Home
Resources
More Obituaries for Gerald Marcus
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Gerald Marcus

Gerald Marcus Obituary
Gerald D. Marcus 1917-2011 Gerald D. Marcus, who died in San Francisco on March 25, 2011, at the age of 93, was born in San Jose in 1917. He was the son of Isadore and Sarah Marcus, who ran the shop Marcus The Furrier in San Jose. After graduating from San Jose High School he attended Stanford, where he graduated in 1938 and served as valedictorian; one of his favorite memories from Stanford was a barnstorming debating tour that same year with his partner Charles E. Lindbloom that took them to universities from Harvard to McGill. In 1941 he graduated from Boalt Hall, where in 2002 the Gerald D. Marcus Fellowship Fund to promote diversity in the law was established. In 1941 he joined the Roosevelt administration as an attorney in the Office of Price Administration; in 1947, after serving in the Army during World War II, he went into private practice as an attorney in San Jose. In 1952 he and the late Arthur T. Bridgett formed a partnership in San Francisco which in 1957 became the firm now known as Hanson, Bridgett. His primary focus was business law; he became a pioneer in the field of agricultural cooperatives, representing California pear, nut, tomato and live growers, eventually coauthoring Cooperative Farm Bargaining: Group Action, Greater Gain in 1994. In later years he worked as a labor arbitrator. He was a man who won the trust of people on all sides of a question. In 1948 he married Eleanore Hyman Marcus of San Francisco, a union that ended with her death in 2006. They and their five children settled in 1955 in Menlo Park where he happily devoted much of his time to the cultivation of his garden. He found an ongoing delight as part of the same natural cycle as his blooms and plants. He was a profoundly active member of his community. He was a generous donor to and devoted fundraiser for Boalt, Stanford, and many Bay Area Jewish charities, especially the Jewish Federation. He was the founding president of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills; president of the Jewish Committee for Personal Service and served on the board of the Jewish Welfare Federation of San Francisco, Marin and the Peninsula. A passionate advocate of civil and first amendment rights, he was president of the Northern California chapter of the ACLU and a founder and co-chair of Death Penalty Focus, playing a seminal role in the overturning of the death penalty by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. In 1962 he served as Northern California chair of Governor Pat Brown's reelection campaign, and in 1966 chaired the campaign of Attorney General Tom Lynch. He was a friend and mentor to many California judges and members of Congress and a valued consultant on all manner of political issues. From 1985 on he served as chair of the annual lectureship at the Hastings College of the Law given in the name of his dear friend and mentor, the late California Supreme Court justice Matthew Tobriner. Throughout his life he was a dedicated environmentalist, outdoorsman, and traveler. Always social and gregarious and interested in the experiences and opinion of others, he loved singing the songs of his youth while accompanying himself with his barrelhouse piano playing. As a person devoted to his community, his legacy was all around him, in the health of public and private institutions, in the maintenance of fair legal practices and the highest ethical standards in law and public policy. He earned and treasured the respect and affection of countless people throughout the Bay Area and beyond. He is survived by his children Greil Marcus of Berkeley, Anne Vronski of Kibbutz Eilon in Israel, Steven Marcus of Santa Rosa, Daniel Marcus of Montclair, New Jersey, his grandchildren Emily, Cecily, Berek, Ben, Robin, Zoe, and Sam Marcus, Yonatan, Yaniv, and Ayelet Vronski, and by his great-granddaughters Pearl and Rose Perry. His son William Marcus died in 2007. A Memorial Service will be held on May 15, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at the Stanford Faculty Club. Donations in his name may be made to the Gerald D. Marcus Fellowship Fund at Boalt Hall, Death Penalty Focus, or the ACLU.
Logo
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Apr. 3, 2011
Read More
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.
Inform family & friends of Gerald's passing.