Joseph H. Lerman, 94, died Sunday, March 23, in Venice, Fla., ending a triumphant 72-year marriage to Gladys (Kanarek) Lerman. Born in 1919 in Manhattan, he was known all his life as Jerry, after a comic book character, Jerry on the Job, popular in his youth, who carried a toolbox wherever he went — a habit Jerry had as a child.
Besides his wife, Mr Lerman leaves his twin sons and their wives, Kenneth and Laura Lerman of Newtown and Dr Mark Lerman and Pamela Mainardi of Pomona, Calif., and another son, Steven, and his wife Lori, of Washington, DC. Survivors also include eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A graduate of Straben Muller Textile High School in Manhattan, Mr Lerman attended Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn for two years majoring in mechanical engineering. He enlisted in the Army and was chosen to attend officers’ training school, emerging as a second lieutenant and a member of the Army Corps of Engineers.
He founded MarkKenny Products in 1946, a die casting company named after his twin sons, and retired early in 1984.
He and his wife spent their summers in Otis, Mass., and winters in Mexico, taking time to make an around-the-world trip with close friends before moving to Florida in 1987.
Robust well into his 80s, Mr Lerman bought a boat at 79 and taught himself how to sail.
In Florida, he and his wife shared a large home in New Port Richey with two widows, presaging a communal living style gaining popularity as the population ages.