Gerald Erwin Wedren, 84, died on Sunday, May 31, 2020, at Aventura Hospital in Aventura, Fla.
He is survived by his loving son, Craig Wedren; his daughter-in-law, Meggan Lennon; and their son, Lennon Wedren; his brother and sister, William Wedren and Laura Bachtell; and by a slew of nieces and nephews.
Gerald was born Sept. 5, 1936, in Cleveland to Hyman Chessin Wedren and Pearl Raline (Kleinman) Wedren. He was raised in Cleveland Heights with beloved younger siblings William (“Billy”) and Laura.
Gerald played football at Cleveland Heights High School then went on to study at Cornell University. He graduated with a degree in Law from Case Western Reserve. After graduating from Case, Gerald went to work for future Senator Howard Metzenbaum and Ted Bonda, joining their parking company APCOA in Cleveland. During this time, he married Bonnie Marks (nee Paull) and had a son, Craig. In the early 1980s, he bought and ran “Little Tavern,” a legendary chain of gritty, Deco-era “slider” joints in the Washington-Baltimore area.
Throughout life, family was paramount to Jerry. He was a patriarch who not only took care of his mother and siblings, but became a father figure to nieces and nephews, and a mentor to children of friends. His greatest pride, however, was his son, Craig. In his 60s, Jerry, ever the eligible bachelor, was introduced by Sen. Metzenbaum to Bobby Gordon, who would be the final - and longest - love of Gerald’s life, the couple finding in each other perfect-fitting puzzle pieces until the very end.
There was no one quite like him. He was a serious businessman who measured success in dollars and cents, but put no value whatsoever on material possessions, status or glory. He had the very first car phone but never learned to use a computer or smartphone. He had a lawyerly critical streak that was outmatched only by his capacity for unconditional love, his love of a good laugh, and a ferocious allegiance to the state of Israel and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Online memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. June 8. Information and memorial tributes at geraldwedrenmemorial.com.
Memorial Contributions can be made to The Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (jfgh.org).