Jerald “Jerry” Irwin Friedman passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on August 15, 2020. He was born October 28, 1941, in Hammond, IN to Max and Ruth Friedman. The baby of the family, Jerry and his two siblings, Leon and Deanne grew up in Calumet City, IL.
Jerry studied business at the University of Illinois. He later accepted a position with Montgomery Ward in its executive manager training program. While there he met a beautiful 19 year old girl who worked in accounting, Jean Stacks, the woman he would call “wife” for the next 55 years.
In 1973, opportunity came knocking and Jerry answered. With their young children, Laura and Lisa, Jerry and Jean packed up and drove across the country to Las Vegas to take over a little business called Walker Furniture. Together with his brother-in-law and siblings, Jerry worked to help grow one of the largest, most iconic and most successful furniture stores in Nevada. He literally was (for those of you who are long-time Las Vegans) the “Uncle in the Furniture Business” and he LOVED it!
For more than 40 years, Jerry was the merchandise purchaser for Walkers. He created long standing friends and relationships within the industry from all over the country. Everyone who knew him loved him. He had a wicked sense of humor and was always ready with a joke, appropriate or not.
Whether it was hauling in 100lb Halibut in Ketchikan, AL or cheering on his beloved Blackhawks (and then, of course, his Vegas Golden Knights), Jerry was passionate about fishing and hockey. But his family was his greatest love of all. Jerry was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He loved his family fiercely and was grateful and lucky enough to be there to celebrate every single birthday, holiday, anniversary and graduation. He often said that, of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of his close-knit family and the devotion and love that they showed each other every day.
We will miss Jerry dearly, we will miss his humor, candor and, most importantly, his love.
Jerry is preceded in death by, his parents Ruth and Max Friedman and his brother Leon.
He is survived by his wife, Jean, his daughters Laura Butwinick (Todd) Lisa Katz (Mark) grandchildren, Seth Butwinick, Taylor Butwinick, Noah Katz and Zachary Katz, sister Deanne Alterwitz-Strasler and many nieces and nephews.
Due to Covid restrictions the Memorial service will be livestreamed on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, at 1:30 P.M. via a link at lvnertamid.org.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be made in Jerry’s memory to Nathan Adelson Hospice or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.