The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Obituaries May 2022 and Unveiling

Unveiling for Frances Kaminitz will be on Sunday, May 8th at 11am at the Sherith Israel Cemetery. The family invites Frances’ friends to please join them. 


Condolences to the family of Gerald H. Ely who died on April 4 after a battle with cancer. Gerry was born in 1939 in New York, the son of German Jewish immigrants who arrived in the US in 1938, fleeing the Nazis. He was raised by his parents and grandparents in the German-speaking community of Washington Heights.  

An alumnus of Bronx Science, he attended City College where he joined ROTC. He left CCNY and ROTC and took a job with Morgan Guarantee signing stock certificates. 

In the 1950s, he was the top performer in Morgan's company-wide test for people to start working in a new field--computer programming. In 1963, he left Morgan to become a computer programmer at Schroders Bank and then moved on in the late 1960s to Merrill Lynch, where he spent the rest of his career. 

He rose to become Director of Information Systems, leading Merrill's IT strategy at the start of the digital revolution. He used his position at Merrill to push for the breakup of the Bell system and led Merrill to look beyond Bell and diversify its communications strategy. He brought Merrill in to become the initial and/or lead private investor for 1980s-era startups like Financial News Network (now CNBC) and Innovative Market Systems (now Bloomberg LP). He was particularly proud of the decision to support Bloomberg and valued his friendship with Michael Bloomberg. 

In 1985, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Teleport Communications, a joint venture between Merrill, Western Union, the City of New York, and the Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J., he led the pioneering effort to bring high speed data and video services via satellite and fiber optic cable to financial service companies and other businesses.  

He made family his first priority, turning down positions overseas. He always arrived home early enough so that he could  be there for dinner every evening. 

Gerry married Sandra Parelman in 1963, Their son, Andrew, arrived in 1964; their daughter, Pamela, in 1968. Sandra died in 2007.   

Gerry's third marriage, to Denise, produced two more children, Evan and Eric. He retired in the early 1990s and married Joan, his wife of 25 years.  

What he most loved doing was taking pride in his children and grandchildren and in his sons- and daughters-in-law.  

Gerald Ely is survived by his wife, Joan; children, Andrew Ely (Rachel Kanter), Pamela Kelner (Saul), Eric Ely (Chelsey) and Evan Ely (Erin); grandchildren, Boaz and Shoshana Kelner, Siona, Pacey and Avital Ely, Elliot and Charlotte Pototsky, and his newest addition and the light of his last months, Cameron Ely. 


Condolences to the family of John Bryant Jordin who died on April 17. brother of WES member, Carole Jordin (Eshaghpour).  

John is survived by his children, Bryan Jordin (Amanda) and Christy Jordin Hansard (Cole); six grandchildren; sister, Carol Jordin (Eshaghpour) and many nieces and nephews. 


Condolences to the family of Nathaniel Koenig who died on March 23.  
He was the son of Wilma (and the late Leonard) Koenig. 


Condolences to the family of Janice Krohn who died on March 28. 
Condolences to the family of Marvin Ochs who died on March 27. He was the husband of Ellen Ochs; father of Steven Ochs and Michael Ochs; and brother of Joan Rimberg. 
Tributes may be made in Marvin's memory to The Gift of Life Foundation or Congregation Micah

Condolences to the family of Walter P. "Wally" Stern who died on February 27. Wally is survived by his wife, Betsy May Stern; children, Sarah May Stern (Mark Rosenblatt), Willy May Stern (Ann Shapiro), David May Calhoon Stern (Mary Elizabeth Calhoon); grandchildren, Judd Rosenblatt (Melanie Plaza), Bex Rosenblatt (Ben Manson), Tom Rosenblatt, Zack Stern, Phoebe Stern, Kasey Stern, Gavin Stern, Fiona Stern; great-grandchildren, Trent Rosenblatt, Leo Manson; brother, Richard Stern (Phyllis Edelstein); and brother-in-law, Jack May (Lynn May). 

Tributes may be made in Wally's memory to The Hudson Institute or The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Support The Observer

The Jewish Observer is published by The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville and made possible by funds raised in the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign. Become a supporter today.