Dennis Breit

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Taximan trailer by Robert Pacelli and art show tribute at the Rite Spot.

Passing of Dennis Breit

Memorial Service at The Bay View Boat Club in San Francisco, Sunday, September 9 at 2 PM.

Dennis Breit passed away on Monday July 30, 2007. For those for us who knew him, he was a controversial figure. He reached the highest highs and sank to the lowest lows.

A week after he bought space 123 for $2K he started Ace Designs, one of the most successful business ventures in the history of Project Artaud. He steered many of us into careers though his job agency and was very generous with his money when he had it. After several years of rapid expansion into national markets, Dennis sold the business to concentrate on other things.

A masterful designer and engineer, Dennis tore down all the lofts in his studio and replaced them with his own vision. He put in a sky light and engineered a roof-draining system to handle the many leaks.

In it’s heyday, space 123 was the scene of many parties. There were annual Halloween events with hundreds of guests. I remember one particular party where three girls I knew, appeared as cats, and Avery was a mummy, who said not a word the entire evening. Another night we watched the Band’s final concert on TV.

Dennis was a man of many talents. He loved playing piano and painted hundred of baseball events. His work was shown at the Rite Spot and the Double Play. He also had many lives. The drive that pushed his to succeed also brought him crashing down.

Now his demons are quiet. May he rest in peace.

Sincerely,

Mari Eliza

Obit from the SFGate site:

Dennis Breit Passed away on July 30th, 2007 at his home in San Francisco. He was 64. Born on July 21st in Chicago, IL, Dennis was the son of George Breit and Helen Saltis. He lived in Chicago and attended the Chicago Art Institute until the late 1960s, when he moved to San Francisco. Dennis worked as an industrial designer and in systems management. He later started a business known as Ace Design Company, a technical employment agency. The company’s success was in part based on Dennis’ innovative and progressive thinking and its top-notch treatment of its employees. He also worked in the fields of typesetting and advertising, which led to the creation of Neiss & Breit, a groundbreaking type-house in the pre-computer age. In the 1970s Dennis moved into Project Artaud, one of the first artist live/work communities in San Francisco. The remarkable South of Market environment which he developed there was a source of inspiration and amazement to his many visitors. It was the scene of a host of projects which he promoted, one example being the publishing of a satirical coloring book for the occasion of the 1984 democratic convention here in San Francisco. Dennis was a man of many talents and interests; his entrepreneurial and business skills, his artistic talent, his enthusiasm for politics, and last but not least, his passion for baseball and the White Sox. He was much respected for his meticulous knowledge of the game and its history and it will be greatly missed by many. He was a yearly participant in rotisserie-league fantasy baseball, and also played for many years on the Leo’s Tire Company local softball team. Throughout his life, Dennis’ wit, charm, and intelligence drew people to him wherever he went. He was a never-ending source of stories, jokes and silly puns, and towards the end of his life was unfailingly cheerful in the face of enormous adversities. At the time of his death a movie was being made about his latest adventures as a Luxor cab driver. He will be very much missed by his many friends and family. He is survived by his mother Helen Saltis; his three brothers: Arnold and Gary Breit and Victor Arre; and many nieces and nephews. Friends and family are invited to attend a Memorial Celebration of Dennis’ life at 2PM on Sept. 9 at the Bay View Boat Club, 489 Terry Francois St. (China Basin St.) in San Francisco.

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8 Responses to Dennis Breit

  1. very nice fellow . wondered where he was. Miss him. L.C.

  2. Dave Schneider says:

    In the couple of years I knew him jut before his passing, the positive, wise and humorous part of co-emergent mind … that is the part closest to enlightenment … was the only part I saw and it was always a pure joy to talk to him. On a conventional level, as far as I could tell, he understood social and economic justice. What will remain is his great smile which he might have inherited from Alice’s cheshire cat!
    Dave Schneider

  3. Leonard Ochs says:

    Hi Mari,
    We talked at the memorial on Sunday. Understand you are in search of ‘Dennis stories’ for a project. I knew Dennis for approx 30 years and have a few. Contact me if you’re interested. I think your tribute, (above), pretty much sums up the way I felt about the man. I really miss him. Leonard Ochs

  4. Well I’m a day late and a dollar short. F–kin DUE AY, as Dennis would say! I only found out today 4/17/08 of Dennis’s passing. Oh I wish I had known as I would for sure attended the servive. He was with out question the most amazing persion I have had the privilege to call a friend. FUNNY AS SHIT TOO! always made me laugh and taught me many interesting things too! I miss you Dennis.

    Peter Decristofaro
    Concord, Ca.

  5. Marv Jonesi says:

    I went to high school (Lane Tech – Chicago) with Dennis…we were part of a small group of friends who were, at the time (early 60’s), probably pre-hippies. Dennis was bright, funny, and creative. Last time I saw him was at a H.S. reunion in Chi. I remember Dennis sitting on a couch in a hotel lobby rolling a joint; I told him that this wasn’t San Francisco! (didn’t want him to get busted). He’s the third of our little group to pass away before his time.

  6. JACK MURRAY says:

    i MET DENNIS IN ABOUT 1969 WHEN I WAS PERSONNEL DIRECTOR OF LESTER B. KNIGHT AND ASSOCIATES, A CONSULTING ENGINEERING COMPANY. DENNIS WAS A MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DESIGNER AND DRAFTSMAN. OCCASIONALLY WE WOULD TAKE LUNCH TOGETHER BY THE CHICAGO RIVER AND EVEN THEN HE WAS ROLLING HIS MARIHUANA CIGARETES, ETC. HE WASW HAPPY, GO LUCKY AND HAD A GOOD EYE FOR THE LADIES. AS OTHERS HAVE SAID HE JOKES, TOLD STORIES AND HAD A SOMETIMES DRY SENSE OF HUMOR. i DROVE A FRIEND’S CAR OUT TO SAN FRANCISO FOR HIM IN 1970 AND STAYED WITH HIM FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS. HE HAD PAINTED THE REPLICA OF COMMISKY PARK RIGHT FIELD STAND ON HIS WALL AND HAD ALMOST COMPLETED HISSTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF HIS LOFT. HE PLAYED SOME SONGS ON THE PIANO AND SPOKE ABOUT HIS CULTIVATION OF HIS PLANTS, MJ TYPE. i DON’T KNOW WHAT HE DIED FROM BUT HIS HABITS DID NOT HELP. A CREATIVE PERSON FULL OF LIFE. GOD BLESS HIS SOUL. IF THERE IS ANY OF THE MOVIES OF HIS LIFE THAT HAS BEEN PRODUCED I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT OR KNW MORE ABOUT IT.

  7. JK Morgan says:

    I metDenis in the early ’70s when he had his ACE FAST PACE office next to my dad’s loft office on Mission Street (torn down) where Golden Gate College is now. Denis, i could SWEAR, spelled his name with one ‘N.’ Anyway i was a baby hippie just teened. His big soft orange cat was named BUTTERCUP and his brother stayed there at that time, GARY. WE drove around like maniacs in something like a Camero. “Van Mess! hahaha!” His 123 space which he was preening himself over every second due to its feats of brilliance dangled from rather frigtening cables on four levels or so. If you needed to pee the “bathroom” was at the bottom but alas, the “bedroom” was at the top. Pee if you dare! You had to go up and down on shakey staircases suspended there in space! It was completely unique, oh, yes. There were some artful baseball paintings. He played Edith Piaf and was exhilerated by the folk at Artaud: a wild-haired cat named Heshie (sp?) and a genuine witch, among others. When we toured Artaud everybody’s doors were open! It was all so magical and electric! He had a friend in every space and everywhere else! Denis was joyful and I never saw anything but wine and pot. How can it be, what came to pass, isn’t it haunting? I wanted him to be my boyfriend, but he was much too busy. We had joyous occasions such as: Hamburger Mary’s, Top of the Mark, and Maxwell’s (is that right) that place near Sansome street with ultra-cool people and lots of interior Greenery. Most importantly he was all about EST! ! ! ! “JANICE,” he would command, “AND not BUT! ! ! ” our positive thinking, haha! Good ole Werner. Erhard (sp?) Denis took me to the propoganda meeting but I didn’t join up. It was pressurized! Yes it was and then …. poof, all over! Oh, I love these memories my friends! He was all about John and Bonnie and Ace, Fast Paced! his business place on Mission St. He dressed REALLY fine for the time, in a suit very well tailored, and ‘shorter’ hair. He smelled good and looked good and enjoyed to the max, everything. Like all Chicago natives, he seemed homesick for there as I am reminisching about our beautiful City by the BaY now so, i miss u, so love and bye for now, XOXO Purrs, Us

  8. M.E. says:

    Miss You Dennis… You were a great Dad, you taught me much…
    -Marc

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