UC Berkeley and graduated with his MBA in 1969. At Berkeley, he met Bonnie Braniger while folk-dancing. They were married in 1971, lived in London together in 1973, returned to live in Oakland, and had Evan, their only child, in 1976. Herb and Bonnie traveled all over America and Europe together throughout their marriage. Herb worked for Bank of America for 38 years, where he eventually became a vice president working in technology. He retired from the bank in 2007.
Herb will be greatly missed by his friends and family. A memorial service will be held after the new year, but no date is set. Instead of flowers, the family suggests donating in Herb’s name to the Friends of the Oakland Public Library (fopl. org).