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Obituary Condolences

JEROLD MORTON BASS, 79, passed away Tuesday, August 17th, due to complications from surgery. He loved life, and was ever conscious of the blessings given to him by God.The son of Russian immigrants Rose Koppelman Bass and Ben Bass, Jerry was born August 4, 1931 in Louisville, KY. Orphaned by the age of 10, Jerold Morton, as he was called by his family, was raised by a loving committee of Aunts and Uncles. Most notably, Aunt Sadie Linker, Aunt Yetta Platoff, and Aunt Annie Fine and their families.Jerry graduated from Louisville Male High School and the University of Kentucky in Lexington with a Bachelor's degree in Business. Following graduation, he adopted the nickname Jerry, although he continued to be known to his family as Jerold. Jerry received an ROTC commission in the U.S. Air Force and served for 2 years on active duty. Shortly after completing his service commitment, Jerry joined International Business Machines (IBM) in the new field of data processing-computer sales. After numerous assignments in different cities, he settled in Houston, Texas. Jerry left IBM in 1961 and subsequently became an investment advisor, initially with Goodbody, moving to Blythe, Eastman, Dillon, which became Paine Webber, now UBS Financial Services. After 46 years in the financial services industry, Jerry retired in June 2009.Jerry married Phyllis Battelstein (z'l) in 1958, and had two children, H. Anthony Bass of Scottsdale, AZ, and Anne R. Bass Diskin of Houston. Phyllis passed away in 2002. Together, they had three grandchildren, Meredith Diskin, Gregory Diskin, and Jesse Bass.In 2004, Jerry married Susan Coleman Bass, formerly of Atlanta. With that marriage, two more children were added to the family: Jessica Stahlman Hartin of Atlanta and Ben Stahlman, of Austin and one more grandchild, Ryder Hartin. Jerry and Susan lived a very happy life, filled with travel and friends. In addition to their love for one another, they shared a deep spiritual connection and commitment to Reform Judaism.Throughout his life, Jerry was active in the community, serving as President of Hillel at University of Kentucky. After moving to Houston, he was active at Congregation Beth Israel, serving on the Board of Trustees, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice-President and finally, President of the congregation. Jerry served on the board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Houston, the Houston Community Foundation. Active in the Reform Jewish Movement on the regional and national levels, Jerry served on the Board of Overseers of the Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion, as President of the Southwest Council of the Union for Reform Judaism, and on the Board of Trustees for the Union for Reform Judaism, the umbrella organization for Reform Judaism in North America.Jerry was predeceased by his parents, his first wife, and his brother, Alvin. Jerry is survived by his loving wife, children and grandchildren and by his nephew, Gregory Singlust of Louisville, KY, and nieces Robin Applewhite of Greer, SC., Polly Haering of Fisher, IN, and Melanie Bass of Woodland Hills, CA. He also leaves his "big sister" Mary Harberg, and lifelong friends, Sandy and Sam Chaskin, along with countless other close friends whose lives he has touched, and whose company he loved to share. Throughout the difficulties he faced, his close friends were always there to lift him up and were, in turn, lifted by his generosity, and love of life.Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 19th at 10:00 AM, at Congregation Beth Israel, 5600 North Braeswood Blvd. Interment to follow at Beth Israel Memorial Gardens on Antoine. Pallbearers: Stanley Benovitz, Sam Chaskin, Desey Desenberg, Jim Fish, Franklin J. (Jay) Harberg Jr., Alan Rauch, Morton Seline. Honorary Pallbearers: Past Presidents of Congregation Beth Israel. The family requests contributions in Jerry's memory be directed to the Congregation Beth Israel Endowment Fund, 5600 North Braeswood Boulevard, Houston, TX 77096.

Published in Houston Chronicle from Aug. 18 to Aug. 19, 2010
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