Gerald Kurland passed away peacefully on Sept. 24, 2020, at age 90. A lifelong Clevelander, Jerry was an entrepreneur who started several businesses, and an attorney, adventurer, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
A graduate of Cleveland Heights High School, Jerry attended The Ohio State University. He left OSU after a year-and-a-half to marry his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Levine, in 1950, and start his first company, Mid-City Auto Parts. Jerry and Phyllis had two children.
After Phyllis died tragically in 1961, Jerry recommitted himself to his education, recognizing that “there’s more to life than making money.” First, he completed his undergraduate degree at Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) and then went on to pursue his law degree at Western Reserve – in just 28 months – all while running his growing businesses and raising two young children. As a corporate attorney, Jerry established the legal department for Bobbie Brooks Inc., a major apparel company based in Cleveland. After the company’s bankruptcy, he practiced corporate law until retirement.
Already an avid boater and car aficionado, Jerry took to the skies to get his pilot’s license, eventually earning his instrument rating and certification to fly twin-engine airplanes. To him, the sky was truly the limit.
Jerry met his loving partner, Janet Cort, in 1984 and Jerry piloted them to destinations throughout the Caribbean and Eastern Seaboard. He included his entire family in his love of travel, taking everyone to New York City for his 75th birthday and an Alaskan cruise for his 80th.
His drive, strength and resolve was second to none, and his love and appreciation for education was nothing short of inspirational, as evidenced by his participation in college classes at Cleveland State University until age 88.
His family will miss the barbecues and Fourth of July celebrations Jerry hosted at his Bratenahl condominium, driving with him in one of his Jaguars, his captain’s hat, his yellow aviator glasses, and so much more. To his family, Jerry was a titan in all he did.
He will be deeply missed by his children, Lori (Marty) Baris and Steven Kurland (Sandra Erlanger); grandchildren, Janie (Michael) Gustin, Evan (Lisa) Miller, Benjamin Kurland (Alex Katz) and Sarah Kurland; great-grandchildren, Iyla Gustin, and Lennon and Miles Miller; and his loving companion, Bubbie Janet Cort.
A private burial took place Sept. 25. Donations may be made in Jerry’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association.