JEROME L. "JERRY", age 87 of Philadelphia, died at home on September 20, 2012. Jerry was born on October 6, 1924 in Philadelphia, PA. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of almost 60 years, Naomi Solomon Bernstein, his brother William, and dear sister Rose. Jerry leaves behind his sons Daniel and Joshua Bernstein, daughter- in-law and wife of Joshua, Christine Kong, dear nieces, nephews and cousins, many cherished friends, and his much loved long-time caregiver, Gail Wilson. There will be graveside service for Jerry on Sunday September 23, 2012, at 1:30 p.m., at Montefiore Cemetery, located at 800 Church Road, Jenkintown, PA.
Jerry enlisted in the Army Air Force during World War II at age 19. As a Second Lieutenant and navigator, Jerry flew 43 missions over Germany and Southern Europe, earning an Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters. After the war, Jerry received a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Jerry then embarked on a distinguished career in commercial real estate, including as Vice President of the Grosser Company and the Donesco Company.
Along with his wife Naomi, Jerry was active in the civil rights and peace movements. Jerry and Naomi were organizing members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Student Non-Violent Coordin-ating Committee, and Jerry proudly served as an officer of Philadelphia Veterans for Peace during the Vietnam era. Jerry was equally active in his much-loved neighborhood of West Mt. Airy, serving as a board member of West Mt. Airy Neighbors and the Northwest Interfaith Movement. Jerry also served for many years as the vice president of the Jewish Employment and Vocational Service.
Jerry had a strong commitment to reforming the institutions serving the developmentally disabled. Jerry was the founder and president of Research in Mental Retardation, and he participated in writing the 1965 Pennsylvania Metal Health and Mental Retardation Act and the Federal Right to Education Act. At various times, he was an officer, board member and trustee of the City of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania State Association of Mental Retardation.
To honor Jerry's life of service, the family suggests donations to Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030.
Published in Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News on September 23, 2012