Gerald J. Friedman, 90, of Norfolk, VA passed away on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017. He was born on April 4th, 1927 at Norfolk General Hospital to Louis and Minnie Friedman. He was a 1944 graduate of Newport News High School. A veteran of the US Navy, Gerald, proudly served his country during the final months of World War II, and studied economics at The University of Virginia. His interests in business had been fueled during his childhood while working in his family’s pawn shop on Jefferson Avenue in Newport News.
Gerald was predeceased by his son David Michael, brothers Robert and Stanley, and sister Helen. Left to cherish his memory are his sisters Selma Fink and Eleanor Forman (his twin), daughters Mona Smith and her children Eric, Mason, Shelley, and their father Michael Smith, Laura Goldstein (Keith) and their children Billy, Phillip, and, Lizzy, son Charles, former wife Nancy, and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Gerald, a local real estate developer and pioneer, was an instrumental participant in creating many of the Northern Outer Banks communities. Gerald, also known by many as “Poppop”, loved playing and attending sporting events, including his grandchildren’s games, and attending the US Open with them. He was a lifelong sports enthusiast, becoming a part-owner of the Virginia Squires basketball team. Poppop also enjoyed dancing, making milkshakes, music, religious services, Friday night Shabbos dinners with family and friends, reading and teaching his children and grandchildren lifelong lessons.
He was an active member of Congregation Beth El and the greater Hampton Roads Jewish community, which he treasured with all his heart. He had a long-lasting devotion to the community and participated in expeditions to Israel in the 1960s and 70s, which focused on economic growth.
Gerald Friedman will be most remembered for his room-brightening smile, permeating warmth and old school ways. He connected with and touched us all through his endless love, sense of humor, thoughtfulness and strong values. A lesson which he empowered those near him can be summarized through the words of Mitch Albom, in his book Tuesdays with Morrie, “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning”. Poppop’s family wishes to thank those who helped care for him during his last years. His memory will always be a blessing.
Services and burial were held Sunday, September 24th, 2017. Memorial donations can be made to Beth Sholom Village, Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, or An Achievable Dream Foundation.
Services entrusted to the care of Altmeyer Funeral Home Southside Chapel.